The Horse Circus: 8.15.14

The Horse CircusWe pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

Festival of the Horse and Drum Banner

Festival Of The Horse & Drum

In this modern day world where efficient transportation starts at 60 miles-per-hour and most of us who handle horses as a hobby or a sport tend to stick to just one discipline, it’s easy to forget just how great a role the has horse played in almost every human civilization. If you are in need of a refresher course, I suggest you head out to the Festival Of The Horse & Drum this weekend.

The Festival’s stated mission “is to provide a place where ALL lovers of horses can come together to enjoy the beauty and energy of the horse.” You’ll notice that there is an emphasis on the ‘all,’ and that is no mistake. In the first place, disciplines ranging from cattle ranching to classical French dressage, and everything in between, will be on display for festival goers.

But the meaning of “all” strikes deeper than just the breadth of riding styles on hand. This festival is dubbed the “United Nations of Horses and Humans” because its purpose is to bring the various horse communities together in a common understanding and appreciation of all breeds and disciplines.

Here at Counter-Canter Culture, we’re all for that. So let’s explore some of the highlights of what’s in store for the Festival Of The Horse & Drum. One of the eye-catching additions to the festival this year is the Muchacha Salsa Fiesta Village, and its sponsored Horse Dancing Contest! Ten riders, each along with any amount of dancers on the ground, will be competing in four classes (Piaffe, Passage, Spanish Walk, and Horse Dancing) for a cash prize and trophy. Curious what horse dancing looks like? Check out this video.

Another not to be missed feature of the festival is the Native American Pow Wow, which gives festival attendees an authentic look at a traditional Native American ceremony. The Pow wow also serves as a reminder of the enduring relationship between Native Americans and their horses, as brightly colored participants share center stage with the horses.

Horse & Drum Pow Wow

From the Americas, we head to the celebration of dressage in history of European riding. Demonstrations of both French and Spanish Classical Dressage will take place each day. And, all day each day, riders will be performing feats of working equitation, which is said to have originate in Portugal as a blend of ranch work requirements and traditional dressage techniques. You can learn more about working equitation with this video.

Some real cowboys and cowgirls have also promised to be take up residence in ‘Cowboy Town.’ Cowboy Town celebrates the rich and colorful culture of the American West with everything from the historic Buffalo Soldiers to the Mexican Charros with their dancing horses and a tribute to the modern day American Cowboy & Cowgirl. It’s a lovely reminder that the term ‘cowboy’ can cover a lot more ground than what we commonly think.

Cowboys and Cowgirls at the Festival of the Horse & Drum

Speaking of those Buffalo Soldiers, the Festival Of The Horse & Drum also pays homage to the role horses have played in the world of knights and warfare. The War Horse History Fest area hosts a Reenactment Encampment contest, offering $500 in cash to the group who gets the most votes for its authenticity and creativity. Meanwhile, not far a way, a real life medieval jousting competition will take place in the Renaissance Faire Village. The color and pageantry of this event is simply fantastic!

Horse & Drum Jousting 2

I promise you. I’ve only scratched the surface of the multicultural equestrian events in store at the Festival Of The Horse & Drum this weekend. Please head over to their website to explore the full schedule here.

Not only is the Festival Of The Horse & Drum a multicultural celebration of the horse, it is also a multimedia one. In tomorrow’s 100% Sound we’ll explore this multimedia side of this event, including the Horse-A-Palooza Stage and the Equus Film Festival. Plus, you can enjoy a compilation of existing and new 100% Sound songs, specifically curated to give a special sound to this one-of-a-kind equestrian extravaganza!  See you there!

*All Photos From The Festival Of The Horse & Drum

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