Horse sense

Time spent with horses ther­a­peu­tic for own­ers.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY NANCY KING SYD­NEY nk­ing@cb­post.com

Melissa Ser­roul says the time she spends with her horse Bai­ley is ther­a­peu­tic.

The Ge­orges River res­i­dent be­gan rid­ing at age eight at Sunrise Sta­bles.

She first bought a horse of her own in her early 20s, and Bai­ley, who she has had for nine years, is the sec­ond that she has owned.

“I was the only one in my fam­ily bit­ten with the horse bug,” she said Fri­day af­ter­noon, af­ter prac­tis­ing with Bai­ley at Cen­tre 200 in ad­vance of the first Syd­ney Horse Expo.

The three-day event is sanc­tioned by the Nova Sco­tia Eques­trian Fed­er­a­tion and will fea­ture com­peti­tors in both western and English plea­sure clas­si­fi­ca­tions.

This week­end, Ser­roul will be tak­ing part in hunter un­der sad­dle and a jump­ing demon­stra­tion with the Horse Power group.

“She’s my ther­a­pist,” Ser­roul said of Bai­ley. “Clean­ing their stalls, brush­ing them, it’s all very ther­a­peu­tic. Rid­ing is just a bonus, look­ing af­ter them is re­ward­ing as well.”

Ser­roul has pre­vi­ously shown lo­cally with the Cape Bre­ton Western Riders show and has been in­volved with Eastern Even­ters in Ben Eoin. She said she’s happy to see the launch of the horse expo, hop­ing it will bring in some new peo­ple.

“I think we need some new blood and the way to get kids in­volved is to show them all the dif­fer­ent things kids can do with horses here in Cape Bre­ton,” Ser­roul said.

“If we get some grownups that would be great too.”

Over the course of the expo there will be com­pe­ti­tions, demon­stra­tions and an ed­u­ca­tional as­pect fo­cus­ing on how to take proper care of the an­i­mals, for those who have a horse and for those who may be think­ing about get­ting one.

Ser­roul said she’s glad to see the expo tak­ing place.

“We’ve got this great fa­cil­ity sit­ting here and it’s in its first year so there’s been a few kinks but noth­ing that we couldn’t over­come, and I think it’s go­ing to be a huge suc­cess,” she said. “I’m re­ally ex­cited for all of our lo­cal sta­bles, if they can get some chil­dren rid­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing all that the horse world has to of­fer.”

In ad­di­tion to the ac­tiv­ity in the main arena, a trade show is take plac­ing in Buchanan Hall, of­fer­ing ven­dors an op­por­tu­nity to fea­ture their prod­ucts over the course of the week­end.

Brenda Na­son of Sun­downer Trail­ers said her busi­ness was one of the first to sign up for the trade show when they learned the expo would take place. They made the trek from just out­side Fred­er­ic­ton to take part.

“We’re in­volved in a lot of them through­out the Mar­itimes, and all my cus­tomers in Syd­ney kept say­ing, ‘ You’ve never been to Syd­ney, you’ve got to come,’” Na­son said.

She added the re­sponse to the expo, given what she has seen online, has been very pos­i­tive. In ad­di­tion to hope­fully do­ing some busi­ness, Na­son said she was look­ing for­ward to tak­ing in some of the week­end’s ac­tion.

“I watched their run-through this af­ter­noon and it looks like it’s go­ing to be a fab­u­lous show.”

The expo con­tin­ues un­til Sun­day.

NANCY KING/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Melissa Ser­roul of Ge­orges River ran her horse Bai­ley through her paces at Cen­tre 200 Fri­day, in ad­vance of the open­ing of the first Syd­ney Horse Expo. The expo con­tin­ues un­til Sun­day.

GREG MCNEIL/CAPE­BRE­TON POST

Matt McArthur of­fered some break­fast to Per­fectly in Mo­tion out­side of Cen­tre 200 in Syd­ney early Fri­day morn­ing. McArthur and Per­fectly in Mo­tion are among the many par­tic­i­pants in the inau­gu­ral Syd­ney Horse Expo that be­gan Fri­day at Cen­tre 200.

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