Time spent with horses therapeutic for owners.
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.
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.
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.