Watch the fair’s horse program | Letters

While you and I marveled over the hot weather while eating ice cream, dozens of kids from San Juan County spent these past few months carrying heavy tack, scooping poop and undergoing hours of thigh-chafing, bum-bruising and sweat-in-the-eyes riding and ground practice, all for the upcoming Horse Program at the San Juan County Fair.

So please, take the time to watch and cheer the fruits of their equine labors!

Tuesday morning, Aug. 15, kicks off the all-day 4-H horse program, including “Bareback Equitation,” which means riding without a saddle!

The fun resumes on Wednesday with classes such as “trail,” which is horse and rider teams navigating an obstacle course. On Wednesday afternoon, equestrian teams will compete with each other for a fairgrounds barn fundraiser at the second annual equine soccer game.

And Wednesday night, the games begin! So if speed is your thing, you’ll love watching riders zip around barrels and race the length of the arena.

If you like the classical style of riding known as dressage, then you’ll love what’s planned for Thursday.

Friday offers beauty, with perfectly groomed horses being paraded at halter in the morning and then in the afternoon, the Western Pleasure horses showing off their amazing rocking-horse lopes.

Saturday morning is all about the small fry – those youngest of riders – followed by their games and then a horse-and-rider costume contest around noon. On the fun/cuteness scale, that’s hard to beat!

Bravo to all – the fair organizers, the parents and guardians, the volunteers and of course, the riders – who have worked so hard to continue the heritage of horses at the fair. Thank you for keeping horsemanship alive. I tip my cowgirl hat to you all.

Amy Herdy

San Juan Island