Vikki Fulkoski shows her bagful of purchases.
If you’ve ever been to a horse expo then you know that, while the clinics and demonstrations are wonderful opportunities to learn, the shopping is what really draws people in. There’s something hypnotic about the allure of so many vendors selling so many items designed specifically for horse lovers. At the recent Equine Affaire expo in Pomona, Calif., we decided to play: “What’s in Your Bag?” Shoppers were quite eager to let us in on their favorite buys.
Her haul included a Breyer model horse that came as a package deal with the purchase of Ariat muck boots. She’d also bought a couple of T-shirts from the booth of a local horse rescue organization. Not only were they nice shirts, but Fulkoski figured the money benefited the charity. She also revealed that she’d been scoping out the hall set aside for barn manufacturers.
“I’ve gotten lots of info,” she said, motioning toward a cache of brochures, “because my goal is to get a new barn this spring.”
Carrie Landen displays her favorite purchase at Equine Affaire.
Carrie Landen was only there for the morning, but she was physically overwhelmed with a mountain of assorted bags. “I have to buy in bulk and get multiple items when I can because I have three horses,” she explained. “So I got a wazoo of de-wormers and lots of co-flex leg bandages at fabulous prices.”
Her favorite vendor was Big Jim’s, an emporium of everyday horse care items that engulfs the back half of one of the buildings. Aside from the de-wormers and an assortment of stable equipment such as replacement heads for manure forks, she allowed herself one glamorous item: a fancy purse complete with bling. “And it was only twenty dollars!” she said.
Debra Eldridge displays a souvenir Equine Affaire shirt.
Debra Eldridge was also heading home with one of the twenty-dollar purses, but she clutched a bright red Equine Affaire T-shirt as her favorite souvenir. It seemed appropriate as she revealed, “I come here every year.”
Equine Affaire is her idea of a horse lover’s vacation for two reasons: “Honestly, I think that at some of the vendors the prices are cheaper than anyplace else. But besides the shopping, I also come for the clinics.”
She then chatted about her purchases that included horse treats, a stuffed pony doll and a cute, brightly colored stall toy for her horse. “But my barn dog will probably end up running off with it,” she admitted.
Laurie Vasquez and Kim Tulypan with their treasured finds.
No one will be running off with the trio of stylish vests Laurie Vasquez had stuffed in her bags. “Hey, I ditched work to be here today,” she said, laughing.
Her barn buddy, Kim Tulypan, added, “Yeah, and we’d stay longer except that Laurie has a date so we have to leave. But we’re definitely coming back this weekend.”
The pair could barely make it to the parking lot with their stash of goodies. As she paused before walking toward the parking lot, Tulypan hoisted her new sheepskin dressage saddle pad as if it were a trophy. “It’s German made, so it has to be better, right?”
While that claim might be debatable, it’s a sure thing that everyone had fun shopping at Equine Affaire. So the next time a horse expo comes to your area, consider planning a trip. You never know what might end up in your bag!