BUCYRUS — As the 2020 Crawford County Fair kicked off Monday, there was a lot of activity in the horse arena as several shows took place.
But there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes as the kids get ready to show their horses. Preparations have to be made to horses and horse-riders.
Sisters Olivia and Cecelia Chase are just two of many competitors at the fair this week and they were willing to share a little information about what a typical day is for them during the fair.
The Chase family is camping at the fairgrounds and the sisters pointed out they have to get up pretty early every day to take care of their horses.
“Typically we band or clip. You can sometimes do that the night before, but on English days we wait until the morning of because (the horses) sometimes mess it up,” Olivia said, explaining this task includes braiding the mane down and tying it up or completing a running braid down the side of the mane. “And we have to shave their ears in certain areas. Judges look for things like that, especially in the showmanship show.
But that’s only part of the prep work
“We bathe them and clean and brush them,” Olivia added.
“And we have to polish their hoofs,” said Cecelia. “It’s hoof polish, it’s just black or you can get clear. Basically, you have to make sure things are super clean. Your horse has to be clean and you have to wear show clothes depending on what class it is.”
Olivia noted they always try to have food available for their horses, because they perform better on a full stomach.
After getting up each morning the sisters go down to the barns to get their horses and bring them up to the horse arena area. Olivia said if the horse has rolled in their stall or gotten dirty, they have to wash them again, or band again.
“You always have to redo a couple things,” she said. “And you have to keep them calm. That’s a struggle some days. My one horse spooks at everything and she hates tractors.”
“My horse does not like the race horses when they are running,” Cecelia said.
The Chase sisters are going to be busy this week as they have shows every day through Thursday.
“We work with our horses all year round and some of these are a couple-year project. This is our third year showing with my one horse and (Cecelia) has had Pixie for five years,’ Olivia said. “We never sell the horses so you just keep the same horse and keep work with them.”
After the daily shows, the girls bathe the horses or ‘cold-hose them’ to get them cooled down. They then take them back to the barns, feed them, and if they have another horse they usually exercise it for a while.
Cleaning stalls is another chore that has to be completed each day.
“We’ve been showing since we were six,” Olivia said. “We just went to open shows, but we’ve been riding since we were two or three. We’ve always been around horses, our mom and grandma always had them.”