I was lucky enough as a young child to have relatives with a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon, which meant that I learned to ride the ranch's cattle horses starting at the age of four. We would spend several weeks each year there, so I got to live the horse-loving girl's dream of going on cattle drives and riding through green pastures in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.
Nick and Nellie canoodling.
Though the desire (my parents would have said single-minded obsession) to actually own one of my own has given way to the reality of my (happy) life as a city dweller, I still love to hang out with horses whenever I get the chance. So when I heard from my friend Clare that she was participating in a plowing competition with other members of her Draft Horse Breeders Association, I had to jump in the car and go.
Yes, mules plow, too!
The video at the top of this post shows Clare's mentor, blacksmith demonstrations, live music and other activities.
So if you or someone you love is crazy about these animals or simply can't get enough of traditional arts, make plans to go. I'll see you there!
Details: Champoeg Founder's Day, Sat., May 7, 10 am-4 pm; free with purchase of $5 State Parks Day Use Parking Pass. 8239 Champoeg Rd NE, St Paul.503-678-1649.