Published: February 22, 2014
Mary Kreider's horse, Monty, died about 10 years ago.
Saturday, she was selling his saddle, a well-used, but beautiful thing perched atop a mount in the cavernous indoor arena at the Norris Penrose Event Center.
She was also selling custom-made bits from South Africa at the Colorado Springs Horseman's Day event.
"It's a new concept," Kreider said. "They are custom-made bits, but then your horse has a bit for life."
The show by noon had already drawn nearly 900 visitors, said Sarah Gibson, event coordinator.
More were expected as the day went on. Last year the show drew nearly 1,500, she said.
Horsing around here was serious business.
There was the health aspect, from host Colorado Equine Veterinary Services and vendors, about 68 in all, that included drug companies, veterinary services, equine massage and veterinary schools.
There was also a competition angle, with representatives from the National Barrel Horse Association, Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and trail-riding competitions.
There were tractors, horse haulers, books, leather goods and riding tools.
You could buy a truck, too, if you wanted.
For $65,850, a 2014 Yukon XL Denali all-wheel drive pickup could be had.
"New trucks, we love them," said Kay DeMarco.
She and her husband, horse owners from Ellicott, were attending the show for the second year in a row.
"We love horses and this is about Colorado equines," she said.
They used to breed Arabians. They left the industry, but not the animals.
They still own 13 horses.
"We like to see the new products and things going on in the horse world," DeMarco said.
Colorado Springs Horseman's Day was started in 2009 by Colorado Equine Veterinary Services as a free equine educational forum.
It's still free, just a whole lot bigger.
Among speakers was author Temple Grandin.
She wrote "Animals in Translation," which has sold about 400,000 copies and is on the New York Times best-seller list.
Another title of her books is "Animals Make Us Human."
A PhD in animal science, Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University. She was the subject of an HBO movie in 2010 starring Claire Danes and is an advocate of the rights of autistic persons and animal welfare. She lives with autism herself.
For the kids, there were ponies to ride and a "Kids Corral."
In that corral stood Larry Mahan, a clown/magician from Colorado Springs.
Mahan has been doing this since he was 8 years old. He's 59 now.
"We have a good time," he said, as he prepared for another show. "I'm too silly to do anything else."