This last Saturday I spent an entire day in Verona, Italy. Horse fair. Actually for me it was more than a day. I couldn’t fall asleep till like 2 in the morning and I was supposed to be in Ljubljana between 4 and 5 sometime. I had my alarm-clock set for 3 in the morning and so when I realized it will have been only five minutes before the alarm went off, I decided to just go. In the spare time I made some tea, slowly packed my stuff (even though I had done that couple hours earlier I still found a few things I would have forgotten otherwise.
Soon I started the car and headed off to Ljubljana, where I met with my friend Darja to go to where the bus would pick us up. Fast forward the several hour bus trip with several interesting conversations and a short nap, we were finally in Verona. It was different than I imagined, although I didn’t really imagine much of it… Perhaps, having visited one similar fair in the States a long time ago, I thought it will be similar. Oh well… a lot of Italian. Sometimes people there seemed foreigners; one might say “hey, there’s an Indian American there, or she might be British… Nope… When overheard talking, they were Italian.
The plan was to see the entire fair first and then go shopping. Nah… we didn’t stick to the plan that fully. We went through couple halls and I think in the second or third there were couple of booths, albeit completely utterly full of people, with one of three or four things I was going to buy there. Prices didn’t vary much, but one could see the marketplace work it’s competitive magic, by one dropping the price first and others slowly followed. You know… people go to the cheapest one, especially if they all sell exactly the same product. So the first thing I bought was a working watertight coat. The next thing on my list was a cowboy hat, but I just couldn’t find one I wanted for the longest time. Everyone had just those fake leather quasi-cowboy hats probably made in China. Then I finally found what I was looking for. The real deal. But bummer, it was overly expensive. 120€. I know… that’s what they sell for, but then again I didn’t want something of this sorts just yet. Right now I don’t need a hat that’s expensive. I have one of those good expensive ones at home – just a fedora though (it was still cheaper than what I decided to buy).
Oh well… it was a lot of walking, seeing a lot of different horses, having riders ride just among-side you is interesting feeling. And you know, the smell,… even though there was a lot of horses there it wasn’t terrible at all… I actually like the scent of horses. For me though, the hardest thing to watch was this cocky guy, who rode his andalusian horse showing his own ability to being showy and cocky whilst hurting the horse. He forced the horse-bit that much in, that horse’s tongue swoll and turned blue.
There was some other instances too, when it seemed as though those people didn’t really respect the noble animal. Some did though. There was even some Parelli guys and natural horsemanship workshops around, but I don’t speak Italian…
The day was finally nearing to an end and the dusk fell just as Darja and I approached the Bus. I think I overslept most of the trip back, which was good considering my lack of sleep the previous night.
Now I know the prices that go with horsemanship. I now know why Darja said that one can become a Millionaire with horses only by starting out as a Billionaire. While I don’t think that the sentiment must necessarily be true, I saw what she meant.