The Equine Affaire ~ An Affaire to Remember
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
November temperatures in Springfield, MA are usually mild but the Equine Affaire, held November 9th-12th, 2017 was certainly an exception. While troops of people dashed between the well-heated buildings at the Eastern Exposition Center, for those outside the mid-teen Fahrenheit temperatures and biting cold wind proved a challenge. Folks arrived dressed for the weather, to quickly find themselves carrying heavy jackets in addition to their shopping bags as the temperatures inside were stifling. Not to worry, plenty of people still shopped the deals and delights that were available.
It was interesting to see that blankets seemed to be a hot seller. Not surprising. Everyone was thinking about the abrupt change to winter weather. Other exhibits, such as the books stands were rather deplete of interest, which was indeed sad to see. As a writer I love to see folks leafing through the pages of books, keen to educate themselves on everything horse. Perhaps this is a sign of the digital times.
Interest in the horse breeds showcased in the pavilion buzzed as usual, and the educational training symposiums held by trainers across a variety of disciplines were well attended.
If you thought that Christmas came early, you’d be right. The pricing was very competitive and everyone had super deals on offer. If you took a stroll down to the food court the lines were long. Everyone does love that ‘fair’ fare. En route you probably took a walk through the horse barns and hopefully stopped in to see one of our advertisers, Horizon Structures. We do hope you support our advertisers. This magazine wouldn’t be FREE to you without their loyal support.
As usual Horizon Structures Amish built barns were extremely popular with the visitors. I think everyone has caught on to the extra discounts that are offered at the show, and the beautiful shedrow barn was sold on the spot.
We spoke with Mike Rinier, Senior Project Manager at Horizon Structures, to find out what questions folks asked, when they were interested in purchasing a barn.
“The first question is generally about what type of foundation is required. Customers are pleased to find out that not only is the system relatively simple to execute but that we also offer a full guide for their contractor on what to put where pillar wise and exactly what is needed to be sure that everything comes together smoothly. In some cases we are able to offer recommendations for site contractors or provide the site construction services through Horizon Structures, depending on the customer’s location, “Mike explained.
If you want to check out the needs for a site preparation in general check out the blog page at Horizon where there is a series of articles on what to expect from start to finish of the building project. Plus there is a guide to site preparation on the website.
Mike said the next question from prospective customer is just how is the building delivered. Many are surprised to learn that we bring the structure in pre-built sections. As the structures are made inside the factory there are no delays due to inclement weather and our timelines for delivery are thus very accurate. The set up of the structure on site goes fast.”
The third most common question Mike fields is about customization.
“Customers like to be able to customize the structure to suit their needs and at Horizon Structures we can do almost anything they desire. The stall sizes and sizes of tack and storage rooms is the favorite thing customers want to customize. This makes perfect sense as all horses are not the same size and at Horizon we offer buildings for everything from miniature horses to draft horses.”
For the first time ever Horizon Structures, who are one of the six major sponsors of the event and have been for many years, brought along one of their commercial grade kennels. This created some excitement and Horizon Sales Team members, Brad Ziegler and Mindy Rinier found themselves in front of the camera for an Amazon Prime TV show.
While many folks took a keen look inside the kennel, its presence at the Equine Affaire confused one lady, who mistook it for a barn for miniature mini horses!
There’s a new idea for Horizon Structures. As we know they build barns and structures for ‘all creatures great and small’ so perhaps they should add this to their lineup.
The new kennel has since been delivered to New Hampshire and the run-in shed to a customer in Massachusetts.
Many folks sheltered in the stalls of the horse barns from the wind, while they chowed down on their ‘fair’ fare, and literally kicked the oak-boarded walls, checking them out.
Business was brisk indeed. But don’t worry that you missed out.
Christmas is around the corner and if you’d like to “ Put one under the tree, for me,” there is still time to have shelter for your horses or dogs this winter season and Horizon Structures offer financing options with a simple application process.
You can enjoy excellent deals at the ‘Lot Liquidation’ sale page here. These stock products are ready to be delivered right away. If you want a customized option that is available too. Just give Mike or Mindy a call. Mike is the barn pro and Mindy the kennel pro. They just happen to be husband and wife. Horizon Structures is very much a family ‘affaire.’ Mike’s sister, Jill Siragusa is Chief Marketing Officer. Horizon Structures L.L.C., is owned by Dave Zook. The Zook family have been involved in the building industry for over 41 years and have a stellar reputation for the fine Amish craftsmanship and consistency on quality of service and product that they produce.
If you have any questions, would love a quote for your dream barn or indoor arena, kennel or any other outdoor structure give them a call at 800 447 4337.
When evening rolls around at the Equine Affaire it is Fantasia time. This gala event is always well attended and this year was no exception. Lots of entertaining horses and riders participated. The volunteer help that brought the horses to the ring for the larger demonstrations was also in the spotlight, when they broke out in spontaneous line dancing on the sideline to the YMCA song. Members of the audience jumped out of the stands to join in.
Much fun was had by all at the event and clearly much pre Black Friday shopping was completed, judging by the laden down folks that headed back to the parking lots. For vendors the event is a great place to showcase new products and clear unwanted inventory from the shelves at discount pricing.
Hope to see you there next year!