A couple of Sundays ago, Dan and I went to the BEA expo that was here in Bern. I didn't really know what it was all about, but the posters advertising it had a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy and a piglet hanging out in a window, with a cow peering through.
Yeah, I was definitely excited to go.
The grounds were enormous, and I can tell you a few things that were there:
There was a ferris wheel.
A skateboard balancing station.
An awesome barbeque restaurant....
That served awesome skewered meat.
And that's basically the handful of activities that I know of that were happening outside of...THE ANIMAL PENS. Because essentially I spent a good three hours exploring about 0.02% of the expo before going home, and that 0.02% was the stables.
(Though I did get to see Bernese Mountain Dog puppies! They were all passed out and sleeping soundly, and there was a lady in the pen with the dogs making sure that no one tried to scare them or (in my case) run off with one. I had my fingers curled through the chicken wire, with my face pressed up against it, staring at those sweet pups with--what I realize now--to be crazy eyes. Basically I was silently screaming I WANT ONE and I think I was scaring the lady who was taking care of them. Dan had to lead me away by the hand, otherwise I'd probably still be there.)
I got to see:
An Arabian Princess.
The Three Stooges.
A displaced gold-rush pack mule.
A country gentleman atop an ENORMOUS horse.
Beer wagons and harnesses.
The steeds that pulled that wagon.
And their handler.
The equine voted 'Best Hair' for the class of 2011.
The ass voted 'Worst Hair' for the class of 2011.
(Though in all seriousness, this is the Poitou Donkey, which is a severally endangered breed so it was awesome to see one of these dreadlocked beauties in real life.)
The stud voted 'Cutest Smile' for the class of 2011.
I also got to see this beautiful grey wowing the crowds with its athletic prowess and beauty.
But really, who I was most excited to see were these guys.
Apparently Bern has a Western Club, and I was so excited to see some Western showmanship on display. These guys all preformed in the ring, doing some basic reining, showing off a cutting horse, and some roping. English riding is really typical here in Switzerland, so it was great to see a style of riding that I was so familiar with.
Watching those guys in action really made me homesick and nostalgic. I mean, I actually said to Dan, "If we don't leave right now, I'm hopping on a plane." The smell of a barn, the sweet breath of a horse sniffing your bangs, the trembling legs of a newborn foal. I saw it all, and know it all so well. It was gut wrenching the ache I felt, so when those riders took to the ring, well it was game over.
So I went home, and to make myself feel better I...
...I don't know why I'm anxious to tell you this...
...I obviously don't mind that people know, otherwise I wouldn't post about it...
...I downloaded a whole bunch of....country music.
AND IT'S BEEN GREAT. It has totally soothed my soul listening to those twangy ballads because sometimes the only thing that is going to get you through is Faith Hill and Tim McGraw singing a duet that is so beautiful, you'd cry if you weren't so happy that when you closed your eyes, for a split second you could swear you smelled sagebrush rolling in with storm clouds.