ABIQUIU – Everything equine is the theme for the fifth annual Rio Chama Equine Expo. There will be a wide selection of fun and educational activities for all ages. The expo will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Rio Arriba County Fairgrounds on State Highway 554 in Abiquiu.

New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service in Rio Arriba County is hosting the event. Activities will include riding sessions, a pack horse clinic, Vaquero presentation, wagon driving demonstration and horse auction.

"We have some outstanding presenters this year," said Donald Martinez, NMSU Extension agricultural agent in Rio Arriba County. Eric Roybal of Bear Creek Adventures is offering a full-day pack horse clinic, and Rudy Lara Jr. and Thomas Garcia from Spanish Creek Quarter Horses will give a presentation on the Vaquero "Spanish cowboy" techniques."

Jason TurnerJason Turner, New Mexico State University Extension equine specialist, checks the bridle on this horse to ensure that it fits correctly. Turner will present a session on checking tack during the Rio Chama Equine Expo Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Rio Arriba County fairgrounds.
(NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)
Riding sessions will be conducted by several outstanding horse trainers including Katrin Silva, Lara and Jessica Smith. "Katrin Silva is one of the most unique trainers in this region and really promotes western dressage," Martinez said. "She and Rudy are the best trainers in the state, and probably the Southwest."

Smith's riding sessions will focus on preparing for competition classes such as western pleasure, western horsemanship, reining and trail. Jason Turner, NMSU Extension equine specialist, will be presenting a session on self-checking tack and tack safety, and a session on "Leave No Trace Awareness." Throughout the day participants may interact with a local farrier, vendors and tack swap, as well as a silent auction. The day will conclude with a horse auction.

"The Healing America's Heroes organization is donating several horses from several different ranches for the auction," Martinez said. "The horses are super gentle and could be family or companion horses. They are not wild by any means." Once the horse has been purchased, Healing America's Heroes will work with the buyer to ensure that the horse gets settled at its new home.

"It will not be one of those auctions that once the horse is sold, the new owner is on their own to deal with the animal," Martinez said. "Healing America's Heroes will do a follow up with the new owner to help the horse adjust to their new environment and family."

Rio Arriba County has a new RV Park on the fairgrounds that will be available for participants to spend a night or two. "Overnight facilities are limited in this area and many people like to spend the night where their horses are stabled," Martinez said. "We have 36 RV spots with water and electricity, and there is a dump station with the facility."

To reserve a spot call Martinez at 505-685-4523 or email donmart@nmsu.edu.

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