Just horsin’ around

NOKESVILLE — Kim Thompson said she was pleased by Maggie Maes performance in the equestrian ring at Nokesville Community Park on Saturday.

The golden retriever got off to a shaky start as she ran the obstacle course meant for horses but warmed to the task with natural enthusiasm and a little help from Thompson, her trainer.

Maggie Mae ran the wrong way around the first barrel, but corrected immediately with a hand signal from Thompson.

The teamwork paid off and Maggie Mae made good time thereafter.

“Shes never been around a barrel before,” said Thompson, of Nokesville, after the timed event.

Thompson, 31, said she didnt like to brag, but the horse course was simple stuff for a dog who can fetch sodas.

“This is a breeze,” Thompson said as hand and paw met with a high five.

Thompson also brought a horse to the second annual Nokesville Spring Fun Show, sponsored by the Nokesville 4-H Pony Express and the Nokesville Horse Society. The event included horseback games for children and adults as well as games for non-mounted participants.

Nokesville Horse Society member Jane Hampton said the annual event along with others of the sort help to raise awareness of the horse culture in Prince William County.

“It helps to educate the public about animals and farm life in general. Its important for this community, Nokesville, if were going to keep a country atmosphere,” the Catharpin resident said.

Kathy Hardy of Bristow once rode horses and visited with her 3-year-old son Clay.

“He loves horses,” Hardy, 31, said, “We always ride around the neighborhood just so he can see horses.”

Hardy said seeing the animals at the Spring Fun Show made her want to start riding again, but it will be some time before shes back in the saddle.

“Id love to be riding again, but since Im expecting, itll have to wait,” Hardy said, “Weve got a dog and a fish and they seem to be a handful right now.”

Genes Garage, a bluegrass band with tight harmonies, played during the afternoon break at the event.

Gene Thompson whose leather guitar strap was inexplicably embossed with the name “Luther” brought a horse joke to the Spring Fun Show.

“I was reading the paper the other day,” Gene told the crowd of 50 or so as they ate lunches of hot dogs and chips.

“It seems that equestrians have long and happy marriages,” he continued.

Yeah,” Gene said, “Its because they start out with a stable romance.”

The crowd was as appreciative as they should have been.

Some shook their heads, others groaned and the band played on.

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