About two years ago my freelance translation work brought me in contact with the owner of a boutique agency specializing in translations for the equine sector, i.e. all things horses. She was looking for an English-speaking translator who had some experience with horses or at least interest in learning more, and I was looking for a new challenge. Our collaboration has continued and last summer I became a full member of the team. I’ve learned more about the equestrian world that I ever believed possible, and there still so much to learn. I’m still a crappy novice rider, however, and that won’t change any time soon!
Anyway, we’re adding a blog to the agency’s website and I’m permitted to cross-post my own contributions here if I wish. The following post is my first blog post for Anima Translation.
I was home visiting my parents in eastern Pennsylvania just before the United States government began to take the coronavirus seriously, and on 29 February drove to nearby Harrisburg to visit the Horse World Expo 2020.
The Horse World Expo attracts exhibitors from all over the country, however its flavor is distinctly regional. Many of the companies are local, as are the visitors. This isn’t a trade fair for horse snobs. The halls and arenas were filled with regular folks, including Mennonites (in their distinctive garb and the men with beards without mustaches) and lots of teenage girls.
My original mission had been to visit with the people running the stands and ask if they would be interested in expanding their market with translation services, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was not the right crowd for foreign expansion, and after getting a few bemused looks I decided to just enjoy the event and learn from it.
The Farm Show building is divided into two general areas. On one side there is the trade fair hall: large enough for hundreds of stands, with an area dedicated to the latest innovations in supersized horse trailers, a couple of seminar areas, and a (small) roundpen for presentations with horses. On the other side are two large arenas with stadium seating, and here is where the larger events took place. These included the Trail Champions Challenge, a timed competition for horse and rider to accomplish some country-themed tasks (mending a fence or shooting a cap gun in the saddle, backing up one’s horse through a U-shaped alley without stepping over the poles). The most entertaining for the audience was the last task, where the rider had to dismount her horse at a free-standing wall with a window, walk over to the other side of the wall, pick up a camera and take a flash photo of her horse, and then return and get back in the saddle. (Many horses felt that enough was enough at this point and headed for the exit, with their riders trotting after them.)
What could I take away from the Expo in general? English style riding was certainly well represented, but most people there seemed to be primarily interested in Western riding. Many of the arena presentations, such as the Trail Champions Challenge and the session on gaited horses – Tennessee Walking Horses and others – came with a heavily Western flair. The “regional” country atmosphere was mainly enjoyable (I was able to buy my parents some good old Pennsylvania Dutch Whoopie Pies), but sometimes extended a little too far into the camo crowd for my comfort, for example the stand selling T-shirts bearing Confederate flags. But that, too, was a lesson learned – horse lovers come in all kinds of packaging.
“A visit to the Horse World Expo” is cross-posted at http://anima-translation.com