By Kim Lemmon
The saying is, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Sometimes it takes not only the help of the local villagers but also the help of nearly the entire county to get me through the local county fair.
It seemed like I wouldn’t even make it to the fair on opening day. My co-workers had helped me finish the September issue of Ohio’s Country Journal a day early and I was excited to be headed to the fair with my draft horse and two mini horses but nothing is ever easy about moving into the fair.
I put the truck in drive and found that the brakes were gone. My husband, Mark, called a friend and he very generously loaned us his very clean and very expensive truck so we could get all the horses and their accessories to the fair. The truck was returned in less than squeaky-clean condition but was accepted back graciously nonetheless.
After moving into the fair, I found more and more help was always readily available.
My friends in the horse barn did all but hold my hand while I hitched my mini horses. I had had an accident with another set of minis last spring so I’m still a little nervous driving the minis.
My horse barn friends literally baby-sat me the first few times I drove my geldings. There were at least a half dozen people that helped me at various times.
On show days, my mom and dad and another horse barn friend helped me get the horses and myself ready. Assistants are almost necessary to help me get my horses and myself into the show ring without getting my show clothes dirty.
Our mechanic spent a lot of extra time and effort to ensure that our truck was fixed before the fair was over so we could haul our horses home.
Mark helped me move in and move out of the fair and even came out after work and on weekends to help. I was so tired by Sunday that he single-handedly cleaned out my mini horse stalls after the minor barn flooding on Saturday night.
I had a great fair overall. I placed well and I learned a lot but mostly I learned to accept and appreciate the support of my family and the community around me. After all, family and community is what county fairs are supposed to be all about.