Monday, February 09, 2009

January Horse Auction


In the last post I wrote about our winter visit to the St. Jacob's Market, the largest year round farmers market in our region. The Ontario Stockyards are located on the premises and livestock are auctioned here several times a week. On the last Saturday of the month, a horse auction is held and many Old Order Mennonites are in attendance. In September I posted pictures here of the horse auction when the market was at its autumn peak and appeared far more colourful.


On this cold, grey day, the men were gathered to try out horses that were for sale. Mennonite children attend parochial schools until grade eight and can legally leave the educational system after this to work on the farm. One high school in the area does offer courses related to farm management for OOM teenagers, but relatively few take advantage of it. The teenaged boys are included with the men just as they were in general society a few generations ago. You are a child or you are an adult in this world.


The mini "chariot" was hitched to a number of horses and taken through the parking lot for a test drive. It was a test of the horse and not the cart and I saw the same pleasure in the men's faces as one would see when a man takes a sports car out for a drive.


This past month, a large Walmart store opened next to the market. To me, this seemed like an inappropriate intrusion in the rural atmosphere, but the OOMs were enjoying the store very much. In the picture above you can see the new covered parking space for the OOM buggies.


I seldom see a horse and buggy in the city any more as the traffic has become heavier. These people will take an intercity bus for essential visits to town. But this modern retailer is situated at the city limits and is set to attract these people who undoubtedly like a bargain as much as the rest of us.

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28 comments:

  1. You've brought a memory to light of me being at a cattle auction in Kitchener. I can't even recall the circumstances with certainty, but I remember being quite impressed with how it worked.

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  2. this was a delightful blog - thank you for sharing it with us!

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  3. Love the horse and chariot pictures. Thank you for showing us a fascinating glimpse of a corner of your world.

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  4. It's still such a fascinating thing to me to see the OOM's in this day and time, hold to old traditions.

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  5. Beautiful photos, Ruth. Nice to see a post documenting yet another piece of history in southern Ontario. Plenty of snow in those photos, especially for your region!

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  6. How interesting. I hadn't thought about it, but you are absolutely right. In some cultures you are a child or you are an adult.

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  7. Thanks for a really delightful and informative post!! Makes me kind of yearn for something simpler...and I'm glad to see they have provided shelter for the "parked" horses!

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  8. Horse auctions well if it were me I suppose I could NOT part with mine..but I understand it's a way of life for many in the St. Jacobs area.
    These photos remind me of our pleasant Sat. morning visits to the town taking in many of the scenes you've posted today and previous. Perhaps in the Spring we'll go again.
    Soon we are off to Arizona for the rest of the winter.

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  9. Very interesting post! I like your touch of humor and the photos, too.

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  10. very interesting. this is why i enjoy visiting other people's entry during this day. it's amazing what one learns from viewing other people's world.

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  11. Cool post. I'm always somewhat surprised when I see Mennonite women and children in stores like Wal-mart or dollar stores. But you are right, they likely enjoy a bargain just as much as anyone else. ;-)

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  12. Great post and photos. Excellent job, Ruth.

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  13. A horse auction? Wow those are some great pics, you captured it perfectly.

    Have a great week!
    Guy
    Regina In Pictures

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  14. This is an interesting post Ruth especially the notion of trying a horse like a race car...

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  15. I went to that market,with my parents, sooo many years,ago.When I was a teenager.My father is from Hamilton.

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  16. Old world meets new with the Walmart in Mennonite country ... and you're observation goes to show that sometimes the two find use for one another ...

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  17. This is so different for me here, but reminds me of holidays in the UK when you would often come across them.

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  18. Ruth: What an interesting view into your world.

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  19. what a fascinating post ruth about the horse auction. enjoyed the post and photos very much.
    have a great week.
    erin

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  20. I haven't been to St. Jacobs in about 4 years - time I went again. Lovely photos Ruth!

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  21. AC- Since "mad cow disease" made an appearance, the public of blocked from much of the stockyards and auction areas. I have to get in sometime to get a recording of the auction.

    Jeannette- Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    Kim- That is a pacifist's chariot, not like the one in Ben Hur.

    Jayne- The community is large and close knit which makes it easier to keep that way of life.

    Bev- Thanks for visiting. Yes we have an extra lot of snow for the SW. I am off to eastern Ontario next weekend.

    NCMW- I don't believe it was until after WW2 that teenagers became so distinct. The boomers made people notice them.

    Thanks to the other commenters. I have visited you and left comments on your My World posts.

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  22. Mexico Mom9:09 pm GMT-5

    An excellent post as usual. It certainly stirred many wonderful memories. I always tried to sit in on the auctions at least for a little while.
    There are always vast differences in cultures in any group. In Mexico we have the indigenous people living as they did 100`s of years ago and coming into our city in their colourful dress while the jean clad university girls zip around on their motor scooters.
    The only similarities are their faith and their inner joys and sorrows. These areas are cross cultural.

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  23. Walmart just feels wrong in an atmosphere like this.

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  24. The Walmart carriage parking is fascinating. I'd love to try my horse with that cute little chariot.

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  25. Your photos and world is wonderful. We have horse and buggy here too. They are a bit diffrent as they are Mennonites, But I love to see them in the buggy's.

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  26. Great post and wonderful photographs. All so very interesting, thank you.

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  27. I am seriously impressed with Walmart for supplying this shelter. A great and interesting post.

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  28. You can always tell around here which farmsteads belong to the Amish by the numbers and types of horses in their pastures. I really enjoyed this post and pictures Ruth.

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