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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