September 2021 - Woodside Day of the Horse Has Something for Everyone
Written by article & photos by Nan Meek
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:46
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article & photos by Nan Meek

One life lesson that equestrians learned from the pandemic is that our enduring love of horses, and the myriad ways they enrich our lives, is worth preserving and sharing, now more than ever before.

That’s exactly what the Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) will be doing with its popular Woodside Day of the Horse celebration during three days of equestrian activities, Friday to Sunday, October 8-10. There’s something for everyone, equestrians and not-yet equestrians alike.


Having fun with horses and sharing it with neighbors in person and online, reflects the mission of WHOA! – to preserve the fundamental role of horses in maintaining the rural character of the Town of Woodside and neighboring foothill communities, to enhance opportunities for equestrian activities, and to promote the enjoyment of horses in all their various roles.

Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) welcomes visitors to its innovative drive-through Family Fun Horse Fair with welcoming banners that show the way to families eager to experience the joy of horses.

Woodside Art of the Horse

Created to celebrate the beauty and nobility of horses in our lives, Woodside Art of the Horse reveals the unique visions of equine artists portraying their favorite subjects.

From its opening reception through the following two days of equine art exhibitions, Woodside Art of the Horse will present a juried art show, a youth art show, an online art exhibition, and a silent auction.

New this year is the selection of works by young artists age 18 and under from their own live (not online) Youth Art Show for the 2022 Young Equine Artists Calendar. Youth artists will also be awarded prizes and raffle items.

Woodside Art of the Horse takes place live on Friday, October 8, 6-8 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, October 9-10, from 11 AM - 6 PM, at the Woodside Village Church. For more information, and information about the online art exhibition, visit https://whoa94062.org/art-of-the-horse/ or email questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

At the Woodside Day of the Horse Family Fun Horse Fair, visitors discover some of the many ways horses are helping people.

Progressive Trail Ride

Woodside Day of the Horse is renowned among recreational trail riders for its annual costume theme and its route along Town of Woodside trails that wind through the Town’s equine estates and landmarks.

Open to the public, all riders must pre-register, sign a liability release, and make a minimum donation per rider. Costumes reflecting the 2021 theme “Oktoberfest” are encouraged, although any costumes are welcome and are optional. Boots and helmets are strongly advised, and no stallions or dogs are permitted.

Costumed riders bring to life each year’s unique theme during Woodside Day of the Horse’s Progressive Trail Ride, riding the Town of Woodside trails and pausing for refreshments at ride stops that comply with safety regulations.

The official route uses only Town of Woodside trails without gates. Trail stop locations are noted on the map, with directions as needed and well-marked signs. Ride stops include both public and private horse-friendly locations, concentrating in the areas near central Woodside.

Registration opens September 1 online, and the ride is on Saturday, October 9, 11 AM to 3 PM, on Town of Woodside Trails. For more information, visit https://whoa94062.org/day-of-the-horse/ .

Youth art was an important part of the original Woodside Art of the Horse exhibition in 2019, and this year selected works by young artists will appear in the 2022 Young Equine Artists Calendar.

Family Fun Horse Fair

Last year at the height of the pandemic, WHOA! created the innovative drive-through Family Fun Horse Fair, inspired by the drive-by birthday and graduation parades that substituted for conventional parties. This year, WHOA! decided to repeat that success: Free admission, free plush ponies for children, and an exciting array of all things equine.

Instead of traditional booths with horses and equine information, the drive-through route in the parking lot at Woodside Town Hall passes by exhibitions of horses from the American Quarter Horse to an imported dressage champion; from a sweet miniature horse to a draft breed giant. An equine therapy horse demonstration, vaulting exhibition, and a farrier shoeing horses also gave visitors a comprehensive introduction to the world of horses.

Woodside Day of the Horse Family Fun Horse Fair is on Sunday, October 10, 11 AM to 1:30 PM, in the parking lot of Woodside Town Hall. Vehicles lined up early last year, from the parking lot entrance down Woodside Road, with two and sometimes three generations of a family eager to experience the horse fair. For more information, visit https://whoa94062.org/day-of-the-horse/ .

From paintings to photographs to sculpture, there’s art to delight the eye of every visitor to the Woodside Art of the Horse exhibition.

Horses for All

In these still-challenging times, the role of the horse in helping humans through the ups and downs of life is as important as ever. This year’s Woodside Day of the Horse celebration has something for everyone. Find out more about WHOA! and Woodside Day of the Horse at https://whoa94062.org/day-of-the-horse.