Habits of Horses Open Day - A Volunteers Perspective

The Habits of Horses Open Day on 20 August, opened the stable doors to a steady stream of visitors who enjoyed the ‘serious’ and the not so serious artworks on display at the Mundaring Arts Centre and the temporary horse sculptures at Mundaring Sculpture Park.

Lisa Hegarty, Mundaring Arts Centre and Habits of Horses volunteer, wrapped up the success of the Open Day on 20 August saying “The day was buzzing even before the hay barrels hit the ground. Lending to the anticipation were the horse’s whinnies in the dusty arena, the rolling green grass set for hobby horse racing, the live displays and the art. Call it a passion of the heart, call it a love of these great animals, but everyone there was ready to celebrate not only horses, but community too

As a volunteer I personally got to spend time with the talented ladies in kid’s craft. Bunting and bright signs showed off Meagan and Avril’s tented space, set aside for the making of beautiful fluorescent hats and gorgeous wooden hobby horses. Awaiting the smaller masses of the crowd, the kids arrived at first with a trickle and a whisper, soon becoming a deluge, far surpassing the picnic blankets set out. Stretching far and wide, children and adults alike sat together excitedly sharing advice on how best to thread pipe-cleaner manes and draw the right kind of horse eyes. I had a blast helping creative kids make their bright headwear, adorned with ribbons, flowers and feathers. Hobby horse racing was at fever pitch. Kids raced their colourful creations, won their ribbons and prizes then did it again with the same amount of enthusiasm and fervour each time. As hobby horses quickly sold out, children without still raced and won on imaginary steeds.

I was fortunate to have time to experience the day with my own family. The whirring of the food trucks called to us, their delicious smells amalgamated, creating an atmosphere none could replicate. Between bites of black bean, churro and chips we watched whipping in the arena, and the changeover of the horse floats. Then we went hunting – treasure hunting. Afraid the library might close depriving them of their victory, the kids raced after answers dotted about the community. We finished up at the visitors centre, filling out the last of our entries chatting to the ladies at the museum. The kids were ecstatic when a few hours later I received a call that we did indeed win a prize and their hard work had paid off.

The park and streets set aside were big enough for space between revellers, but not so much that you regretted how far you walked between activities. The park allowed kids to play for free until their hearts were content, allowing tired parents to rest and wind down. The food options were broad and eclectic. The activities plentiful and fun. I believe you can tell a successful day by the people walking away from it. I saw it on the faces of everyone heading back to cars that this one had indeed been a success.

While I helped my fellow volunteers and staff of the Mundaring Arts Centre take down tents, wind up cords, pack away boxes and bring back all of the crazy building blocks from the day I was proud to be an extra hand. I was quietly pleased to be a part of the bigger picture bringing everyone together in a community I am honoured to be a part of." 

Mundaring Arts Centre would like to acknowledge all of the hard working volunteers. We truely would not have been able to do it without you - thank you!