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Rode in a Christmas Parade....

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  • Rode in a Christmas Parade....

    ....and I'll never do it again. OY!

    The parade was insane. They've been doing this for 18 years but it was the most disorganized thing I've ever seen. NO ONE from the parade committe was at the horse staging area to "check us in", so riders just showed up to be in the parade without having paid the entry fee (which is for charity!). Worst of all, those show-ups were also slightly drunk.

    No judges were there either. We were told "Oh, you all judge yourselves." Wha?! Gimme a break. Since I do not belong to the Paulding County Saddle Club (and never ever will), I didn't get judged or even considered. What a joke. Granted, I didn't do it just to get a ribbon or anything but wanted a fair shake at it. Am glad, tho, that the ribbons they handed out went to the Wee UBER Cute little girls on their UBER cute ponies.

    While the other horses/riders did dress up or decorate (the ponies and minis especially), the overall Turnout of their horses was, in my opinion, pitiful. Some I don't think even bothered to do more than a quick brushing. Guess I'm an old fart. I believe in proper turnout, no matter the venue--show, parade or trail.

    The kicker for the day, though, was one of the said Saddle Club riders was a redneck idiot who thought the crazy parade would be the best place to take his 4 y/o TWH Stallion out for some "experience." He rides by me and in his snobby voice says "This IS a stallion." I said "So?! You control your horse, I'll control mine." and tried to keep my distance.

    I wanted to be last in the line up, since I knew Penny would be "Up" from all the excitement and because I wasn't associated with the Saddle Club folks. Well Mr. Stallion Boy got in behind me and would lag behind just so he could run up P's butt in a full rack and show off some more. Two hours of that!

    I couldn't really enjoy myself-- barely got to smile at some of the kids along the packed route. I am very thankful my friend was with me as a ground control to hand out candy, cuz she put herself behind Penny several times to keep IDIOT PEOPLE from cutting up behind her.....let's not even talk about the woman with a 4 month old in her arms that was about 6 inches from Penny's tail end. OY VEY!

    We finally get back to the trailer. (I'd been in the saddle for 4 1/2 hours). I hugged Penny and then Courtney, promising both of them that we would never do this again.

    At least Penny looked good and, overall, was very well behaved. She spooked a bit at the big drum lines from the band but that was her only real moment.

    Pictures (yes, Facebook but they're open to public viewing):

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=fa19f6b2b9
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

  • #2
    Maybe when the dude made his announcement that his horse "IS" a stallion, you could have replied "Well I see the nuts but they aren't between the horse's legs. They are on top of the saddle." He would have spent the rest of the parade trying to figure out what you meant.

    I'm sorry it wasn't fun for you, but I will say your horse and turnout were GORGEOUS!
    Alis volat propriis.

    Comment


    • #3
      You're a braver soul than I! I've been in several parades with my dogs and it can be unnerving for them, too, but I think I would be too stressed to try it on horseback.

      I used to love being in them but I'm starting to think maybe it's time not to do any more. You are so right that it seems no matter how well-established the venue, they can still seem to be pretty disorganized on the day, and the largest parade I've ever been in actually had the least crowd control. No one even suggested that spectators NOT walk right out into the street to pet the dogs, or allow their children of all ages to do so as well. The smaller parades I've been in actually had no one actually walking into the parade route, but instead cheered from the curbside. And the dogs are always big people magnets, and I'm sure the horses, too.

      I've never taken a dog to one who couldn't handle having strangers (often in weird costumes) coming at him/her from all sides and unpredictably, but as you said, Oy vey!, you just can't believe people sometimes and it could be a disaster if something went wrong.
      If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the props It wasn't easy to groom her being as she is in full Winter Yak mode. God Bless the Shop-Vac!


        Originally posted by Rallycairn View Post
        .... You are so right that it seems no matter how well-established the venue, they can still seem to be pretty disorganized on the day, and the largest parade I've ever been in actually had the least crowd control. No one even suggested that spectators NOT walk right out into the street to pet the dogs, or allow their children of all ages to do so as well. The smaller parades I've been in actually had no one actually walking into the parade route, but instead cheered from the curbside. And the dogs are always big people magnets, and I'm sure the horses, too.
        Crowd control was a joke. Their idea of a barrier was plastic POLICE tape strung between light poles....but that was only for the last 1/8th of a mile of the entire route. The rest was wide open to anyone and anything pushing their way into the parade participants, grabbing for candy and just getting in the way, walking in front of and behind the horses without so much as a blink. SOOOO unsafe!
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
          The kicker for the day, though, was one of the said Saddle Club riders was a redneck idiot who thought the crazy parade would be the best place to take his 4 y/o TWH Stallion out for some "experience." He rides by me and in his snobby voice says "This IS a stallion." I said "So?! You control your horse, I'll control mine." and tried to keep my distance.



          http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=fa19f6b2b9
          Like the glorious Ms.P is ever a problem! WOW! I do not know how you held your tounge! I have wanted to put Grover in a parade but maybe I will rethink that!

          "Maybe when the dude made his announcement that his horse "IS" a stallion, you could have replied "Well I see the nuts but they aren't between the horse's legs. They are on top of the saddle." He would have spent the rest of the parade trying to figure out what you meant."

          LOVE IT!!!!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
            Like the glorious Ms.P is ever a problem! WOW! I do not know how you held your tounge! I have wanted to put Grover in a parade but maybe I will rethink that!
            I think you'd be wise to. Thought about you and just knew Grover would be a bit and you'd be a bit more

            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

            Comment


            • #7
              I rode in one Santa Clause parade and it was one too many. Never again!!!
              "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

              Comment


              • #8
                you guys look great in the photos!

                she's all christmas spirit

                you have to try things in order to figure out if you like them.
                i always wanted to take my mare to the beach and when i finally did, it wasn't such a happy day at all since she was petrified of the crashing waves and spent the day in a counterbend trying to make her way to the dunes
                http://www.eponashoe.com/
                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

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                • #9
                  aww!

                  you and the "yak" looked quite festive!

                  we didn't make it to the parade because i wimped out when the weather turned bad- sorry it wasn't fun for you guys!

                  thanks again for the hay and i LOVED those big ole stalls out there- also spyed on the hay net contraption hanging from the tree- what a good idea!

                  your barn is literally about 5 minutes from ours- yay for local COTHers!
                  let me know when the next trail ride is!
                  -ellie
                  Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                  Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Choco, what a pretty, pretty girl you have! And you both look so festive!

                    Too bad that you had to be in the midst of so may yokels, but I'm glad you went whole hog and did it RIGHT. I appreciate people who have high standards and stick to them!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by skip916 View Post
                      you and the "yak" looked quite festive!

                      we didn't make it to the parade because i wimped out when the weather turned bad- sorry it wasn't fun for you guys!

                      thanks again for the hay and i LOVED those big ole stalls out there- also spyed on the hay net contraption hanging from the tree- what a good idea!

                      your barn is literally about 5 minutes from ours- yay for local COTHers!
                      let me know when the next trail ride is!
                      -ellie
                      Oh good Ellie! Sorry I missed you too!

                      Said "hay net contraption" is the West Coast Bale net from the FAB folks at Cinch Chix

                      Holds 2 of my square bales and lasts up to 36 hours with 3 mares eating on 'em. I'm expecting their Round Bale Net this week, tho, since that'll be even easier for me.
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by marta View Post
                        she's all christmas spirit

                        you have to try things in order to figure out if you like them.
                        i always wanted to take my mare to the beach and when i finally did, it wasn't such a happy day at all since she was petrified of the crashing waves and spent the day in a counterbend trying to make her way to the dunes
                        According to my gelding, there be sea monsters in the water!Aaaargh!!!!
                        Dee
                        Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                        Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
                        http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I rode in a parade twice, and both times it was really stressful and not very much fun. I'll never do it again.

                          But you and your mare looked so nice! I love how you choose to decorate her! She sounds like she was a really good girl for putting up with all of the parade chaos.
                          Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
                          Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by LovelyBay View Post
                            I rode in a parade twice, and both times it was really stressful and not very much fun. I'll never do it again.

                            But you and your mare looked so nice! I love how you choose to decorate her! She sounds like she was a really good girl for putting up with all of the parade chaos.
                            Thank you so much. Indeed, Penny was very tolerant of all the hooplah and hub-bub.

                            Ah, one other thing: besides me, only the 2 youngest wee girls were wearing helmets. Good thing too, because wee little girl No. 1 on Annabelle Da Pony (CUUUUTE) got dumped when Annabelle whizzed around to give the hairy-eyeball to the GIGANTIC Scoopy-Doo perched up in a dune buggy. Wee Girl hit the asphalt faster than you could blink and I heard the helmet crack the ground from 100 feet away. THANK GOD she was wearing it!!! Daddy picked her up very quick and plopped her wee bum right back in the saddle like it never happened, hugged her and gave the dude in the Dune Buggy a VERY mean look
                            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Parades are not my cup of tea, but I must say that you and Penny are very nicely turned out in your holiday clothes!
                              "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                              http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We loved to go to all kinds of parades with our school horses and everyone seemed to have a great time.
                                We had candy bags handed to us at the start and we threw the candy over to the people lining the sides.
                                Some kids always would run to and under the horses, asking for more, but no kid got hurt, as far as I know.

                                Too bad you had a tough time there.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Video of full parade pics if you wanna see the other horses...especially the Yahoo on the Stallion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTmhx...layer_embedded
                                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have ridden in 3 Christmas parades with a group of friends from riding club. I wasn't able to this year as my horse is recouping from an injury. I was very disappointed. The parade we normally ride in is fairly small maybe 200 different groups/floats in the parade. Other than a whole lot of waiting at the beginning to fall into your " assigned place" it was pretty fun. We had several side walkers to help out in case of emergencies, and really only had one incident where a husband and wife were riding horses that really should not have been in the parade atmosphere. My Tb mare was great(have to admit first time out I was nervous), but she handled it with no problem, even the year we had bagpipes behind us...hehe or the rescue squad ambulance with flashing lights in front of us. Oh, did I mention we have to cross a train track in two places as the route from the trailer area to the end is a big loop? Sorry you didn't have a good time.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Love your decorating, and your horse looks like SUCH a good girl. Clydesdale cross? She looks kind of Clydish to me but not quite.

                                      I used to dream of decorating the Silver Colt when he is a Magnificent Silver Horse in future years and going in a Christmas parade, as he would look utterly awesome decorated with his coloring and his ever-up ears. Alas, I decided with the 4th of July accident in wherever-it-was, Iowa, this year that potential liability issues and crowd-in-street issues were simply too much for me to risk my farm on one little parade. I'll settle for getting our future "how neat!" pictures at the Tevis instead!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Oh dear Choco - I am sorry it was not a good parade experience. I've ridden in so many and can say with conviction that you really have to pick and choose when it comes to finding truly organized parades. Much of it is volunteer effort on the part of the parade committee and many are sadly lacking in experience or real commitment to their assigned tasks. I judged our horses this year and several years past (if I'm not riding in the parade), and I've been working with our local Lions Club to improve safety and conditions here in Covington. Our parade is gaining a very good reputation for it's organization and we had somewhere around 50 horses this year. Almost all were dressed to the nines in keeping with our theme "the magic of Christmas" and I wish I had taken some pictures.

                                        All in all, what I'm trying to say is that even though Covington may be a bit far for you, we had participants from all over GA this year, even some true blue Buffalo Soldiers from the Atlanta Cavalry. So you're officially invited next year to experience Covington's Christmas parade - I think you would really enjoy it.

                                        ETA - your horse decoration is wonderful!
                                        Susan N.

                                        Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

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