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Ideas for Christmas parade needed - We did it! Photos post 9

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  • Ideas for Christmas parade needed - We did it! Photos post 9

    A friend and I have been asked to take my two driving ponies in the local Christmas parade: Loud bands, fire and police sirens, costumes, actors, floats with all manner of displays, kids yelling and screaming, balloons, flags - get the picture?

    We've been doing some major de-sensitizing and both ponies are really cruisy.

    What ideas do you folks have for dress up / costume? There will be two ponies (both liver chesnut, one more dun shaded) and 4 people - one to drive and one to walk alongside each pony. We can dress us and ponies any way we want. Remember its summer here so will be hot - so no blankets covering the ponies and not too much heavy clothing for us. If needed we figure the ponies would be okay with antlers! We haven't got huge amounts of money. There are prizes for the best costume / float with a Christmas theme.

    Any and all ideas most welcome - pictures even better.
    Last edited by phoebetrainer; Dec. 8, 2012, 04:25 AM.

  • #2
    Here are a couple of pictures from a parade the riding club I belong to did.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/6542500829/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/6542500787/
    In the past, I have alos made a wreath out of artificial evergreen and put some bells and decorations on it. I made it big enough so it would go over my horse's head. It looked really neat. The ribbons in the pictures were just curling ribbon like you would use to wrap a present and the wider ribbon has some wire on the edges. I just put small braids in the horses manes and then attached the ribbons with wide covered rubber bands. You can't really see in the pictures, but we had longer versions in the horse's tails. For rider's we all wore either red or green club sweatshirts. For hot weather you could wear the same color tee shirts or polo shirts.

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    • #3
      Bells. Nothing says Merry Christmas like bells on a horse harness. Just be sure to proof your guys on the bells beforehand.

      For several years I drove my mini's in a Christmas parade we use to put garland on the shafts, some decorative stuff on the saddle and some red vet wrap on the legs, a wreath and/or basket of Teddy Bears on the back of the cart. It was always REALLY cold so we were bundled up in our hunt coats with a nice green/red fleece blanket over our laps.

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      • #4
        lol, the down under Christmas....

        battery powered wreath lights for the manes.

        I guess you could go for elven beach wear. I understand that one of the Down Under Christmas specials is a day on the beach, throwing some shrimp on the barbie....

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I quite like the idea of making the walkers into elves. We could do the red and green theme with shorts and tee shirts - drivers too.

          BELLS - YES great idea. We'll start working on the whole thing in the next day or two.

          Lots of tinsel and vetrap for the legs. I bet the local saddlery or vet shops would give us the vet wrap.

          We'll take photos and you can be jealous of us in the heat.

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          • #6
            Love the idea for bells and the handlers being elves! Would the ponies be okay dressed up as reindeer? Antlers on their heads and maybe red noses for Rudolph? Red and green polos or vetrap on legs and the top of the tail, tinsel in the manes, and sparkles on their hooves! Wreaths are easy to make and could hang on the cart, maybe some good old-fashioned construction paper chains too! Good luck and be sure to post photos

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              We did a bit of a dry run yesterday. One of the local farm supply stores gave us some money for decorations so we're going decked out in green and gold (their colours). We got glitter for feet and bodies and tinsel for harness. I found some kids' bells on velcro straps that we put on their fetlocks - that was great - really Christmassy. We have gold glitter stars which stick on with clear hoof varnish. We'll hang Christmas stockings off the back of the cart, with a stuffed sack in one of them.

              I talked with a friend who has done the parade in the past with clydsdales and a big wagon. She said that their decoration was sophisticated - they carried Santa Claus - I laughed and said that we're not going for the sophisticated look, rather the shiny, glittery, My Little Pony look!

              We're going to have heaps of fun - a group of adults getting to re-live childhood fantasies!

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              • #8
                Sounds like you have a great thing going!! Photos when you are done!!

                This is the parade I did for 4 years: http://lawrencechristmasparade.org/ They have a facebook page which will have waaaay more photos. It was so much fun, nothing but 100 plus units of horses or horse drawn carts/wagons.

                I mentioned the bell thing because the first year I did this parade I was driving my mini around the fairgrounds parking lot where all the entries gather. From there we all drive together 1.5 miles on city roads to the parade start. I did not have bells on my cart and the first rig with bells that walked behind us-a Belgium pair with heavenly sounding bells- scared the beejeebers out of my mini. He slammed on the brakes and tried to spin around to see what the noise was. Whoo boy that was a wake up call. I found a regular size, single driving horse with bells and snubbed in behind that cart to get a quick proofing done before we headed out.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Update.

                  We had a great day today. We've done quite a bit of desensitising over the last couple of weeks and it really paid off.

                  Getting ready. The nearer, larger pony is Rupert. He's a Kaimanawa pony - NZs feral pony breed, a little like the BLM. He came off the ranges in July 2010 as a 5 year old stallion. He didn't think much of being dollied up today. Behind him is Titch, a mini x riding pony.


                  We spent some time at home applying glitter dust and stars!


                  Waiting in line:
                  We started off with two drivers and two walkers, then a friend's son heard me talking about it and wanted to come along as an elf. He recruited a group of mates to be elves and fairies. All the kids around them really seemed to give the ponies confidence that the monsters weren't going to get them.




                  We weren't allowed to throw out lollies or gifts or anything from the vehicles / floats etc this year, so I bought some bubble stuff and the kids all blew bubbles, yelled out to their friends, danced around the carts and ponies, swapped places in the carts whenever we stopped and generally had a ball:






                  Taking the ponies back to the truck afterwards:


                  The ponies were amazing. They coped with police and fire vehicles with sirens, trucks of all sorts, balloons, stilt walkers, loud speakers with music and announcers, kids yelling and screaming, silly string sprayed at them (that got the evil eye from me and one of the walkers), lots of bubbles and crowds of people.

                  At the end there were hoards of kids all around where they were tied up, all wanting to met and pat the ponies. Ponies took it all in their stride and I bet there are a few kids telling thier parents tonight that "See Santa does have ponies" and "Ponies do have glitter and fairy dust". Organisers were really great, letting us park under the only tree in the park where everyone was gathering so the ponies could have some shade. They have tried for years to get ponies in the parade apparently - and have already asked us to come back next year.

                  The kids with me were all farm kids but most had little to do with ponies - but they all knew what scares animals and how to behave. They had a great time too - and I sent home 8 little elves and fairies full of soda and lollies - but will have most of them coming back to learn to drive and ride.

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                  • #10
                    Sounds like a great day and looked like lots of fun!! Have fun teaching the kids to ride and drive!

                    P.
                    A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!

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