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Rode in a Christmas Parade...

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  • Rode in a Christmas Parade...

    I have never ridden my Tb mare in a parade before. A group of people from the riding club I belong to wanted to ride in a local Christmas parade. They had done it last year and said how much fun they had. I decided to try it this year. We had 22 club members plus about 5 ground people/pooper scoopers attend. We all had club sweatshirts with our logo and club name on them, wore black hats and gloves. Everyone decorated their horse however they wanted. From where we had to park our trailers we had to ride thru back streets for about a mile to get to the staging area. Then we started to line up in the street. We were #80 in the lineup and had to wait about 40 min for our spot. We were behind an ambulance and in front of a bag pipe/drum band(some of the horses highly disliked the bag pipes)Once we started out, there was a lot of noise with people lining both sides of the street, sitting right on the curbs. We had to cross a major double track railroad crossing, luckily no trains came thru when were in the vicinity. The parade route basically made us travel in a loop of sorts and the parade ended a short distance from the trailer parking area. We had to cross the tracks again. Once we entered the parking area, there was a small herd of llamas and alpacas waiting to load in their trailers. My horse walked right past them and didn't even bat an eye. Got over to my trailer and found 4 minis tied to the trailer right next to mine. My mare just looked at the minis and started eating her hay. After gettting my horse untacked, my group had a small snack time with hot beverages, desserts, and some sandwiches and ham biscuits while waiting for the traffic to dissipate. Then we loaded up and headed home. It was a lot of fun and I was so proud of my horse.
    Here is a photo of Marty and I in the staging area...http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3280/...7da1436992.jpg
    A photo of some of other club members in the line up waiting to start...http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/...59a0cd237a.jpg
    Last edited by Simbalism; Nov. 25, 2008, 01:57 AM. Reason: adding photo link

  • #2
    Oh! How fun! I esspecially liked seeing helmets!!!

    But the best part was hearing that you ate ham biscuits at the end. I love them and if I don't make them, here in the midwest they are so rare.


    • #3
      Sounds like Simbalism's Excellent Adventure! WooWoo ! What a great mare you have!
      see my ribbon quilts at: www.ribbonquilts.com


      • #4
        That looks like a lot of fun! I'm glad you had a great time and your mare was so good for you!
        "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



        • #5
          Oh, how much fun!
          We used to do that out of our riding school, along with bags full of candy to throw at bystander kids, a big hit.
          We didn't decorate the horses, but did ride behind decorated vehicles and had tons of fun.
          Ours were in the evening, so we rode under the street lights and rode to and back from the parades thru the city streets, that had little traffic in the late evenings.

          Some friends were invited to the Macy's parade and had to ride with the Garfield balloon swooping on top of them, as it was malfunctioning and not staying up properly.
          The horses were not amused at that big thing that kept coming down on top of them, but all survived the wild ride.

          Glad that your mare was such a sweetheart and didn't pull anything on you in that scary environment.


          • #6
            Awesome! I love seeing the helmets too. Mary looks very festive. We have a few parades here we might do as well. I just have to decide which horse to take


            • #7
              Looks like the weather was perfect for the parade! Aren't they fun to do???

              There is an "All Horse Christmas Parade" the weekend after Thanksgiving and kiddo and I are driving my mini's in it. It is a fun parade!


              • #8
                What an adventure!

                Great pictures! I wish I had a parade safe horse. On my "Bucket List" has always been to ride a horse in a parade at least once.

                Our town has an all-horse Christmas parade on the first Sat. in Dec. every year, and 4 years ago it happened to land on my 40th BIRTHDAY (smile).

                A couple of months before that parade, I met a kind woman at a Centered Riding clinic and we got to talking, I mentioned my dream, and she very generously offered one of her safe, experienced parade horses to ride.

                For me, it was the experience of a lifetime. I would love to be able to do it again some time, but that day was SO perfect, I'm not sure it could be matched.

                Best wishes and Happy Holidays from Kansas.
                What's the scoop?


                • #9
                  Last year, my now-19 yo OTTB got to experience his first parade - and what a BLAST! Like a previous poster, he did NOT like the bagpipes, but as for the rest, he was more intent on bouncing around. We started off in the 13th position, and by the end of the parade, had moved up to 2nd. See, with him, he has a huge stride at the walk and stayed far calmer with us working our way along the edge of the parade route. We had on a red quarter sheet, a red and navy jacket, plus silver show tack. Did I mention that on our rapidly-moving-through the-route we went THROUGH the 10 plus vehicle fire department entry, complete with lights, sirens and air horns? Great stuff!
                  Before the parade
                  Boo on the bridle
                  black and white version done by a friend
                  Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                  Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


                  • #10
                    That is awesome, I can only dream of being so brave! Congrats!


                    • #11
                      Sounds and looks like fun - I am going to be in the Holiday Horse Parade this year. It is all horses so we shouldn't have to worry about bands etc.

                      I do have one question - the parade is going to be 4 miles long - my horse isn't shod. Will this bother him? He doesn't normally wear shoes and has good feet. I thought it would be better anyway barefoot in case of snow etc. Anyone know???????????


                      • #12
                        I like seeing nicely turned out, safety-conscious riders in parades, and you guys look great. In the Christmas parade where I live now, the only horses are usually a bunch of muddy Spotted Saddle Horses ridden by adults and children (some tiny), none with helmets. I just hate that the general public see that and thinks that is the way things are done.

                        I rode my event mare in a Fourth of July parade back home, probably in 1993 or 1994. Just did it on a whim and actually had a good time.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                          Oh, how much fun!
                          We used to do that out of our riding school, along with bags full of candy to throw at bystander kids, a big hit.
                          As a fairly experienced "parader" (been doing about 5-6 a year for 7 years), I won't go in a parade unless the entry blank specifically states that there is to be no throwing of items during the parade - I *know* it was a big hit with the kids, but it's a huge safety issue for the horses to all of a sudden get pelted with pieces of candy from floats, the bad aim of your own group, etc. And, having been hit myself, it hurts!

                          We're in the Hollywood parade this weekend. Praying that it doesn't rain because that's absolutely miserable. We have to have lights on the horses which takes forever to do and in order to get a parking place, we're there by 11 am (leaving at 8), have to be in line up by 4 pm - which means that with lights, etc., the silver parade tack is up and on them at 2 pm. Last year, we waited for 4.5 hours and stepped off at 8:30. Didn't get back to the trailers until after 10 pm. Horses had all the silver parade tack on for over 8 hours - and my normally parade proof mare chose THAT parade to be a flaming goofball the entire way. I honestly think she was just done with standing around and wanted to go home.

                          This is the first parade in 7 years that I will be doing without my parade partner, best friend and fiancee - he passed away in May, so it's really going to be a hard one.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KPF View Post
                            That is awesome, I can only dream of being so brave! Congrats!
                            Brave or foolish?! My BO frequently quotes my words as I was mounting my sweating, prancing, wild-eyed OTTB - "This is F#$*&^&^ INSANE!
                            Don't think I will EVER live that down...
                            Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                            Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


                            • #15
                              Fun! I rode in a parade when I was ten years old. I was western then and we didn't wear helmets. The thought of doing that on pavement freaks me out now, but my horse was such a steady eddie. It was great. I can't imagine any horse I've had since being able to go in a parade. Quarter horses, the golden retrievers of the equine world. So reliable!

                              SLW driving minis would be SO fun. I hope you'll post pictures.


                              • #16
                                Good for you! Your mare sounds like a saint. Pats to her.

                                My first and last Santa Clause Parade was on my hackney/welsh honey with my Pony Club. Everything was going well until a clown pushing a baby carriage with a chicken in it appeared. That just unhinged my pony to the point that he was rearing straight up lifting two adults like they were blow-up dolls that were attached to him by a chain over his nose. Then a helpful bystander decided to attempt to push him forward, probably assuming the big red ribbon in his tail was just festive decoration, whoops...sorry mister. Needless to say we did not stay with the parade and had to part the crowd like the Red Sea with a plunging, rearing, snorting pony and head back to the trailer alone. Poor guy was legitimately terrified. That was enough for me.
                                "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."


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CA ASB View Post
                                  This is the first parade in 7 years that I will be doing without my parade partner, best friend and fiancee - he passed away in May, so it's really going to be a hard one.
                                  HUGS.....I hope that you find joy in your memories as you follow the parade route....and, to quote from Clarence, every time a bell rings, another angel earns its wings. I always put bells on during the holiday season, and hopefully you find comfort in the idea.
                                  Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                                  Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


                                  • #18
                                    Well, I’ll relate a bittersweet memory. I turned that man into a turnout fanatic. Parade judges loved us. We’d show up at pre-judging and they’d grin and say, “oh, it’s so nice to see you Saddlebred folks, you KNOW how to turn out a horse.” He’d put in the requisite hours polishing the silver, and when it came to parade day, he was an expert at gluing and glittering feet!

                                    Come to the Hollywood Parade. Last year was our first year in the parade. We had to have lights on the horses. Of course, they are the battery powered and in order to attach them to the corona pads, you have to use visible safety pins. AND the wires showed. Now, the wires only show during the daytime, but try telling this to my anal-retentive engineer turnout Gestapo-type fiancée. He drove us all crazy on the day of the parade with telling us how “tacky” it looked, etc.

                                    Then, the kicker – he proclaimed that he was “never going to do the lights again.” Little did we know (sigh) that it would be the bittersweet truth. Broke down and frickin’ cried in Home Depot when I bought the lights this year as I remembered him saying that.

                                    So – if any of you Angelenos go to the parade and happen to see a woman in red/black riding a liver chestnut Saddlebred mare with 4 whites in full silver parade regalia bawling her eyes out (me, not the mare) down the parade route …

                                    I’ll find some of our “newest” parade outfit and post those, but in the meantime, in memory:



                                    Last edited by CA ASB; Nov. 25, 2008, 02:00 PM.


                                    • #19
                                      Well, we finished the Hollywood Parade, and, on our way to our next parade, we stopped off at a horse show ... and did a parade class ... here's the Parade Class photos:






                                      • #20
                                        What beautiful smiles on both your faces. And what magnificent horses! I love Saddlebreds.

                                        I rode in only one parade--back in the 70's at the Tucson Fiesta de los Vaqueros. Horse was ok during, but at the end, a marching band in front of us decided to turn and run back in our direction, all the while screeching on their horns and banging their drums. Needless to say, we had a stampede. Luckily, my dear departed mare was frozen in fear and just stood there.