Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chula Vista, CA
My four year old has now done four parades this year. We started off with a parade where the road was wide, wasn't too long and was a small town. There was also a lot of space between each thing in the parade and they tried not to put the spookiest of all things in front or following horses. HOWEVER, it was the staging area (the area where you wait to line up at the start of the parade) that was INSANE!!! We had to squeeze in between floats with loud music and flags and streamers flailing in the wind, lots of flags, clowns, old steam tractors (they make a very loud 'popping' noise) and also had to squeeze around cars and tons of people and other horses.
The second parade was a less wide of a street, but still pretty 'chill'....if you can call ANY parade 'chill'...lol.
Third parade was INSANE!!!! It was 4th of July, on a small island, where 12,000 people packed on BOTH sides of the two lane road to watch the parade. It was like doing crowd control through Mardi Gras. Plus, everyone had umbrellas or easy-ups....and, of course, LOTS of American flags. Kids drew chalk circles on the road where if a horse pooped in their circle, they won a prize.....so the kids were all over the side of the road screaming and waiting. Buildings that were more than one story had people hanging out of the windows shouting and on balconys. The group in front of us was a chinese marching band with those huge flag team and hula hoop girls. Behind us was an army tank with their speakers aiming right behind us with gunshot noises and music. VERY tight quarters.
Last Saturday I did a fourth parade. The parade itself was in the middle, as far as scary. The scary part was that we had to walk through the city to get back to our trailer.....through a park with people not expecting to see us and kids running at us screaming and scary swingsets. Then we had to ride through neighborhoods with a couple huge dogs barking while we hoped they wouldn't get loose. Finally had to ride down some busy streets with traffic lights and traffic that didn't seem to want us there and ended up in our parking lot where the trailer was with the streets sweepers whizzing around!!!
While you can't prepare for everything, just going out of your way in a controlled situation to scare your horse can help. Get your horse to what your reaction will be when he does decided to get scared. My horse is what I would consider pretty bomb proof and we do all these crazy parades where I don't have any trouble with her.....but we went on a trail ride the other day and came upon a pee spot where another horse went pee and she about lost her mind. We proceeded past the pee spot a mile and a half to the beach and then on the beach with the ocean waves and she was fine. So, you just never know. And yes, have insurance.