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Yesterday I had a very interesting Fourth of July parade. My daughter is, unfortunately, in the throes of a broken heart, and the last thing she felt like doing was riding through our small town, smiling and waving.

None of my riding friends could ride in the parade, so I offered to trailer my 15 year old neighbor with her Arab mare to the parade. It was her first parade.

My young neighbor appears to be a naturally skilled rider . . . or her Arab mare is an amazing lucky find . . . or both. Hannah, the black Arab, is so willing, calm, and lovely. My young neighbor is fearless, talented, and sweet natured.

After she agreed to go with me to the parade, I had second thoughts. The temperature was predicted to be 99 with a heat index of 106. Just being outside hanging laundry caused me to be soaked with sweat and feeling nauseous. How was I going to manage a parade? But my neighbor was excited about going, really looking forward to it, and I felt I couldn't let her down. I figured I'd just guts through it since I had invited her.

Before I hitched the trailer, I checked the weather, hoping we might get a thunderstorm. Not until 7:00, after the parade. Oh well. One day it would all be a memory.

My neighbor has ridden with me and my "girls" about 6 times. When her family bought their mare, she was told never to ride her with other horses, that she would attack them. But the mare never bothered my horses or my other neighbor's horse, so I hoped she would trailer OK. I don't have a partition in my trailer, so that was another worry.

I decided to bring Acicate because he is the least bossy of my 4, also calm and takes everything in stride. Hopefully he could handle having a strange horse thrust upon him in the trailer . . . and then taken out at the end.

Just walking out to the pasture to collect Aci was a challenge. It was SO SO SO H!O!T!!!. Aci was dripping sweat when I haltered him, so there was no grooming him for the parade.

Happily, when I got to my neighbor's house, her mare Hannah walked right in the trailer. This young girl is a first time horse owner and her parents know almost nothing. Aci and Hannah squealed and bounced around a little bit when suddenly they were thrust together. I assured the family those noises and behaviors were normal and the horses would settle down. They wanted to take the mare out and forget the whole thing. But I persevered. Within seconds, they were fine. They hauled together perfectly, like they were old friends.

When we got to the parade form-up, there were no other horse trailers. We were early, but still . . . weird. Usually there are at least 15 to 30 trailers. We tacked up and rode around. That Arab mare Hannah didn't spook at ANYTHING. She was amazing. I was so pleased I had brought her. As we rode around, the skies began to cloud up and the temperature began to drop to bearable range.

It really looked as if we'd just have a fun parade in not blistering heat. If we were going to get a storm, it appeared to be several hours away, possibly that predicted 7:00 p.m.

Not another horse showed up to ride in the parade. It was just us. Quite unusual.

When we started riding in the parade, the wind picked up and we were getting light sprinkles of rain. It was quite pleasant. There were a surprising number of people on the sidewalks in spite of the earlier heat, a decent crowd.

Just as the parade ended, the rain started in earnest. We had to ride through residential neighborhoods to get back to the trailer. About halfway back, the wind took on practically hurricane force. The rain was blowing sideways. Branches and limbs were falling all around us. I really did worry that a tree might fall on us. That wonderful Arab mare just walked calmly on, through torrential rain and blinding wind.

Loading was interesting, as the rain was pelting down. We were both completely soaked and shivering with cold. Aci jumped right in, but Hannah wasn't so sure. She went halfway in and decided that was probably good enough. Instead of pushing or hurrying her, I just stood there with the lead rope taut. Since my neighbors knew nothing about horses, they didn't know to do anything different. After about 5 minutes, the mare decided it would be pleasanter to be in the trailer than halfway out getting rained on, and she jumped on in.

It was great to get in that dry warm truck. I never dreamed that instead of being miserably hot in the parade, we were uncomfortably cold at the end. It was a great adventure, and I was delighted to give my young friend the opportunity to have such an experience with her horse.

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14,771 Posts
Glad your day turned out well and actually delightfully "refreshing"...

We too had that weird weather come through...scary in intensity.
Hurricane force winds, you could feel pressure in the house and nearly impossible to open the back door.
Hail the size of large marbles is a new one for me in this home.
We lost power here for several hours...
Limbs down all over the place, looked a war zone.
Found out later, a tornado touched down.
It split around our home, barn and horses. Went and inflicted damages to neighbors.
Thankfully sparing us and you knightrider of Mother Natures fury. :smile:
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