Years ago Smokey and I rode in many parades. The Madison Holiday parade was only our second parade but he handled the flag we carried and the 50′ Garfield balloon in front of us with ease. After several years of a variety of parades, Smokey did get bored with the whole thing and so we went into parade retirement. Until now.
On Halloween Becky and I joined a couple of friends to ride in an all horse Halloween Parade in Beaver Dam. It’s an annual event with proceeds going to a different charity each year, this year was the Crow Creek Reservation.
Since Smokey had gotten bored with parades, I did ask him first if he was up for this and he was. I explained how I was going to temporarily change his looks and that he would make many people laugh. Smokey has a great sense of humor so he really liked that he would make people laugh. A couple of times on the route I reminded him that people were laughing with him…not at him.
I have always loved Halloween and coming up with some silly costume. My first instinct was to be a witch riding her black horse…or maybe a black bat…or maybe a flying monkey. No the flying monkey would be too much work this year. It was my sister Cindy who suggested we dress him up as a cow. Brilliant. We will dress up as dairy farmers riding our cows. I was riding my black TWH with two other black TWH. All we need is some non-toxic white hair paint. One of the women actually dressed herself up as a cow. Another good laugh…a cow riding a horse. Becky helped us all out by walking along the parade route rather than riding. I learned long ago a groom is a good thing for a parade if you ever have any problems….like in this case when a young dog took off running after one of the horses. Becky spotted the dog, squatted down right in her path and the dog ran right into her arms instead of into a scared horses hoof. Good catch Becky.
Well we had a great time. The parade went all through Beaver Dam with people lined up everywhere. It was two hours long…the longest parade I have ridden in. And here’s the really amazing thing. We won First Place for Best Group. The two cow horses, the cow riding the horse and…we did have three others who joined our group: Zorro, a pirate and a princess. Still…I think it was the cow horses with their pink udders, dry cow tags, cow bells, ear numbers and white blotches. We did get many laughs.
Two hours on pavement can be a bit much for a horse not used to it so I made a point to take care of Smokey afterwards. He got some cranio sacral work, some red light therapy and a dose of ZeoComplete. He was fine then and continued to be without any swelling or soreness. I do love this horse.
Having fun like this keeps me young and when I can bring my animals into the fun…with their permission it just brings all the more laughs. The more we laugh, the more we love.