Sunday, December 8, 2013

freezing cold parade

Well. . .I think I got my parade fix in for the rest of my life. There is a ton of work to put into a parade. Getting the horses ready, buying the stuff, getting to the parade, going through the parade. Waiting, being behind bands and monster trucks, kids screaming and running, bells and whistles (literally). And the rewards for going to the parade are non existent. Also, it was freezing! I'm talking 15 degrees F freezing. 
Shy being an Arab. . .She was wondering why Clutch was all worked up.
The parade we went to was a huge one. We took Clutch, Dexter, Shyloh, and one of Kyle's friends and his horse Sniper. Jaime helped me deck Shy out with a red mane roll, tail bow, and red polo wraps. I also put red and silver garland around her neck, with silver bells, and strung battery operated lights around the garland, up her mane roll, and around a red halter. And she had reindeer antlers with lights.
Missing that pretty tail, but it is going back up in a wrap soon.
We wrapped empty boxes to fill up Dexter's cart. Kyle put green tube lights underneath and battery powered lights all around the cart and wheels. Dexter even had his own antlers.
Calmest pony there!
Clutch didn't have many decorations, mostly some garland for his reins and red polo wraps on the front. 

Then the waiting began. . .we warmed up in the truck while the horses ate hay. Did I mention it was freezing? At some point, I went to check on Shy only to discover she had broke the red halter and it was hanging off her face. Ugh. Good thing I had her regular halter that I just washed. It is blue, but it had to do, so I wrapped the lights around that halter. 
Our little group: Jaime, Jenna, me, Kyle, and Brandon
The first part of the parade is a fireworks show. They did a few test fireworks about a half hour before the show. Shy shot her head up at the first bang, but she had hay, so happily went back to eating. When the actual fireworks show was going on, I had Shy watch. And she did not care one bit about all the noise. 
Hay makes nothing else matter
Then it came time to line up. Good thing they put the horse group directly behind a band and two entries after the monster trucks. Yay. Parade officials are so horse friendly. . .
Cart lights!
Shy was not down with the band. I really didn't blame her, they were not very good. Each person was just playing their own thing, not together or anything. I walked Shy away to a quieter spot to calm her because she kept wanting to move. I let her move in circles. She started to get a little pushy and the halter I had had a fleece nose and crown piece, which did nothing for controlling her. Luckily, Jaime had a lead with a chain and that worked wonders. At least Shy was not trying to run me over anymore. I kept walking her around and going to spots with less commotion and noise to keep her calm. She wasn't being crazy, she just wanted to keep moving. 
The flash is so bright!
I did almost pull us out of the parade. I did not want this to be super overwhelming for her and I did not want this to end up as a bad experience for us. But we started moving shortly after and Shy was doing much better.
Me and Shy
I was really happy with the way she handled herself during the actual parade. She was curious about all the people, she was looking around with ears forward but listening to me. She took in the whistles, the truck horns, bells, people every where, lights, motion, loud speakers, trailers, and other floats with a questioning glance, but not a overly worried look. 
Dexter with his cart of awesome
If there was something she was unsure of, she stopped. A couple times Jaime's sister threw candy up towards Shy, which caused her to scoot a few steps. And I did discover one thing Shy does not like. . .fire. People had fires out in their yards and Shy was not a fan. She would speed up when walking by the fires and give them a wide berth. 
More noms
But we finished. We survived. We did not freeze. We did not have any major spooks or bad behaviors. I was really proud of my pony,

Dexter was amazing. It was his very first parade and he walked through it with that wagon like a champ. He was not bothered by anything. And of course Clutch was great. 
Jenna, Jaime, and me freezing
It may take me a couple days to unthaw now, but it is good to know that Shy can deal with a lot going on. I talked to her a lot during the parade and I think she trusted me to get her through. I think the key was to let her keep a controlled movement when she is nervous. But I still think our freezing cold parade days are over. Unless I get talked into the parade next weekend. . .

31 comments:

  1. Good Job Shy. I always knew Dexter was secretly a reindeer :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Right! I may be biased, but my pony was the cutest there. And they even had another Haflinger there (who Shy kept nickering at, can they tell their own kind?)

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  3. Awesome first parade experience! Well done Shyloh. (I totally ♡ Dexter!)

    I rode in our parade every year (until I got my own horse). They always seemed to stick us between the band and the mini motor-bike brigade. Except once when we followed the Shriner backwards/forwards cars (!) and the blaring fire trucks. Fun.

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    1. All the other horses did pretty good (I didn't know the people), so that was nice to see. But parade organizers really need to think more.

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  4. My fingers ache just reading about the cold - brrrrrrr
    But... what a great experience for Shy (and Dexter... who doesn't seem to 'need' this type of experience!)

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    1. Dexter was a gem! He is a serious pony who doesn't let things get to him. One day, I am sure I will get feelings back in my fingers and toes. . .

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  5. Parades are difficult enough without all that cold! Good for you guys sticking it out! I'm sure the onlookers appreciated it. I know the horses were the only parts of parades I ever looked forward to. ;)

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    1. They are the best parts for sure! I am glad we decided to go through it though. Another reason for Shy to realize that I am not out to kill her, haha.

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  6. Parades are all about sensory overload aren't they? The fact that she did so well speaks volumes about her trust in you. I know you sometimes question how much she trusts you, but you should quit worrying about it so much :)

    While I enjoyed riding Estes in the annual parade, I would NEVER do it in the cold. Because I'm a wimp and I hate the cold. Just reading your description made me cold.

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    1. I am still cold from the parade.
      And you are right, I do need to quit worrying!

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    2. And I'm still cold just thinking about it!

      I'm glad you had a good (albeit cold) time.

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  7. Oh, it sounds soooo cold! Loved the little gif at the end of the post, adorable!

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    1. I don't know how I took a gif! But I am pretty excited that happened cause it looks cool.

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  8. Very Cool. we do the Christmas Parades too , ours is next week.
    Also very cool that the lights are actually blinking in that last picture ~ how did you get the picture to do that ??? :)

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    1. I feel better knowing other people see those blinking lights, too. I thought I was going crazy. I have no idea how that happened! I didn't do anything!

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  9. I love her decorations! Classy, not over the top, just like Shy. ;-) I've always wanted to do a parade - maybe I will shoot for autumn parades after reading this. Haha.

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    1. Yeah, whoever thought a winter parade was a good idea needs a slap, haha!
      That is what I was going for with her decorations, not crazy, just simple and clean looking. I was upset that she broke that matching red halter, but oh well.

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  10. Well done and an excellent summation for why I don't do parades anymore either:)

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    1. Yeah. . .it's cool to see the kids get all excited about the horses, but too many of them are just disrespectful these day. Not totally worth it, but don't be shocked if I get talked into one more parade this year :/

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  11. Shy you looked awesome in your Christmas stuff. Parading sounds interesting, but not something Mom says we'll be doing. Glad it went good for you guys

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  12. Replies
    1. That was all Jaime's idea and done by Kyle. I did wrap the boxes though :)

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    1. :) I swear, she has to be so cute with her sassy attitude!

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  14. Well done guys, you did fantastic!! Special praise for little Dexter - what a dude :-)

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  15. Shy looks AMAZING. She's so dolled up! And the weight loss shows. Such a fancy girl!!

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