Anyone ride in parades?

Discussion in 'The Corral' started by MyTeDun, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    I'm asking what it takes to keep a horse calm for a parade?

    Have been approached by a village official to try to get some horses and riders to agree to ride in a parade on July 4th.
    My gelding is just now calming down enough for trails----- what would I need to do to stay safe riding him in that type of situation?

    They are looking for as many horses as possible to participate, this is for the 150th Anniversary of Leland. Yeah, who cares right. The old timers who basically built the town are for the most part gone and young families have moved in. They want to bring life back to the town---- There is a full day of activities including a pig roast but the parade is the big question.

    What makes a horse safe for this? How the hell do you even consider doing something like this without knowing how they are going to respond?

    So if anyone wants to ride let me know. I have no schedule, no idea of what is going on or at what time. Nothing set yet----

    this is not a notice of an event (yet!)------ Just a bunch of questions right now. I've never ridden like this before-----how do they handle the sirens and all the people? I'm really curious, love watching the horses in the big parades and they always seem so calm.
     
  2. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    As long as the horse isn't spooky in general, I think it mostly comes down to rider confidence and ability to control the horse.

    I've ridden in many a parade. From seasoned pros to greenies. I've never had an issue but then again I was very familiar with the horses I was riding and in my ability to control the situation.

    The biggest issue is stupid kids darting out to "pet the horsie". ::)

    You need to be sure the planning committee understands that putting the horses in front of or just behind an emergency vehicle or marching band is a damn foolish idea. Trust me, do not expect them to "just know" or "use common sense".

    I'd say, if YOU are confident that you can handle your horse out on the roads/ in traffic / on trails (with all it's asundry wildlife jumping/flying out of the bushes) than you'll be fine.
     

  3. cudabear

    cudabear New Member

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    I've ridden in Creston and Malta parades.

    I tried my gray mare because she is a show horse, seen alot at events, I've trail rode her a little bit, and lots of rode riding on S Malta Rd. (very busy). I picked a little low key parade for our first (Creston) that way if she was bad I could back out of the deal. I also made sure I was with a "buddy" horse that had done a few parades and didn't care one way or other.

    Now, my ex-FIL Aces his horses for the parades, "just to be on the safe side". I was in a large group at the Malta parade, my horse was feeding off a youngsters energy; so I aced her. BAD idea, at least for my horse. By time we got to the tracks the Ace was working full force, her toe slipped in to the crack between the road and rail. I'll NEVER do that again. Nothing bad happened, I just didn't like how she felt.

    I know a few people that might be interested in doing the parade. Let me know more info when you get it. Also, if you want to try it, we (the calm quiet parade horses) could ride with you a few times. Just a thought if you really want to try it.

    As far as sirens I try to keep as far from them as possible. (In front of us, not behind.) The people aren't an issue, my mare loves the attention.
     
  4. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    Great suggestions and I will most definitely make sure the planning committee has the info on where the horses should not be located.
    I think riding with experienced horses would be great for my guy, he is calm in show situations and riding down the road he is getting much better but this is all new for him and me-----Company like that would be great

    I will post under events when more info is available
     
  5. alljackedup

    alljackedup New Member

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    Jack would love to ride in a parade...just let us know when and where. ;D It's been a couple of years since our last parade, but he survived Em taking him into a stadium w/ 3000 screaming teenagers, bands blaring, and confetti cannons going off.

    Take Yogi out to the barn and start some desensitizing with him. Anything you can find. Umbrellas, walmart bags, tarps, ribbons etc. Things with sound too.
     
  6. Ponythief

    Ponythief New Member

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    Oh I love parades! ;D

    Every parade I have ever rode in, the horses are always last. Away from the sirens but mostly so no one has to walk through poo left behind. Some parades make you have someone with a pooper scooper follow. :)

    The last parade I rode in was last year on BoBo the wonder pony, now I get a brag. He was such a good boy and L.E. the Mule was a champ. Gotta love that little pony :-*

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

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    I do have one suggestion based on a past experience: Make sure your horse is regularly worked before expecting him to behave like an angel in the parade. Don't want to see the kiddies, or your horses, getting hurt!

    I was in a parade with two other people from my barn when I was living in Kansas. The other two people took horses that were very "fresh" from not being ridden. One lady hadn't ridden her STALLION in 8 months, and expected him to be a doll. She couldn't even get him to walk without getting light on his forehand. The other lady used her horse in lessons occassionally, but it had been awhile that he was actually "worked."

    Anyways, that said. The lady with the stallion had to pull her horse from the parade less than half way through because she could not control him. The other lady's horse spooked, and balked sideways and was inches away from trampling a small child sitting where he was supposed to be, on the curb.

    My horse (probably being ridden 3-4 times a week) of the three was the best behaved and he wasn't even that great! He loved it, don't get me wrong, but he thought the float in front of him needed to be moving a lot faster and kept trying to pass it or nudge it with his nose. :D
     
  8. PT

    PT New Member

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  9. HorseFarm

    HorseFarm New Member

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    We have ridden in the parade here in town a few different times. The line up for the horses is 4 miles through the country, so we just saddle up and ride there. The horses get about 1/2 hour rest, then walk through the parade route. At the end of the route it is a mile ride back to where everyone parked their trailer on the side of the road. We just have a 3 mile ride home, which by the time we get home we've had a good day of riding.

    Here the horses are the last of the line up for the parade, and then they come behind the horses with a skid loader with a sweeper on the front to pick up the manure. When they first start up the sweeper, some of the horses will jump, but they settle right down and don't pay it any attention.

    One year I ended up taking a green horse. My niece wanted to ride in the parade with us, so I let her take my Arab, and I took my 3 yo Fox Trotter (who I wasn't riding a lot due to time and not wanting to ride him when no one was around to call 911). We ended up with this group of "Natural Horsemen" riding with just halters and reins (not proper equipment for the situation IMO), right in front of us, and right behind the lead horse, there was another 30+ horses behind us. One of the women riding was so green herself that someone was walking with her. We got to the railroad crossing, she freaked, her horse freaked along with the 3 other horses in their group. I told the kids just to go around and keep our horses moving, after we got across they were able to get theirs across. The guy at the back of the parade was glad that I was able to keep going so that we didn't have real problems. Then a couple of blocks further down the road was some kids with super soaker water cannons shooting the horses. Being at the front we got sprayed, before we could tell the kids not to do that with the horses, because someone could loose control of the horse and they could see a nasty sight. My guy handled it like a pro, along with the rest of our horses. After all they had already been run over by the train at the overpass on our way to the parade.
     
  10. Buffy

    Buffy New Member

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    Barb, I will for SURE do this. I'll have my horse in Leland with me by then so it will be perfect! Your horse can feed off mine. He's done SEVERAL parades and been involved in crowd situations. :)
     
  11. Mischiefsgirl

    Mischiefsgirl New Member

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    Tons of parades here.....you would be amazed at what they spook at. It's not the crowd or waving plastic bags expecting candy. It's the manhole covers, the lines on the street, etc. There's was one horse in our group that would not cross the yellow line. We kept moving along and he jumped that line like it was a 4 foot ditch. I thought it was hilarious, but his rider didn't think so.

    You have to be consistent with your horse, so that you have solid training when in a crowd. I (knock on wood) have never had a problem.
     
  12. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    I wold definately say, some spook proofing with some crazy objects would be a good idea.

    take your horse on a ride along the road..............hopefully a few cars will pass (Hopefully being respectful) and you will get an idea of how they respond to different things..........road signs..........cans in the street (you know, when the sun hits them they can change into monsters ::))

    I've been in a few, but always on Bess (who I now own). she was WONDERFUL!!! the only thing she spooked at (wasn't really a spook).......was these huge TALL flaggs.......... ::) she seen them over her shoulder and did a double take........like "what the ???). she watched them for a bit then realized they were ok............ :D

    You have plenty of time to work your horse...........it will be fun, I'm serious!

    We did the one in Aurora, it was soooo sooo fun seeing the children react to the horses............even the adults were oooo'ing and aaaa'ing........it was nice to bring the horses to them!
     
  13. lori

    lori New Member

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    Here's a little parade story--it was one of those where everyone has lights on, so it was at night. I rode in a Jeep all wrapped with Christmas lights, and let's see, in front of us was a hot air balloon basket with the fire blasting out every so often. Behind us was a pony cart and I think maybe another little girl riding another pony. ::) They actually handled it pretty well--especially considering mom was walking there but it was fairly little kids handling the horses.
     
  14. Susan

    Susan New Member

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    I haven't ridden in a prade in about 6 yrs. Our EMA Search and Rescue team used to do it frequently, but the chance for injury to bystanders was getting to be a problem as children kept running out into the road to get candy and a couple thought they could run out under the horses. My gelding spooked and went sideways and luckily he didn't kick the kid (over the age of 8). The parent had the audacity to yell at ME that I should be more careful. Needless to say, that was the last parade for me. I do not enjoy them at all. Even when I rode to the lineup (about 2 miles) we had to sit and wait. The horses got restless. We got bored. If we moved along at a constant pace, it was OK, if we had to stop and start/stop and start, it made the horses ansey. We have a decent hill to go up here in Mt Pulaski and one yr we had a horse drawn stage coach in front of us. That poor team had to stop/start up that hill several times. Several times, that stage coach rolled backward toward our team lineup. Not good. SO, all that being said - make sure you are placed toward the end of the lineup and away from the fire engines and sirens and anything that goes "BANG". Be sure you have plenty of space to manuver in and are not crowded from behind. DO be sure to bring a "pooper scooper" along with you - it does a world of good for public relations. One yr I did it with my muck buket in a wagon, baggy summer coverals (grey pinstripe), hair up under a ball cap and a fake mustache and made a real spectacle of myself - had a blast walking the entire route and acting like a fool. No one knew it was me.
     
  15. susiebk

    susiebk New Member

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    I took my then 3-year-old haflinger on a parade in Amboy, right next to the fire trucks! Lots of fun, but he was already tired and behaved fairly well......There were about 100 other horses (this was a 100-mile trail ride). He didn't like the man-hole covers the striping on the road. By the end he was fine. It helps to have a lot of experienced horses with you.
     
  16. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    We conditioned our horses that were in a parade -- as soon as we found out about it we started working on riding abreast of other horses, then loud blaring music and noise, then flags/streamers/balls/whirligigs, then fire crackers, then people running up on them waving their hands and shouting. We had about a month to work on this, which was not really enough time, but it worked out pretty well.

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd say I wish we'd worked on stepping over odd things -- the one hitch in the entire thing: the drain covers on the street were teh devil! :D
     
  17. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    Its a nice day so I got busy---- went out to the pasture and tied a blindfold over his eyes and walked him all over, even over a piece of plywood and under tree branches. He was fine. God, it can't be this easy. Next time no blindfold~

    He's used to being at shows so that should help me---- when the farrier comes out today should I have snow pads put on him? That way I can start working him more right now. I'm just afraid that there is alot of ice under the snow in my work pasture that would be dangerous.

    So, should I work in small indoor or try doing stuff outside?

    Wish some of you lived closer to me~
     
  18. lori

    lori New Member

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    Wait, a blindfold??? What does that have to do with being in a parade?
     
  19. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    I just thought that if he would do things wierd without being able to see them that would help with the trust issue. Who knows, it was just an idea ----
     
  20. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    Removing one of their flight/fight senses does nothing to help desensitize.
    Why do you think you are s upposed to blind fold a horse in a fire? It removes that sense and allows for a more docile horse so they Don't react to the big scarey blaze.

    Your whole point is to give them the opportunity to react so you can teach them it's no big deal and learn to handle their reactions.