Yesterday, my little town celebrated Independence Day with a morning parade. This year, we received permission to park toward the end of the route in a small field. This was a huge improvement since it allowed us plenty of room to turn the trailers around and to play with our horses before & after that parade.
Since we were parked about a mile and a half from the line-up, we had the opportunity to lead our group of horses through town. This allowed them to get a good look at things before all of the spectators had lined the route. By the time that we arrived at the starting point (30 minutes later) most of our pre-parade jitters were gone!
Ours is a very small-town parade with probably more folks in the parade than watching it! The parade starts off each year with a lady riding her mare carrying an American flag. She was followed this year by a pony & cart. Guinness happily followed the cart (proving that his issues with the Morgans at the show last weekend were due to the vibes from the horses and not the carts). Five friends from the SWVA Natural Horsemanship Club followed us, including a mini-donkey ridden by a little girl. (Guinness did have to stop and stare at the donkey before he decided that it was ok!)
This was Guinness' first ride in a parade! The parade itself was pretty much uneventful. I was totally comfortable riding Guinness - surprisingly, no pangs of fear at all. I rode him in a halter with clip-on reins and a saddle, and had no trouble controlling him. We practiced side-passing in order to slow him down, and I discovered that he is much better sidepassing to the left than to the right. We'll have to play with this more..
Following the parade, we loaded up and headed with two friends over to our local forest recreation area. We did a short trail ride and then headed home.