Horses and parades…have you ever ridden in one?

How did you spend your 4th of July? Fireworks? Family? Food?2014 let freedom ring

I rode bikes inside Walmart while wearing my spurs (the boys were bike shopping), riding horses and visiting with friends.

One thing I miss doing with my horses is going to parades. I haven’t ridden in a parade for many, many years…I would have to ask my mom when the last one was!

Have you ever ridden in a parade? How did your horse handle the situation?




  1. Darcy on July 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I am a part of the Rio Verde Roverettes, an all womens’ drill team based in the Verde Valley Arizona. We had the honor of riding in the Prescott 4th of July Parade with the Yarnell 19 Memorial riders. I have ridden in many parades but have never been so moved. Each of us had a picture on our saddle horn of one of the fallen firefighters. To see the people who knew them taking pictures, and standing and cheering, was so deeply moving. Even though the monsoons came in and drenched us- best parade ever!

  2. Peggy Sue on July 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I have ridden in parades but it was YEARS ago .. I guess I outgrew riding in one of the biggest ALL horse parades around. My horses always handled it well. I stopped going when they moved the parking onto the campus parking lots that are pavement. On average there are 300 to 400 horses in this parade and many different categories they judge. It is July 4th every year down the main street in Terre Haute Indiana. Check out to see this years winners soon 🙂

  3. Rhonda Joines on July 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I haven’t rode in a parade in a few years but I sure do miss it. My horses love it, especially my QH gelding……..Peblo……….may his sweet heart RIP…….he was so amazing in parades…….he was very laid back until they started the SIRENS and then he turned in to twinkle toes dancing in the street……..needless to say I always made sure we were at the end close to the sirens….our mules didn’t much like them but as long as Peb stayed in front of them showing off they were ok…..Man I sure do miss that Peblo.

  4. Mickey Sandridge on July 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Our trail riding ladies’ group TRIES to make a local parade every year, but we are weenies when it comes to super cold or super wet (slick pavement.) But when we do make it, it’s a blast!

  5. christine on July 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I rode my young mare in a Mardi Gras parade and she was NOT happy!! The other horses from the herd were fine- only one had been in a MG parade before- but Stella let me know this was too much for her and I promised I wouldn’t put her through it again! A nice, calm day parade I bet she could handle, but a night time MG parade was too much to ask of her! Her boyfriend, a gelding we rescued from the auction, pranced along like it was his job to look regal!! Some horses fall right in to the rhythm and some are just too sensitive I guess. I ride her all over the city and she’s pretty bombproof but I will never test her again during Carnival!

  6. Heather on July 5, 2014 at 9:39 am

    It was along time ago but I rode my first horse in a small parade through the streets of Ottawa, Ontario for our exhibition. There were 8 of us, 4 riding english and 4 riding western. It was a lot of fun.

  7. Denyse Rousselet on July 5, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Hi Stacey

    I rode with my young quarter horse Indy in 9 parades in the last 2 years: Christmas, St Jean Baptiste ( québécois anniversary) St Patrick and Upoer Canada Village ( a village that recreates life in the 19th century: no electricity, motors, cars etc)

    She does great ( ridden bitless & no rein contact on hackamore ). as started with Natural Horsemanship principles thus she licks +++++ when she has analyzed that she is OK. I wait for her to tell me she is ready and she paces herself. If she stops to see people she will look to see if she is running late & proceeds at a brisk walk

    When we line up for parade we often have to stand 20-25 minutes; she understands and waits for the group in front to start

    People take horses that are not ready; a horse must if had the privilege of good online trainig as well as in saddle without controlling the emotions and the feet with pulling on the two reins.equine ethology researchers have proven that we may stop the feet but get horses more emotional 100% of the time. Helping a horse think is SO IMPORTANT!

    Lots of fun!

  8. Keisha on July 5, 2014 at 8:39 am

    We just were in a small town parade yesterday. My miniature horse pulling a cart . she was fantastic and walked the whole thing. she is use to getting out for pony parties. My paint gelding was in it for the second time and he had a hard time starting, but once he had my mini in front of him he was fine. Did have issues with flags and Lady Liberty. Another rider even had a bull whip and was cracking it and my two handle it great. Great time over all and my 4 kids will have something to remember for years to come.

  9. Donna Fitzgerald on July 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I have never ridden in a parade but would love to one day! I think my horse would handle it well. He has such beautiful carriage that he would look great in one!

  10. Olivia on July 5, 2014 at 7:43 am

    My sister and I rode our horses yesterday in our small town around-the-lake parade. It was great, the horses behaved nicely. Except there were some very slow walkers who fell way behind(we were right behind the walkers), my horse is a fast walker and he didn’t like having to walk, stop, walk, stop.

  11. Janette on July 5, 2014 at 7:21 am

    With a heavy heart I have led my amazing stallion with the fallen soldiers boots in backwards. For ten years we have led a parade to remember our soldiers. This year one of my stallions offspring was ridden in the same parade. Just like her sire the youngster handled a crowd of thousands, military jets and helicopters flying very low to buzz the parade.
    It’s a bitter sweet day for me, I’m ever so honored to have two of my horses represent our past war horses and soldiers, but I feel a profound sadness because of the harsh reality of why we are parading.

    • Donna Fitzgerald on July 5, 2014 at 7:55 am

      What a great story! I can certainly understand your feelings. But what an honor you’ve had to contribute to the memories of our war heroes!

  12. steff on July 5, 2014 at 3:52 am

    I have been in many parades, usually with a hitch. My most memorable parade was a Memorial Day parade. I was driving a team of horses pulling an antique hearse with a flag draped casket in the back. I hope someday I get that honor again.

    I have also driven in The Great Circus Parade, which was a great experience, but miserably hot wearing the costume. I had George and Martha Washington in my carriage, and had to dress in period clothes.

    I led a Fourth of July parade, and in the middle of the parade there was a fire call. In a small town, ALL the fire trucks are in the parade, so I had to move my horses to the curb so that the fire trucks could get by, lights and sirens and everything. I wouldn’t trust any other horses to stand still at the edge of a crowd while fire trucks go screaming past. That team is worth their weight in gold!

  13. johanna on July 5, 2014 at 12:53 am

    i rode in a parade when i was 16 after riding the horse 26 miles to the actual parade from her barn. actually the parade was the next morning in our town, and my mom let me keep the horse
    overnight on our porch–LOL! still can’t believe my mom was so cool about letting me ride that mare up the stone steps, into the house and then out onto a screened in porch 🙂

    needless to say, horse did great on all accounts! i still think of her every day..we dressed up and painted up, as indians and did it bareback, halter only. (never owned a saddle, nor did the person who owned the horse)

    • Gary on July 5, 2014 at 12:57 am

      Well done.

    • Jen Wintjes on July 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Johanna, I think if I had ridden Kia 26 miles to the parade, then she would have been better behaved! That definitely would have take the ‘edge’ off!

  14. Tonya Wigger on July 5, 2014 at 12:21 am

    I have rode my Friesian mare in about 6 parades now, our first parade I wasn’t too sure how she was going to be, so I had given her some Calm & cool, and found out I didn’t need it at all. She loves the people and the attention and does really well with all the noise. We’ve ridden in front of and behind the ambulances, fire trucks and race cars, never had an issue with her reacting to the noise. It’s like she is in her element when the crowds attention is on her!

  15. Brad Gosnell on July 5, 2014 at 12:01 am

    I rode in the parade today with several friends, all the horses, stallion and mares got along great and were cool like old pros. Chicago IL

  16. MELODY MORRISON on July 4, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I rode with the Glory Riders of CA for a number of years.

    I had just bought one of the Cremello horses from the Texas branch. Three days after I got back to CA I was scheduled to ride in the Clovis Rodeo Parade.

    I was last row left side in our group of about 12 riders. I had a city police car about 8′ behind me and the first time I’d ridden “GLORY” outside an arena.

    1/4 of a block after the parade stepped off and the police car lit up all his lights along with every pattern of screaming noise it could make. I jumped out of my skin but my new mare never jumped, twitched or gave a wrong step. I fell in love with her that day.

    I donated her to be the founding horse for THE GLORY RIDERS of OREGON. “GLORY” is still the solid mare I love and if a rider is having trouble with their horse they are all told , ” go to GLORY” and she calms them right down.

    GLORY is the only Cremello mare to be in both the 100th anniversary parade of the Salinas CALIFORNIA STATE RODEO & the 100th anniversary parade of the PENDLETON ROUND-UP. I am very proud of my girl.

  17. Gary on July 4, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Have done a number of parades over the years… a number of July 4th parades. I’ve ridden new horses, experienced horses of many breeds and types. Its been my observation that often there’s so much going on, (perhaps even a fire truck & its siren following just behind, clowns, flags and glittering bands) that my mount would do nothing at all except go along to get along. There was no place to hide or run. Standing, just sitting on the horse or commingling with the other exhibitors before getting all lined-out can’t hurt. I also make a point of NOT BEHAVING differently myself. I keep the same demeanor as I do at home. I know things can still go south no-matter, but it will help immensely if you, their trusted friend, keeps the same attitude as at home or any other familiar environment.

  18. Cathy Jane Norred on July 4, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I have ridden in many parades. My horses just always handled it. I guess I never gave it a thought until right after a friend and I crossed the railroad tracks the bells started ringing. We were several yards passed the crossing. A fast moving train split the group. Our horses did fine but there was a mother there with not only her child but a foal with her. Tne foal got loose and ran down the tracks. Her child was on the other side of the tracks with the train moving between them . She was one freaked out momma. There were horses spinning on both sides of the tracks. Fortunately, No one was hurt and the foal was recovered. I have always questioned bringing foals to parades. One other time a team got tangled because a young foal crossed under the harnessed team as they turned the corner. My vote is leave the babies home and take a different horse. But, I love parades. We have lived in a rural area and fireworks have never been a problem until tonight. We have two new families(young couples) that are shooting off fireworks. I have never had to put my horses up because there have not been fireworks out here until tonight! My horse and donkey don’t like the fireworks show.

  19. Kelly on July 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I rode my two year old QH in the Canada Day parade last year…. He was with a buddy but this buddy was very nervous. Thankfully Harley stayed very calm and handled everything like an old pro. I had my husband walk beside us with a lead rope for safety just in case. In front of us was a float with a bubble maker that was blowing bubbles that were swirling all around the horses…. And behind us was a truck with a bunch of people throwing candy to the crowd. I was so happy with how well he did. He only acted nervous when I first pulled him from the trailer but once he got used to the hustle and bustle he settled right in. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get out this year but hopefully next year or maybe the Christmas parade!


    Sent from my iPad


  20. Jen Wintjes on July 4, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I have ridden in the Williams Lake Stampede Parade for the last 5 years:) 3 horses were great and one was a wing-nut and couldn’t handle the claustraphobe of the crowds! She performed amazingy in front of 3000 peopleand carried a flag for our drill team but she sure didn’t like the the parade! (rearing, dancing, sweated so much she was dripping!)

  21. Krissy on July 4, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I rode my adopted Paint gelding in his first parade two years ago at the (his) age of 8. The town had a parade called Muskego Days and horses were at the end of it. Anyone could attend. My two friends and I didn’t have a trailer to get to the start, so we rode nearly two hours in 100 degree WI summer heat to the parade. Most of the horses in the parade have done it for years, but my gosh, were they misbehaving. Rearing, shying, refusing to move forward…so a woman riding her 4 year old gelding broke to ride earlier that year, and I moved to the front and led the horse part of the parade. It was fantastic. Haze, my horse, never batted an eyelash. Kids were running out to pet him and he just bathed in the attention. Flags were billowing, tents were flapping, music blaring and people cheering, and he acted like he’s done it his whole life. I definitely think riding him there helped calm him down. 4 hours total of riding and nearly 10 miles, but it was fantastic! I hope to do it again this year!

  22. Leta Wilson on July 4, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    I rode in a drill team years ago and we did parades. Our horses were always very good and we had them prepared. We started with very small parades and worked our way up to the Fort Worth Stock Show parade (largest all horse and horse drawn vechile parade there is.) We even rode them in the big San Antonio Fiesta Parade. That one was a real challenge, we rode stirrup to stirrup and head to tail because of firecrackers….keeping them close as a herd and they all behaved wonderfully! It was an experience when I was much younger, probably would not attempt it today but a great memory!

  23. Lesia Lowe on July 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    if there is NOT a picture of you riding a bike in walmart with spurs then it didn’t happen!!! LOL

  24. Chrissy Dickmann on July 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I have a mare who absolutely loves parades. I’ve been riding her in our annual Christmas parade since she was 3. The more bells the happier she is. This past year we lead the parade and were honored to carry the American flag. This was a first, as she had never carried a flag before, other than the two weeks we had to prepare for it. And she did wonderful. The marching band lead and she marched right behind the band. She is just a wonderful mare, will do anything I ask.

  25. Alicia on July 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    The Parade in our little town today had horses in it… They were calm and alert. I want to take my horse in the parade next year but I would want to take her in hand at first to be safe. She is young and can be stupid. I think taking her as many places that i can will help her calm down to all the excitement… She is a good girl and tries hard. She stays fairly calm for the fire works and such.

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