Monday, October 6, 2014

I Love a Parade! (Part 1 of a horsey weekend)

This past week was both good and bad. The bad part was that it's taken me a while to recover from the demon cold that I acquired last Friday afternoon. Monday and Tuesday I was pretty useless. Wednesday was better and it's been uphill from there. Also, the weather this week was TERRIBLE. Rain, rain, rain...which we actually needed since it's been a fairly dry summer, but I really think just one or two days of rain rather than 6 would have been more acceptable. So between sickness and weather I only rode Maggie once in the span of seven days. Sad :(

On the bright side though, my birthday was this week so lots of time was spent with family and friends which is always wonderful and made me feel loads better :)

Last week I wrote about how boring the weekend was, being sick and not feeling up to riding...Well, as I alluded to earlier on my Facebook page this weekend was busy enough that it certainly made up for it! So busy, in fact, that I think I'll draw it out into several blog posts so that I don't wind up boring you all with one crazy long, wordy post. Also this way I can throw in more pics :) These posts will probably seem a little random, but have no fear: there will be a Maggie post coming, I promise!

We'll start with how I spent my Saturday morning: watching the Topsfield Fair parade.

One hallmark of autumn where I live is the beginning of the Topsfield Fair (which, FYI, is the country's oldest fair! Yes, I'm being a braggy townie) and every year on the first Saturday in October the fair parade marches through the center of Topsfield heralding the opening of the fair. When I was a young'un the best part about the fair parade was that many of the floats threw candy. Now, the best part are the HORSES of course! (And what can I say, I enjoy the nostalgia of it as well. I may have picked up a Tootsie Roll or two and I'm not ashamed...)

In fact, when I was in high school I drove my mini, Zipper, in the parade a few times. The pic below is from our first excursion in the parade, before I really realized that most people usually had some sort of decorations for their floats/ carts/ cars. We upped the effort level the next couple years, but I can't find pics of them at the moment...
What can I say, I was really cool in high school...

Our second year of the parade I still didn't realize that there was actually a THEME every year that kind of guided the decorations so I simply decked out the cart in a boat-load of rainbow streamers. What's more festive than streamers? One very clear memory that I have from that second year is waiting on the Topsfield common for the parade to begin and standing with my mini and her streamery cart next to a team a giant percherons. The driver of giant percherons "asked" (read: "loudly told") me to KEEP MY MINI AWAY FROM HIS HORSES BECAUSE THE STREAMERS ARE SPOOKING THEM. I just remember thinking, "Well, why the heck did you think it was a good idea to put them in a parade if they are going to get spooked streamers??"

Anyway, in recent years there have been way fewer horses in the parade than I remember. It's been a little disappointing. Not a single draft horse hitch was to be seen to this year!

We did have a few Massachusetts mounted state police officers:

AND this year the Royal Canadian Mounted Police graced Topsfield with their presence:

 In addition to marching in the parade, the RCMP puts on several performances of their Musical Ride during the fair. I saw it years ago and I'd love to see it again. If you ever get the chance to go to a performance, do it! It's awesome.

Check out the Maple Leaf quarter marks!
Aside from the assorted North American cops and their horses, this lone mini was the only other equine representative: 

Actually, that's not entirely true. I was pleased to see Windrush Farm being represented! Windrush is a local therapeutic riding facility. I volunteered there all throughout high school. I don't blame them for not having any live horses in the parade (I'm sure all their horses would have been extremely well behaved), they were hosting the Massachusetts Special Olympics Fall Equestrian State Final - so they were a little busy! 

A morning well spent! (even if it was out of the saddle!) I had another horse-related activity planned for later that afternoon...

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