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Parade makes this "horse person" nervousPosted Monday, December 10, 2007, at 2:04 PM
The Shelbyville parade Saturday night was wonderful. It was my first time watching the parade and I was impressed by the huge participation of entries and the large turnout of spectators. The weather was terrific and it almost felt too warm to be drinking the delicious hot chocolate from The Coffee Break.
Hundreds lined the street on The Square, where we stood, and everything seemed to run smoothly -- for the most part.
I have to preface what I'm about to write by stating that I love horses, grew up with horses, showed horses, and worked around horses at my former job.
A little more than half way through the parade Saturday night, there were two beautiful parade horses pulling a carriage. Just as the lovely horses were approaching me, along with friends of mine and my husband, one of them got spooked by something -- I believe a dog. The horse backed up several steps and did not want to move forward, it seemed, until the driver got out of the carriage and got the horse moving again. It really wasn't too big of a deal, but it did make me think back to several accidents I've seen in show rings that didn't end pretty.
At the end of the parade, many, many, horses had their turn in the spotlight as they followed Santa's sleigh. I would guess there were at least 50.-- probably more. It made me nervous to see some of the riders on these horses -- one person was literally riding backwards.
I saw some other inappropriate things that made me very nervous.
Also, later that evening, I witnessed couple of horses and riders flying across, then down, Lane Parkway as I was driving to Pizza Hut. They must have been heading back to their trailors following the end of the parade, which finished near the old Kroger on Madison.
It looked like the Wild West in some areas of town following the parade Saturday evening.
I am not writing this because I think horses should be banned from the parade -- I love them -- but riders need to always put safety above anything else.
Horses are no joke.
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Sadie Fowler is lifestyles editor for the Times-Gazette.