It is 5am on a beautiful Colorado 4th of July morning. The sun is just peeking across the pine trees in the back of my stall. Excitement is in the air.
The smell of freshly delivered hay is making me hungry and tempt me to stroll out to enjoy some breakfast and beautiful views. The peaceful quiet giving me joy and making me appreciate life.
A metallic noisy rattling sound disrupts the serenity. A blue ancient looking trailer and truck pull up. Who in the world is driving up so early in the morning? Must be one of the show folks or the hunters? But, I am mistaken, here comes my lady with two teenagers in tow, armed with paint, brushes, bows, glittery patriotic stars, and full of energy.
Of course, being a good old quarter horse, I appreciate our independence day, but this year it seems I am destined to be more involved than usual. Carly and Liam, the two teen volunteers, take me out and brush until my coat shines, conditioner is being put on hoofs and tail, and they paint their hearts out. I look stunning I have to say.
Kip my trail riding buddy next to me experiencing the same attention and both of us feeding of the adrenaline rushing through these humans. Seems they are having fun, so why not join them. We are loading up for another adventure, making our way to one of my favorite places- the brewery. Even the brew master and owner come out to greet us and treat us with peppermints and all the attention we can handle. What a lovely show- but wait that is not it.
We saddle up and off we go across the weirdest bridge I have ever experienced, there are actually crazy fast cars coming from UNDER us. Kip and I looking to the side can see them far below our feet and we can feel the tension of our riders as well- what an experience. But we survive and can calm down while waiting for traffic lights to turn green. We arrive at a huge parking lot with floats, horses, and believe it or not, elephants, camels, and the strangest looking humans you can imagine. There are sugary treats on sticks called cotton candy higher than our heads, balloons, and a hussle and bussle that nobody can imagine. Oh boy, oh boy how I LOVE a good show. No worry lady, I got this! My neck is nicely rounded (almost looking like Zaq’s or Bu’s- the two Lusitano stallions out of Texas that used to steal my show- well boys, not today), my feet hardly touching the ground, showing off every muscle I developed in these beautiful mountainous terrain.
10am sharp the parade starts. It is the biggest small town parade in the entire United States. There are thousands of people lined up, over 90 floats, bands, clubs, the renaissance groups leading us on with their exotic animals and fascinating music. Kip and I pranced right behind our brewery truck with outstanding music that makes me rediscover how much I love this. I even remember my piaffe with the result of hollering kids and yelling “he is dancing dancing”, me finishing with a special Spanish step just for them.
I never lose my cool, even after a fly over by a C130, creepy foam YMCA figures following right at our behind, flying paper rocket ships, firecrackers, and of course the train right beside us as close as it could get, while screaming excited children beg for flyers with lollipops. Consider me bomb proof! Kip and I enjoy every minute of it. After about an hour and a half, we make our way back, exhausted from the adrenaline rush, proud and tired we are invited INTO the brewery. We greet loving adults and children alike, our riders answering millions of questions while we sneak a sip of a good brew here and there having folks fall even more in love.
It was quite a day. We got out the word about what we do, found some amazing volunteers and made a lot of people very very happy. The next day my lady and I enjoy the most peaceful trail ride grasing wherever there is green grass and spending an hour at the creek just being in peace after so much excitement. The two of us are bonding and reflecting together- well me eating, she is reflecting. What and adventure this life can be. Happy Independence Day!