Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Parade of Horses

Nearly a month ago (on August 26th) we had the Parade of Horses through town and then they went on to the bull ring outside of Cotacachi.  I have more pictures of these things than you can even imagine so I thought that since I have been able to download those photos, I'll just share them in a series of posts.  You can pick and choose.  I'm going to start with the biggest group--the adults on horseback (and a few of just the horses).

Here come the Alcalde (Mayor) leading the parade.  He's in attendance at every event I've seen so far.  I think it's quite wonderful that we have a Mayor who takes an interest in the town and what's going on.  Even the street dogs get in on the act.

OK, I have to tell you, the fellows bringing in the dead chickens was a real show-stopper.  I suspect there's a reason of some sort that they're displaying them but I'm not sure just what it is.

This street dog was doing more than just following along.  He was nipping at the horses and riders.  I was impressed with how well they were able to keep the horses under their control.

There were far more girls and young women than I had expected.  Horseback riding seems to be a very male-dominated activity here so it was good to see the young women here as well.

"Whoa, buddy.  Those fellows ahead of us aren't moving as fast as I thought they were."

The stirrups here are very different than those I'm used to.  Actually, there are some of what I consider "standard" ones but there are far more of this style where it's almost a shoe.  I saw one guy getting off his horse and it took way more work to get his foot out of there than I would like if I were the one knowing I might have to get off the horse in a hurry if I couldn't keep my seat.  The rope he has attached to the side of the saddle is all handmade from some kind of animal product (kind of like rawhide I'm guessing) and it's not just for show.

All the head gear and reins--almost everything you see on these horses--is all made by hand and the workmanship is amazing.

Just one more example of the handmade tack.  I'm not sure how they made those bead-like things but each one is absolutely perfect and quite impressive.

These fellows took advantage of a little space between them and the group ahead of them and galloped right up to them.  Remember, I'm right on the rather narrow sidewalk here--sometimes a little closer to the horses than I am comfortable with but it was still fun.

There were definitely prancers and high steppers.  Isn't this one gorgeous?

Each of the groups seemed to have their own special ponchos that their ranch or whatever wore.

I didn't have time to focus on this one.  I was doing great getting the shot of the whole horse and rider until the horse reared.  I missed the part where he was up quite a bit higher.  The control the riders have is pretty amazing but the horses still get out of hand every once in a while.

Look off to the far left.  This guy got awfully close to the folks on the sidewalk.  I was glad I wasn't one of them.

I wish I had video of so many of these horses.  This fellow did the loveliest little dance.  He was pretty amazing.

Actually, the whole thing was amazing.  I suspect that horse people aren't at all surprised by any of this but I'm a city gal and this is pretty different for me.  Actually, that's not completely true.  I was born on a farm but I don't remember it at all.  My dad raised miniature horses right up until a year ago (he's 82 now) so I was around them periodically, but I can't say I ever felt comfortable around them.  They're just too big and unpredictable for my liking.

Coming up: the kids.  You know how I love the little ones.

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