Lisbon Old Fashioned All Horse Parade 2012
On Saturday, December 8, I awoke early at what promised to be an ugly day. It was so foggy here at home we could barely see to pull out of the driveway. On the Eastern Shore of Maryland, fog is not an unusual event, so Tom and I headed to the barn to load Max and Beau. The trip over to Lisbon in Howard County didn't prove to be any better and we pulled into the parking area for the parade while a heavy fog still covered the ground. At least it wasn't raining and was starting to warm up a bit.
Shortly after we arrived, other people started pulling in. Our group was fortunate to have the organizers reserve us group parking, so we were all together. This was the second year for the parade and there were 500 equines of all shapes and sizes. This parade is held as a fundraiser for the Howard County Food Bank and the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department building fund. Both are worthwhile causes to support.
The ISSO team was made up of four ladies, who at the last minute decided to participate. I'd been thinking about it, since Tom is a member of the Howard County Volunteer Mounted Patrol and they were going to ride. If I have to be there anyway, why not ride, too? My fate was sealed when Robin Scarborough sent me an email with a two word subject line: "Shall we?" and a link to the parade registration as the only message content. Short and sweet.
I started to reach out to other ladies in the vicinity that ride side saddle and had a great response. Unfortunately, most of that response was," I can't this time, how about next year?" Even so, on such short notice, three other ladies stepped up to ride with the ISSO group.
The organizers put us right behind longime ISSO member, Lou Steinfort, riding aside with a friend. There were six side saddle riders riding in close proximity, showcasing much of the variety you can see aside. Lou and her friend, were beautifully turned out in hunt appointments and followed a local hunt here in MD. Their horses were as beautifully turned out and well behaved as you'd expect from experienced field hunters and show horses.
Following them, rode Robin and Owen with Beau and me. Robin rode Owen in an antique Western Side Saddle in a red wool jacket and plaid skirt. She decorated her helmet so nicely, it fit right in with her attire. Owen sported saddle breeching covered in poinsettia blossoms. He piaffed and danced lightly for the onlookers. His silver ear pieces and bit sparkled in the sun and he wore red cardinals in his mane. I'd found giant candy canes and we used them as our side saddle canes for the parade. Fun!
I rode on Robin's left in a green victorian habit with poinsettias pinned to my jacket and down my skirt. I decorated my helmet with a white scarf and big red bow in the back. Beau had a red and white striped noseband and browband, red and white bows and ribbons in his mane, a red and white garland on his breastcollar and our saddle pad cover was a sparkly red tree skirt with white faux fur trim. He had a huge sparkly red bow in his tail.
Behind Robin and me, came Sue Sharp and Nancy Schectman. Sue rode her chestnut gelding, Blue Chip, in an English Hunt saddle and she wore a formal hunt habit. She was so good to have along. Sue rides out several times a week, and Blue Chip didn't look at anything twice. Check out his snappy breast color and bridle decorations.
Nancy Schectman came in from Virginia to ride with the group. Nancy wore a formal Black Melton habit. She looked great and did a brilliant job on her horses' mane braids. They were all tied with silver tinsel garland. On his legs, her horse wore red wraps with more silver tinsel garland. Carrying her candy cane and waving to the crowd the whole team was a hit.
The number of equines in the parade meant that we were finishing while other groups were still heading out onto the parade route. It was just an amazing day and I'm grateful to the organizers for the opportunity to showcase the variety of side saddle and get to help the needy. It doesn't get any better than that.