Hi all, sorry I haven't written for a while, but Mum has been keeping me pretty busy. I don't know what the big idea is with her making me work - doesn't seem fair to me! But some of it has been fun. It goes something like this...
One evening back in early December Mum loaded me up into the truck and we headed out to Eve's. This seemed rather a weird time to go to Eve's as we always go there on a Sunday morning, so I knew something was out of the ordinary. When we got there there were all these strange horses there - some I had never seen before, not even at the war games. And the humans were putting on all these funny clothes. Something about a dress rehearsal - what's a dress rehearsal? Some of the humans got dressed in the funny clothes and then undressed again, some stayed dressed, and then they put funny clothes on us horses. I got to wear my lovely green and gold caparison again, but with a red saddle blanket from Anna - I must say I did look even more lovely like that :)
Then us nine horses and our riders went riding out in formation. It was all slow stuff, walk with a very little bit of trot. I didn't mind Dune, the little palomino beside me, but the big tall chestnut on the other side was kinda scary - especially when he started kicking out at something - I thought he was after me. We'd walk and then halt and stand around for a while before starting to walk again. We did get to do a little trotting in formation as well.
The whole evening was kind of interesting, but I wasn't sure at the time why we were doing it - it wasn't like a wargames at all.
I got the next day off. Something to do with mum working on a costume. I thought I had all my costume, but I guess not because she was working on some more. She came out in the evening and put my bridle on me, but the reins were different - they had dangly bits on them with little bells on that jingled when I shook my head. I quite liked the sound, and kept tossing my head around to hear the bells ring. It was fun :)
On Friday she loaded me up in the morning and took me up to the forest for a ride. Anna and Ra were there as was Margaret and Anja and three of the games ponies, and Tania on Max. We had quite a tiring ride through the forest, even though most of it was at a walk - there was a lot of uphill and downhill work for me there!! It made a nice change to be out riding somewhere different where we didn't seem to be doing any training for anything. And I'm getting used to those horses, so it wasn't as scary as it would have been once upon a time.
After the ride I got a complete cleaning - shampoo and all. I looked lovely and shiny, but I did hear mum comment that she wondered why she was bothering to clean my body when it would be covered by the caparison. Cathy and Cookie turned up at washing time too, so there were quite a group of us getting made sparkly and clean.
After that we went home again, and mum put me in the paddock and disappeared inside, apparently to finish off the costume. I thought that was me finished for the day, as it had been a tough morning, and she did give me dinner when I got home, but later in the afternoon she put me in the truck again. I didn't know what was happening - I never go out twice in one day - it was just wrong!!
We drove through Kumeu and Huapai, and stopped at a winery on the north side of Huapai. When I got out of the truck, I noticed that Cruise, Ra and Murph were there, and then while I was tied up to the side of the truck Max, Cookie and the games ponies turned up - what a turnout. There were also big trucks around with funny trailers on the back of them. Why would someone dress up a trailer, I was wondering. Apparently they are called floats, and we were getting ready for a Santa Parade. Whats a Santa?? Is it edible??
After a bit of last minute sewing, mum came over and started dressing me up - saddle blanket, caparison, red saddle blanket, saddle, and a new cover that went over the top of my saddle so it wasn't as obvious that I was wearing a western saddle. Then my bridle. Mum kept putting the bridle on, taking it off again, changing something and trying again, trying to get the different type of browband to fit. She had taken Tammy's old bridle and covered it in green velvet and sewed it up with gold thread. It looked pretty fancy. And then she had attached some bling to the headband, and my new jingly reins. I also had a red breastplate that jingled too - I love to jingle!! I like to prance and dance and toss my head just to make the bells ring!
Then all the humans got dressed into their funny clothes. I'm just glad that mum wasn't wearing armour like Dave and Matt were. It was quite hot enough thank you very much without that extra weight!
Murph was being horrible once he was dressed up - they had put something on his head called a plume, and it took us a while to work out that it was Murph. He kept looking at us and pulling faces, and with the plume there it was very threatening. But after a while we got used to his plume and started to ignore him.
Once everyone was mounted up we walked around the grass area in formation and then stood on the road waiting and waiting and waiting. I spent some time watching the beginning of the parade head down the main road through Huapai, and the train as it went past too.
Eventually we began to move slowly, though it was almost a case of walk five steps, stop for five minutes. Kind of frustrating, but other than tossing my head and pawing a little, I was a good girl.
We were getting closer to the road when we had to stop again. Oh well, when you've got to go, you've got to go, so I did, and then pranced up the road to catch up with the other horses, only to stop again. Oh boy I thought - this isn't fair - my public is waiting out there to see me - I need to get to them so they can see ME!! I was getting a little impatient by this time, so I pawed and pawed and pawed. And it worked - we started moving again!
Once out on the main road, where people could see me I was happy. People were there admiring me, from both sides of the road, waving and yelling out merry christmas and saying they wanted that horse and pointing at ME :) I was happy following along behind Max and Cookie, and I kept a close eye on what they were doing, so that if they stopped, I stopped, before mum could even tell me to. Especially since sometimes she was too busy waving to people and calling out Merry Christmas. What a sight we were with T, Vic, Anakin, Tommy, Rowan and Adele on the ground in their fighting gear, then Murph and Matt, Ra and Eloise, Cruise and Dave, Max and Tania, Cookie and Cathy, Me and Mum, Shards and Margaret, Big Blue and Francis, and Findee and Anja. Also Eve and two of Anna's nieces dressed as fairies, and Anna's brother pushing Anna's other niece in a push chair, and Sue with Anja's dog Roxy the Whippet, and Anna with the wheelbarrow as the pooper scooper.
Even around the pub I wasn't concerned, even though there were lots of people on either side of the street - after all, what was there to be concerned about when they were out there to see ME :)
It is quite a long walk through Huapai and Kumeu, and you know, after all that I still don't know what a Santa is. I must remember to ask Mum one day.
Once the parade was finished, all the people from the parade started going in different directions, and we left our ground crew behind and went down the back roads to get back to the trucks. There were cars going past us in all directions, and some big trucks and floats too. Generally the other drivers were very considerate and slowed down a lot to go past us. Unfortunately though not everyone was that considerate, and we had at least 3 cars going speeding past - don't people realise how dangerous it is not only for us, but for them?
By the time we got back to the truck, I was very very tired, and my feet were a little tender after walking all that way on the hot tarmac, but it was good to go for a little canter along the grass while I was all dressed up - it was nice after going so slowly all the way along the road.
I really enjoyed my first parade, and I looked soo pretty (but then again, I always look pretty :) ), but I was glad to get home to my paddock for a rest!