2010 Shell Rock 4th of July Parade

On July 3rd, Dani and Huck, Kelly and Gato, Russ, and Tory participated in the Shell Rock 4th of July Parade.....but we almost didn't make it again.  How come we have so much drama on parade days??  :o)

(**Warning -- There are LOTS of pictures on this page so you might have to hit your REFRESH button a couple times to get them to all load up for you!!)

The day started out really early.  Kelly was up at 5am and by 6 had Gato all washed up and ready to go.   We loaded up at 8am.    We decided to only bring Huck and Gato and not attempt to load up 3 side by side and get Gato all riled up.   We put Huck on the trailer first .... skipped a spot .... then loaded Gato.   Huck was causing trouble and started talking to Gato and making fun of him ... then Huck kicked out ....so Gato REALLY kicked out to warn Huck to SHUT UP or he was going to kick his @ss.   Well, when Gato kicked ... he dislodged his shoe.   OH NO!   Kelly can't ride Gato with a dislodged shoe.  It was turned clear over to the side.    Russ immediately got on the phone to Pete ..... "Um .... Pete? Are you busy this morning?? cuz WE NEED YOU!!!!"  ....but no, Pete wasn't available .... because he was taking his family to the SHELL ROCK 4th of JULY PARADE!!!  WHAT?!!  YAY!!!   THAT'S WHERE WE'RE GOING!! THAT IS SO GREAT!!!!!!!   So we said we'd meet him there .....
We got there and they had the street blocked off by the church for horses to unload.   This parade had the most horses I've ever seen in a for a long time.   There were TONS of horses.  :o)
We start unloading and get Huck's costume on.   Hey Tory!  SMILE!!!  (she's tired ... she and Dani were up til 1am in the morning .... silly girls.... :o)   Cody stands by Huck and keeps him company while he gets all dolled up .... but where is Pete?!  He's not here yet ..... he needs to hurry if we're going to get Gato's shoe fixed in time for the parade!!
YAY!!  It's "PETE McCLOUD - EMERGENCY FARRIER" at your service!!   What a hero!!!   .... Have rasp ... Will travel.   He is "THEE MAN"!!!  Yes, we put on the bat signal and he appears.    He is a true super hero.  If it weren't for PETE McCLOUD - EMERGENCY FARRIER, Kelly would not have gotten to ride today because Gato's back shoe was way messed up ..... and she wouldn't have gotten to ride on Sunday OR on Monday.  Three parades back to back .... Pete is our hero.   :o)
Pete works on Gato's back shoe while there is total chaos going on around us.    Horses unloading ... whinnying.... sirens going off all over the place .... I heard some firecrackers shooting off ....it was LOUD.    What a horse.   Gato just stood there like a champ and didn't move the whole time.   Just call him --"Gato the Wonder Horse" !!! 
Pete's best side .... :o)
More horses pull in while Pete hurries to get Gato's shoe fixed. Luckily we arrive really early  .... but it takes time to shoe a horse.   Will Pete be able to work fast enough to get Gato's shoe back on before the parade starts??
Pete works fast to reshape the shoe that Gato bent way up.  Boy, it's a MESS!   He must have kicked that trailer wall really hard!!    ..... GO PETE GO!!   The parade is about to start!!!
Pete wants me to take another picture of his butt because it's so sexy ..... PETE!! FOCUS!!   YOU NEED TO GET GATO'S SHOE BACK ON!!  WE KNOW YOUR BUTT IS SEXY ... GET BACK TO WORK, MAN!!!!
Ok ..... ok ..... I'm hurrying .... get off my back, lady......geesh.  
"What are those weird Arabian people doing over there?   I think their farrier is sexy.  We should totally call him to do our horses ...."
PHEW!!  Gato is good as new and ready to go dance in the parade!!! YAY!!
...yep, just another day in the life of PETE McCLOUD - EMERGENCY FARRIER.

   Hey Mom ... who was that masked man?   I don't know son, but he sure has a sexy butt.....

HURRY RUSS!! HURRY!!!  Get Gato's costume on QUICK!!!   The parade is about to start!!!
PHEW!  There he is.   What luck.  He hadn't gotten back to the bat cave yet.....
More people getting ready for the parade ....."Here, let me straighten your tie for you dear.  You can't drive this buggy looking like a vagabond...."
Here we go!   Dani is up and she looks so PRETTY in green!!  That really looks gorgeous on a white horse.   GO HUCK!!!
Hmmm ..... not sure if I'm liking this black and blue get up.   I kinda look like one of the evil queens in the Disney movies.... especially if I'm not smiling.  You can't look evil in pink. Hey, see my fancy blue eyelashes?? :o)
Just a minute .... one more adjustment.   What in the world would we do without Russ?
Parade is starting ..... Holy crap, look at all those people!!
Lots of entries in the parade ..... Russ took a ton of pics of things .... too many to put on here but they will all be loaded up on our facebook page.  :o)
Hey!  It's our friend Zach from Front Yard Fright!!!   HI ZACH!! Nice hat -- I Love Bingo, too!!  Hey, no offense but you need to be wearing some more sunscreen .... you're really aging, kid.  :o)
I'm not sure what these colorful rainbow boys were supposed to be ... and yes, that is a chicken riding in a jeep behind them.... ??   Russ said he was hoping there wasn't a fire or any other emergency that morning because every fire truck and ambulance from all surrounding counties must have been in this parade .....
Is that a walrus? ..... yep, it looks like a walrus.   No, maybe that's a beaver??
whatever it was, it sure was friendly ....
No parade is complete without the Hamburglar!!  YAY MCDONALDS!!! ...hey, is that Santa driving them?!!  OMG ... where is the paparrazi ?
What the h*ll is that ?!??
Ok .... now this parade is starting to get creepy ..... Ladies, what in the world compelled you to strap your evil, yellow eyed, stuffed goat head to the front of your golf cart this morning thinking this would be a good thing to drive in a parade?   This does not get a Martha Stewart "Thumbs Up" -- This is NOT a "Good Thing".
Look Mommy!   Here comes all the pretty horses!!
FINALLY!  The horses are coming!!  I was getting awfully scared after that goat thing went by .....  The horses were led by Mennenga Auction Service from Clarksville .... followed by a chuckwagon team ...
Then came the Dairyspot Trail Riders from Bremer County .... There were a BUNCH of these guys there from this saddle club.   (This lady was really nice :o)
....a little bit of nostalgia for the day ..... here is a shot of me and my dad riding in the 1985 Shell Rock 4th of July Parade with the Dairy Spot Trailriders.  :o)   Back then they used to wear gold shirts with their little green patches on the upper left arm.   Dad and I didn't have the 'official' gold shirts so we put on anything yellow or goldish that we had so we would match them.   I talked to the flag lady and was joking about their gold shirts .... she said they have gone to white shirts now because people would show up with all shades of gold back in the old days.  Hahahaha!! Yep!   I sure remember that!!!  :o)
Here's more of the Dairyspot Trail Riders .....
I had to crop down this picture -- this lady and her horse looked so pretty carrying the flag...
There's our black and white pony team (they were almost PERFECTLY matched!)   That white mule was sure cool, too...
...a little surrey with the fringe on top (anybody remember that song?  :o) ..... this family was riding behind the surrey.   They look like a tough family ..... reminds me of the opening of Dog the Bounty Hunter ... only on horseback.  I don't think you want to mess with this family ....
Then after them was this family.  Turns out we knew these guys!!   That's Marge Krukow in the pink saddle blanket.  They brought their Quarter Horses to one of our Mason City Fun Shows!!  That little girl was funny ..... she was hot in her helmet ... she wanted to wear one of our hats instead.  :o)   While we were waiting in the line up the boy on the dark chestnut jumped off his horse and came back to see if Gato or Huck would eat a starburst candy.  (They had bags of candy on their saddle horns and were throwing it. :o)   Gato wouldn't eat any ..... but Huck did!!   Huck eats anything .... Hahahahaha!!   It's amazing how complete strangers can bond together at a parade.   We make so many friends at each parade we go to.  :o)
Here we come!!   Gato was REALLY high stepping on the spanish walk.  He was having a blast..... he would dance a little bit .... then we'd pop into the spanish walk .... then we'd get all kinds of applause and would walk or trot for a little while til we got to new people and then we'd start dancing again .... then spanish walk ... then we'd stop for a little while and just plain walk ..... I think he had tons of fun.  His ears were up most of the time just looking all over at all the people.   :o)  

This costume was great for dancing.   It is a lot shorter on the sides than the pink one so my spurs could touch his sides and cue him better.  I couldn't believe how much better he was responding to me.  I didn't hardly use the whip at all the whole parade .... All I had to do was collect him up and lightly hug him with my heels and BAM!  He was dancing HIGH!!

Here we're just plain walking ....
Ok Gato .... new people ..... let's Dance!!  (sometimes Gato would pop into the dance by himself if we walked too long -- he REALLY wanted to dance ..... or else he just wanted to get the crowd to clap at him and whistle.  :o)  He's such a ham ...... almost worse than Huck.   :o)    It was amazing how many people asked us to Dance.   As we walked by they yelled out -- "Make him Dance!! Make him Dance!!"    Word must be getting around about "El Gato - The Spanish Dancing Horse."   I've never had anyone ask us to dance our horses before when we come in native costume.  I have no idea how they knew that Gato was a dancing horse unless they've heard about us or seen us somewhere before......  

It was funny .... we passed by a Hispanic family.  The dad was out on the side of the road watching us.   Someone in the crowd yelled out .... "MAKE HIM DANCE!"   ..... so I did ... and Gato was doing AWESOME .... he even stuck in his little half passage thingy he does and was hovering in the air for seconds at a time -- it felt really good.  Dani said he looked the best she's ever seen him.   The dad was standing there with his arms crossed and shook his head in favor... "Oh yes... now THAT'S a Spanish Dancing Horse!!"   That sure made me feel good.  :o)

Spanish Walk (Russ didn't click this at the right time in these pics) .... He was lifting higher than he was at Horse Fair.   Dani said his feet were almost straight out from his chest.      Russ said he saw us up the road lifting and said he's never seen him lift so high ..... and now he's starting to do a new thing where he really wings his feet out to the side like he's paddling.  Russ said it looks REALLY neat.
That bit really sucked, though.  I had to lift my hand way high to get him to lift.   I think I'll switch that out if I ever ride in this blue costume again.   ...no chin strap ..... plus I don't think he liked it very much ...it was a thing twisted wire snaffle...... he kept playing with it the whole parade.....
Ooooo ..... here comes the mules!!  Those were cool mules, too.   That buggy behind them was the people parked behind us getting ready by the church ....
More buggies!!
Ever notice that buggy people have the cleanest tack?   ....and the best groomed horses?   I wonder why that is.   I have NEVER seen a buggy harness that wasn't spit shined and glowing or a buggy horse that wasn't shiny as a brand new penny.    Buggy people are awesome.   :o)

Click here to see us at the Iowa Horse Fair in Des Moines

Click here to see El Gato carry the flag at the IaAHA Spring Arabian Show in Cedar Rapids

Click here to see us at Greene River Days

Click here to see pics of us in the 2010 Coulter Days Parade

Click here to see pics of us in the Shell Rock 4th of July Parade

Click here for pics of the Clear Lake 4th of July Parade

Click here for pics of us riding in the 2010 Thornton Quasiquadcentennial Parade

Click here for pics of us riding in the 2010 Franklin County Fair Parade

Click here for pics of us riding in the 2010 Bristow Days Parade

Click here for El Gato's NEW Website - www.spanishdancinghorse.com

Visitors are welcome anytime!

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Dragonfire Dancing Horses
Kelly Reynolds
1262 170th Street
Hampton, IA  50441
Email: knrarabians@iowaconnect.com

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