I recently attended the Fort Worth Stock Show Parade. Watching the parade has become a tradition for my husband, me, and several of our friends. This year's parade had about 180 entries and no motorized entries are allowed. I would guess that with multiple horses in each entry there had to be more than 1500 equine in the parade. The parade is about two hours long and has an enormous variety of horses, donkeys, and mules. I love seeing the different colors, shapes, and sizes of equine in the parade.
Some of my favorites are the Percherons, Belgians, Clydesdales, Appaloosas, draft mules, miniature donkeys... who am I kidding? I love all of them. As the parade went by my friends and I continuously repeated "I want that one".
Most of the animals in the parade looked amazing. They were dressed up in their finest tack, some were painted with glitter, and most of the riders were also dressed in their western best. But not all of them...
I was so disappointed this year with the number of horses that appeared to be very under weight. A few of them seemed to be nothing but skin and bones. How can people do that to a horse? I can't imagine having a horse that skinny, then to actually ride it, and be in a parade. I know some horses are just naturally thin and some have other health issues that cause them to be thin but these horses were really bad. These horses should not have been asked to ride several miles in a parade in that condition.
I was also amazed with some of the riders in this year's parade. Some of them looked like they just got out of bed, wearing sloppy dirty clothes and not even brushing their hair. Then there was the man that I would guess to be almost 6 foot tall and probably about 175 pounds that was riding a miniature horse that was probably 48 inches tall. He could touch the ground with his feet. That horse was too small for him, having a man that size riding him had to be painful.
It just breaks my heart to see people treating an animal badly. People don't seem to realize that riding a horse that is too small for you can be painful for the horse, or that riding an underweight horse is a bad thing. Too many people don't have a heart when it comes to horses. These beautiful majestic creatures deserve so much more than most humans give them.