Today was the Nevada Day Parade! Sage and I rode with the Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates, and carried the Nevada state flag. It was a loooong day and started early. I was at the barn at 6:30 am to feed Sage, and then we got picked up at 7 am to head to Carson City. While we were saddling up the hot air balloons passed very low over us. I was so scared that Sage was going to spook at the sight of them. But he just stared at them curiously and then went back to the hay bag. We rode from the end of the route to the beginning for staging. That was an adventure full of narrow and crowded streets, cars that drove too fast next to us, floats, costumed people, and loud music! Again, I was nervous, but Sage just quietly navigated the chaos.
We got to our staging area and had to wait about two hours to get in the parade because we were entry 153 out of 200! Sage busied himself by nibbling on the hay bales on our float, and we just moseyed around and waited with everyone else. All the entrants went by us, with cars and trucks, floats and marchers, but Sage just took it all in stride. At one point someone pointed out that it looked like he fell asleep!
Finally the moment arrived to step out into the parade. In front were our banner carriers, and then us in the honor guard. Sage and I carried the Nevada flag in the middle, and we were flanked by the American flag, and a Civil War flag (carried by a Buffalo Soldier reenactor!) We were followed by about 16 other riders and horses - all mustangs. When we stepped out onto the main street, I saw miles of road ahead of us lined by thousands of people! I was so scared! I just forced myself to smile and look confident. We walked down Carson Street to cheering and clapping people, and Sage stayed calm and quiet the whole time -- as if this was his millionth parade and not his first!
It was only a mile and a half parade route, but it seemed like it took forever! We passed several announcer stages, and The Nevada Discovery Ride got mentioned by name at every stop!
I am so proud of Sage! I was a nervous wreck imagining the worst, but Sage just took all the chaos in stride. He truly is a testament to mustangs and how capable they are. If I had any worries about how he'd be on the Nevada Discovery Ride, they are definitely gone now. I can't think of anything more stressful on a horse, that tests their training like this parade. Very nervewracking for me, but very fun. I'm so honored we were asked to participate and carry the Nevada flag. I hope we were a good representative of the Silver State!
The latest updates from Samantha on the Nevada Discovery Ride.