You’re going to have to forgive me the next couple of days. 🙂 There will be a lot of horse pictures. Our sleepy little town is hosting, for 5 days, the famous Budweiser Clydesdales from Merrimack, NH! I’m really very excited. I adore horses to begin with and these guys (yes they are all stallions, btw) are simply amazing.
The sheer size of them takes your breath away when you’re standing near them. I’m 5’3″ and I don’t even reach their noses. My sweetie is 5’10” and he doesn’t even come to their shoulders. Their feet, gorgeous with the mass of hair around them, are bigger than the dinner plates I use. And they were as well behaved and calm as a kitten, considering they were swarmed by people, flashing lights from the cop cars they had to pass, dogs barking, kids yelling and pointing.
When they came down the street they were putting on their own little show. They knew they looked good and people were watching and pranced down the street as if they owned it…and they did. I have a video of them coming down the street that I’m hoping to figure out how to put in this post. 🙂
The 18th we went to see them in their encampment. What a job they do! They’re under a HUGE tent and have their own decorated and polished stall. The stalls are lined up in a row and each horse has their own fan to help with the heat and their name above them on an awning. This day was HOT! They were basically just dozing and trying to stay cool. Everyone was. It was in the high 90’s with terrible humidity. Everything from the stalls, to the fencing, to even their truck is polished to a bright shine. As soon as poop hits the floor it is cleaned up. The horses are groomed to within an inch of their lives at all times. There is also a sign telling about them. The picture is hard to read here, but I’ll post what it says.
“Performance days for the Budweiser Clydesdales are a combination of excitement and perfection. While the horses are groomed daily, special attention is given to their appearance on performance days. The expert handlers who travel with the horses spend about 5 hours washing and grooming the horses, polishing the harness, braiding red and white ribbon into the manes and inserting red and white bows onto the tails.
Harnessing all eight horses is a process that usually takes 45 minutes. After each Clydesdale is harnessed, they are individually hitched to the red, white and gold 1903 Studebaker-built beer wagon. Finally, after all eight horses are hitched to the wagon, the driver adjusts the lines. Driving the 12 tons of wagon and horses requires strength,. experience and stamina, as to 40 pounds of lines the driver holds, plus the tension amounts to more than 75 pounds. During long parades, the driver and assistant often alternate driving.
The Budweiser Clydesdales make hundreds of appearances each year throughout North America and occasionally overseas to millions of cheering fans. The Budweiser Clydesdales travel thousands of miles each year, and with each mile they cover, so continues the Anheuser-Busch tradition.
The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch brewerings in St. Louis, MO., Merrimack, NH, and Fort Collins, CO. They also may be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300+ acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, MO.”
The Dalmation is Lad and travels everywhere with them.
If any of you are near those places or get to travel to them, I would highly reccomend visiting. These mighty horses are truly awe-inspiring to see and to be close to.