Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Dubois Parade Team

9:08 am the phone rings...Jay Hoggan calling.....This is usually how a great story starts!

I am headed out the door before our rodeo to go do the neighbors chores. Leisurely morning, I have left myself plenty of time to get everything done and be ready to go at 9:30. My phone rings as I am walking out the door. It is my Dad and he needs help getting the team ready for the parade.

Last night, he decided that he wanted to take the team up to the parade in Dubois. Technically, I don't have to be to Dubois until after the parade for my rodeo job. So I head to Dad's place. J2 & Dad have the mares caught and harnessed already. They are in the middle of a matted mess of cockle burrs in the forelocks. WD40 & a brush I take to picking clumps out too. (The entire time I am thinking of the "Unbranded" video of the guy trying to get the cactus off of the horse & getting pawed in the head) Lucky for me, these mares are super nice, the ol' girl just dropped her head and let me work on her.

I hear screaming from outside....screaming....Mindy...McKinlee....Mindy....McKinlee.....Nope no one was mortally wounded....Dad and J2 just needed help pushing the wagon to the trailer. Well, I gained a deep appreciate for air today. 2 of the 4 tires were flat...and air sure makes tires roll easier.

Tires aired up, wagon loaded, horses cleanish & loaded. We are off! I hopped in the truck and trailer with Dad, north bound and headed to the Dubois Parade!

We are rolling in hot....all the other teams are in line and ready. Unload the horses, roll out the wagon, hook and go! Dad is rolling the team around the gas station parking lot, greeting everyone like he's running for mayor and simultaneously warming up the horses.
Keep in mind that these mares have not been touched since last fall.

They are traveling out like champs! We even got there in time to get a number and line up in order for the parade progression....which is progress for us! There are four wagons entered in the parade. The wagon in front of us is the prettiest set of matched grey mules, painted red wagon with freshly shined is truly parade worthy!

Well...then there is us. Our team is a GORGEOUS. They are a big blue set of mares with the Quarter Circle V on them and a number brand 0 for the year born, remnants of the old bucking horse string. Dad has his fanciest harness on them, all spotted up by Monte Piquet. The wagon in desperate need of a paint job, the seat is ripped...and there is no shine left on the ol gal. I wouldn't say that Dad & I are really in our Sunday best either. (In my defense....I was going to catch candy at the parade that morning...not going to be in the parade)

The parade progression begins. The fancy team in front of us is doing turns. (We are all channeling our inner Preifert team hitch.) Well, Dad's wagon isn't fancy but his horses are. We are barely a block into the parade, and smack dab in the middle of main street, Dad starts a fancy turn in the middle of the street whirling the big gals around on a dime.....SNAP....the wagon tongue snaps in half! The remaining piece is no jagged and jabbing one of the mares in the legs!

This is were our wreck begins! We are mildly out of control and headed for a little girl getting candy in the street. Dad tells me to jump out and get a hold of them. I get to the front and get them stopped. The tongue is still poking the one mare. ( I am now super grateful for spraying WD40 cans at their face this morning because I know they are pretty dang gentle) My Aunt Nancy & Connie come from the crowd to help unhook the chains from the wagon.

This is where my logically thinking exits. After we get them unhooked, my Dad says come up here and take the lines. Go with them. So....I take the lines and set out...on the parade down main street....driving the team!

lol...It made for a great story. Farther down the road, the parade goers would holler...You lost your wagon. I smiled and said...You are right! I really did loose my wagon!

I went from a Preifert hitch teamster to a plow boy in a matter of seconds but we walked the entire parade. (Yes, pavement and cowboy boots will make you a little sore-footed at a trot) I thought the cherry on top was when they announced that we won the Wagon Category. (It probably should have went to the team in front of us but if they had a Best Wreck category, we would have rocked it!)

The best part though was tonight on the phone...My Dad said something to me that he has never said before...."You did good today!"
Happy Father's Day Dad! Thank you for always making EVERYTHING a good story!

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