I guess it is true what Keith is always telling me..."When you are around horse people if you are willing to speak you will meet some interesting people." That is exactly what happened on this ride! My husband never knows a stranger and is never afraid to walk up and strike a conversation. Sometimes it makes me a little uneasy, but at times I am glad he took the extra step to make conversation with people we run across on our trail riding adventures. On this nice warm spring day (after the rains had settled) we saddled up and found ourselves at the Blue Hole (foot note: Laura Furnace Creek empties into Blue Hole, a deep spring that most of the year is a rich blue color. Located on the south end of the horseback riding area, it's a favorite spot for riders because of the peaceful scenery, cool water and proximity to many historic sites. You will notice the abundance of shiny blue rocks on the ground, which is slag, evidence of the Laura Iron Furnace, which ceased operations more than 100 years ago but left its mark on the landscape.) Because it is a hot spot for riders, there were several horsemen and horsewomen taking in the scenery here. A beautifully hand crafted shiny black buggy accompanied the rest of us. Two elegant, graceful coal black mixed breed horses stood as sentinels holding their positions in front of that magnificent piece of transportation. A quiet older gentleman rested in his seat. Keith began the conversation with assurance. "Now that is a very nice buggy." he complimented. They exchanged horse and buggy stories, which eventually led to Bob's history with horses. I was so intrigued by what this man had accomplished and experienced I had little to do but listen. His stories began about how he broke horses to pull. He demonstrated how his team were familiar with "gee" and "haw". This is how buggy and carriage drivers tell their teams to move left or right. But the most interesting parts of his conversation fell on how he belonged to a Buffalo Bill Wild West show and that he would drive 6 leopard Appaloosas at full speed while pulling a stage coach and come to a screeching, sliding stop! He also discussed a friend he knew that was a trick rider whom in years gone by owned a palomino horse that Roy Rogers borrowed to ride in a parade, which was the same parade that Roy proposed to Dale Evans! He ended his conversation explaining The Great Circus Parade that he was a part of many times and how extravagant and expensive it was to put on, and that sadly because of cost is no longer being held.
I had never heard of this and was very intrigued...so once I returned home I began researching this Great Circus Parade and what is was like. I am sad to say that I have never witnessed this wonderfully extravagant event, with its beautifully preserved wagons and carriages. I have never seen anything like this and long for another day for the event, so that I too might be one of the lucky ones. Not only did I find great information and pictures about the parade, but I also found really detailed information about the Wild West Shows that he spoke of.
So today was a lesson learned...never pass up the opportunity to meet people...you just might have a learning experience and go away with a story worth retelling!
I am also going to include the websites where I found this information. Feel free to browse them for yourself! You can find these links under "Horse Stuff" on the right.