Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Horse Crazy

Horses have been part of the Tournament of Roses Parade since its beginning in 1890. This year is no exception: 23 different equestrian groups will prance down Colorado Blvd. with the floats on New Year's day.

As kids, my siblings and I watched all the big holiday parades--the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with its huge balloons, the Hollywood Christmas Parade and its movie stars, and finally the Rose Parade with its flowery floats. The horses have always been my favorite part.

I was a horse-crazy kid. We had two horses, first Pandora from 1963 to 1967, then Brandy from 1967 to 1971 (about when my interest in boys beat out my interest in horses). My sisters and/or brother may correct me on this but I did the most riding--I rode across meadows and down the country roads between our town of DeKalb, Illinois and the little surrounding towns, through fallow fields and alongside the Kishwaukee River. I rode through the NIU campus, and more than once visited the drive-through of the local Jack-in-the-Box.

There are several stables in the Pasadena area. Boz and I often see these guys riding at Hahamongna Watershed Park. They're about the age I was when we sold Brandy, maybe a little older. They said they ride out of the Altadena stables. They seemed sweet, just happy to be out on their horses.

I wonder if they ride absolutely everywhere, like I used to do? Though I've seen people riding horses on N. Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena's too urban to ride a horse through the drive-through at Jack-in-the-Box. But we've got so many miles of trails these guys aren't missing a thing.

City of Pasadena Holiday Hotline is up and running at (877) 793-9311 for answers to any and all questions about the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game and BCS final game. Volunteers are standing by through Jan. 7. More info at


Dina said...

Petrea, what a revelation about you! A fellow horse-lover!
No wonder you are what you are.
Brandy was beautiful. And look at your hair--you could have done a Lady Godiva ride.

At that age I used to rent a horse at the stables around Chicago (when it still cost $2.50/hr.) or sometimes would ride in Lincoln Park.

Wish you had a pic of you ordering at the drive-through. LOL
Happy trails to you, Petrea.

Virginia said...

Dina said it, "Lady Godiva"! What a great shot and I love the guys on horses as well. I love the Rose Parade. I never miss it!

My WV is BABLED Imagine that!

Cafe Observer said...

I don't think that's you on the horse. I also think it looks just a bit more like a conservative Lady Godiva on Brandy. Just one more thing we know about you!

Petrea said...

As I was rereading this this morning I wondered why I thought I "outgrew" horses. I think there was only so much time in the day and much of it wasn't my own. You don't outgrow the love of these animals.

I wish I had a pic of it, too, Dina! Jack-in-the-Box was different then. They had the head of the Jack character -- well, it was different. I didn't know you were a horse lover.

D, V and Cafe, "Godiva" was a nickname of mine back then. I never rode bare, but bareback was a favorite.

altadenahiker said...

What a gorgeous horse! And like any true eques. worth her salt, looks like you're in shorts. Did you start riding when you were very young? If so you have something no amount of lessons can ever give you -- a good seat. (No J, I don't mean that kind.)

Petrea said...

Thanks, Hiker. Coming from you, that's a real compliment. I started riding when I was eight and rode almost every day until I was about 16. I've had few chances to ride since then--it usually takes me a little while to get used to it once I'm aboard. But with a horse that doesn't mind me I can get that seat again after twenty minutes or so.

Brandy was part Quarter horse--a big, fast, playful guy.

Lori Webster said...

When my daughter and I first moved to Altadena, it was the mounted riders on Loma Alta and upper North Lake that sold us on the area.

I used to ride when I was younger. My favorite times were spent learning to ride in Rolling Hills, then much like you, got interested in two legged animals instead. Great shot of you on the gorgeous horse, Petrea!

Thal Armathura said...

What beauty! Petrea, we were both on horseback at the same time, but I was in Porter Ranch, Northridge. We used to ride out through the mountains and canyons on the west end of the Valley.

I'm usually at the Rose Bowl Riders BBQ in the summer. Emily and her mother Mary are good friends of mine. I wish we could go riding in the Arroyo.

Karen said...

Petrea, you can come ride with me at the Burbank equestrian center any time. :-)

TheChieftess said...

I've always been partial to the horses in the parade as well!!! I actually know someone who followed the horses with the official Rose Parade shovels one year!!! your Lady Godiva look!!! And Brandy was a beautiful horse!

We had family friends who had a small working ranch in the middle of Canoga Park up until her death about 10 years ago...we used to go over to their place and ride their beautiful Peruvian Paso's...When my sister moved to Oregon to become a gentlewoman farmer, she took the old 1968 farm truck of Mildred and Earl's...(my hubby drove it!) and she still has it...hauling her hay and pellets!!!

Vanda said...

I've never rode a horse, but so would love to. Every time I run into riders in Griffith Park, I want to pet the horses.

Laurie said...

Little Bit and I visit the San Pasqual stables here in South Pas at least a couple of times a week. We've named several of the horses we regularly watch being taken through the paces of jumping. There is one white one who almost never gets out of his/her stall and we have created a whole storyline about why.

I never had the horse-bug as a young girl, but I've got it now.

Greg Sweet said...

It might explain things if Lady Godiva were on brandy.

Have you seen Patches the Horse?

Quarter Horse >>

Thal Armathura said...

Petrea, I had to look for NIU and where it is located. So you are from the countryside west of Chicago? You must appreciate our balmy Southern California weather, although it is drizzling here in Pasadena this Wednesday late morning.

Petrea said...

I know girls like horses, Lori. But I guess boys like them, too!

Thal, I had no idea. This area is full of horse people. And thanks for reminding me about NIU/DeKalb. I updated the post to make it more clear.

You, too, Karen? I didn't know you were a rider. I'd love to do that sometime.

Pellets, Chieftess? After you mention your shoveling friend, I wonder what kind of pellets you mean.

Vanda, the Altadena Stables give riding lessons. I recommend lessons over trail rides, at least at first. But ask the Hiker, she's the expert.

Laurie, a horse who doesn't get out of his stall could be ill or old. I hope he's not neglected, but that's an unfortunate possibility, too.

Greg, Patches knows some tricks. But he left the refrigerator door open.

Ms M said...

Wonderful photo of you on Brandy! Do you think you'll ever get back to riding?

JT said...

What a great shot--I love it! My home town. My uncle used to board horses here in Pasadena in the Kinneloa Canyon area near Eaton. Unfortunately I am allergic to horses but I still like to ride when I can.

Greg Sweet said...

Y'know... if anyone wants to know about the horses in The Parade, watch the famous KTLA broadcast. Bob Eubanks is VERY well versed in horse breeds, riding styles, ethnic riding groups etc. Yeah, some of it may be written down, but he IS an avid equestrian.

Petrea said...

I hope so, Ms. M. I keep thinking there are a lot of things I'll get back to.

I have an allergy to horse dander, too, JT. It never stopped me back then. I wonder if I'd even notice it now. I never knew about the Kinneola Canyon stables.

Thanks for the info, Greg. My god, Bob Eubanks. He's like the Dick Clark of the Rose Parade.

USelaine said...

While I never had a horse of my own, I got to take English riding lessons around 1970-71 out in Carmichael, east of Sacramento. I'll have to see if I can scare up a photo.

You do look adorable here. I mean, like always.

Michael Coppess said...

I enjoyed this post very much. Riding a horse through Jacks. That's hilarious.

Petrea said...

Elaine, scare up a photo and post it. That would be great.

Michael, sometimes I would have to make Pandora (or Brandy) back up a step or two to be sure she (or he) stepped on the cable to alert the clerk to take my order.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Brandy...I want to pet your sweet muzzle and feed you apples. I never rode on the street. In fact when the Pasadena Freeway would back up during rush hour Nia would come unglued.

Did you ever see my post on Nee Sha Sha?

Petrea said...

I don't remember the title, PA. I'll see if I can find it.

Lori Lynn said...

The parade was wonderful, as always. Love the floats, and bands, and horses!

You look so cute on your horse. And very familiar...

Petrea said...

I was 14, LL--met you four years later. Now it's 40 years later. Jeez Louise, as they say.