Happy Independence day America! You can’t have a proper Fourth of July celebration without parade horses and rodeo queens.
I remember proudly riding my silver buckskin Quarter Horse, Cricket, in the Fiesta Day Moraga parade in my youth. My parents were not “horse people” yet they supported my passion for horses both emotionally and financially.
I kept my first horse in a 100 acre pasture behind our house in Northern California.
It would have been difficult to locate the herd of 12 horses early on the morning of Fiesta Days in Moraga. My parents agreed that my horse could stay overnight in a makeshift paddock next to our house. Thank goodness for supportive parents, as riding horseback in a parade is one of my fondest childhood memories.
Hawaiian Pau riders
Lucky for me, I happened to be visiting the island of Lanai, Hawaii during Festivals of Aloha parade time. Hawaiian royalty known as Pau riders are selected as princesses based on their riding ability and appearance in their brightly colored satin fabric. Both equestrians and parade horses are draped in Hawaiian flowers. If you have a chance to watch a Hawaiian parade with horses, be sure to look for the Pau riders sharing their aloha spirit.
Parade horses and cowgirls
Happy Fourth of July America. I tip my cowboy hat to the hard working rodeo queens, cowgirls and cowboys across the United States celebrating independence day while riding parade horses.
Article and photos by Equine Writer Nancy D. Brown. Tournament of Roses cowgirls photo courtesy of Darrel Larson.