16 July 2012

Old Timers 2012: All the Pretty Horses

Alamo Navajo girl readying her horse for the Old Timers Parade, Magdalena, NM, July 2012
I love the Old Timers parade, for the people-watching and happy kids and, most of all, for the pretty horses. There seemed to be fewer this year, but those that walked were beautiful as always. The photo above was my first shot of the day, as we were walking toward the parade, and it's my one of my favorite shots from the whole day. At left you can see this girl riding (an older relative led her) with such composure and grace, and enough confidence to throw candy to the kids lining the road. I hope she won a prize (I'm going to ask the local newspaper editor if he can get me a list of parade participants), and I definitely see a future Miss Alamo Navajo in the making. Other riders included our friend and local beautician Karolyn Rolston with two "besties" who decked themselves and their horses out in pink and feathers and bling-a-ling... some might not find this fitting for such noble animals, but the horses really didn't seem to care.
Karolyn (at right, on Blue) and her posse, Magdalena, NM, July 2012
The New Mexico State Fair Queen and Little Miss Rodeo New Mexico (both below) were also there, along with the Socorro County Rodeo Queen and various princesses. All are beautifully decked out, and they and their horses have amazing poise given the crowds and noise.

The Valencia County Sheriffs ride every year, nicely attired in a more, shall we say, classic style but with a flash of color that really makes them stand out. They also perform a bit of Western dressage several times along the parade route, much to spectators' delight.
Valencia County Sheriffs, Magdalena, NM, July 2012
A pair of mules pulling a wagon and driver were the prettiest mules I've ever seen...

Mules at work, Magdalena, NM, July 2012
... but "our" mule, Goliath (Doc Rolston's trusted pack mule, who Dad says rides like a Cadillac), has the best personality. He wins admirers wherever he goes, including these two cowgirls who paused from rodeo fun to say Hi.
Goliath with two new friends, Magdalena, NM, July 2012
And Goliath bore Maggie on her second Old Timers parade ride, not even needing to be led by Dad (riding Damacio) because he is gentle and Maggie is fast gaining confidence on horseback. I sat out the parade this year but might have to saddle up again next year because, yeah, there just didn't seem to be enough horses for this classic cowboy-town parade.
Maggie and Dad riding across the rodeo grounds after the parade, Magdalena, NM, July 2012

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