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Life and Times of a Working Cowgirl

Independence in America

Yesterday we celebrated the Fourth of July like most Americans with food, friends, parades and fireworks. Unlike many Americans we added a few horses, wagons and buggies to the mix for good measure. As usual we rode/drove in the Corrales parade. A great little neighborhood parade that is always fun for everyone. We spent tuesday night tying ribbons on stuffed horses so we would have something to throw to the little ones and before the crack of dawn on the Fourth we were in the barn getting things ready to head to town. We picked up Barney’s sister Molly on the way, she is visiting from Kansas and she had never been in a parade before so the more the merrier. Getting wagons, teams, and horses saddled, harnessed and hitched along with decorations and guests seated all before 9am takes a fair amount of work, not to mention its about a 90  mile drive from the ranch. But we have a good crew and everyone knows when to pitch-in and when to stay out of the way. Amelia had dressed in her finest praire girl attire  and Harry let her drive his team with him riding shotgun. Matt and Rae had Darby all buffed and shined pulling Harry’s wagonette. Kirk and Andie brought out their new Buggy with Andie’s mom riding in the rumble seat with her parasol looking like Miss Daisy and Livi and I were the outriders with ribbons on our horses and our saddlebags filled with toys for the kids.

We timed our arrival to the parade just right (okay so we were running a little late ) and didn’t have to wait long for the parade to start. It didn’t take long to notice there were a lot more people at the parade this year. The entire roadway was lined without a single break in the humanity. While this was very nice to see, and the support is wonderful, the lack of escape routes or turn outs was a little nerve racking for those driving and riding horses.  Corrales Road is a narrow road to begin with and with a wall of humanity stretching the length of the parade route it had inadvertently been turned into a squeeze chute. The horses were doing fine until the  squirt guns. Now, I know it’s hot and I know it’s just water and it won’t hurt anyone however, using a super soaker on a horse pulling a buggy in a parade might just get someone killed. This is where I get to my point. At what point in our history did the rights of one person become more important than the safety and well being of society? We are an independent nation but we are also the United States. United to form a union for the protection, prosperity and general welfare of our citizens.

Amelia has a service dog, Merlin. She keeps a blog about attending college with a service dog and the trials, tribulations and successes that accompany life in the dorm with a dog. It’s a wonderful story of what can be achieved if people are allowed equal access and reasonable accommodations to cope with a disability. One of the reoccurring themes she hears is “why can’t I bring my dog, if you can bring yours? ” Somehow people have misinterpreted equal access and reasonable accommodations as special rights or privileges. Amelia would be thrilled to go to school without her dog, if she could do so without risking her health and well being. She isn’t special because she has a disability nor is incapable, she just needs a little extra help. Her help just happens to come in the form of a dog instead of a wheelchair, or any other assistive device. Women’s rights, minority rights, gay and lesbian rights have all been twisted into special interest issues and special rights instead of equal rights. Somehow this has led the rest of America to feel the need to exercise their rights often forgetting the very principles our nation was founded on.

So back to the Norman Rockwell scene in Corrales with thousands of people lining a quaint tree line street, flags waving, children all dressed in red, white and blue, a marching band playing patriotic music, the fire trucks washed and polished and kind neighbors bringing out their big horses and wagons for everyone to see. A very American moment of national pride and community spirit that was nearly shattered by people with water guns. There is no law against water guns at parades, there is no sign, no indication from the government that that is not allowed so it is left up to people to make the decisions for protecting the general welfare. Unfortunately our general population has been trained to follow rules and not make decisions. We, as a society don’t hold individuals accountable for their actions. There is always someone else to blame, some corporate or public entity to accuse of not giving us the information we needed or providing the adequate protection. Who would be to blame if Livi’s horse trampled the child who emptied his super soaker between her eyes?

Thousands of people celebrating our freedom as a nation, a freedom people fought and died for, unable or unwilling to stand-up for general welfare of their friends and neighbors against people toting water guns. Protecting our fellow citizens is our patriotic duty, that’s the United part of the United States of America. If we continue on this complacent and disrespectful path we will legislate ourselves back into the very county our forefathers fought and died to free us from. We don’t need a law banning water guns we need citizens who are willing to give up their rights to a water fight to protect the safety and well being of their neighbors, and citizens who are willing to stand-up to their neighbors who are putting them at risk and kindly ask them to reconsider their actions.

Americans don’t want to see their neighbors hurt, they rally together whenever there is a tragedy. Somehow they have just forgotten they have the power to prevent some of these tragedies. We live in a great country filled with great people who maybe just need a reminder that they do make a difference, and they are capable of making a decision, and we don’t need the police or the government to keep us safe, we need each other.


  1. I believe there is such a think as; “You can’t legislate stupidity”. And perhaps if you would look at the tree that little apple fell from, you would probably find that??????. I am so thankful that Liv has done a “fantastic” job in training her horse, to be tolerant of such apples.

  2. Your parade pictures are great! We rode in the Los Lunas parade, it was huge with dune buggies, and lots of sirens and boom boxes and thousands of people. The most nerve racking moment was when I noticed two kids running toward us with their super soakers, I was really relieved with some smart father grabbed them both and in a stern father voice said “don’t shoot at the horses”. Smart man. We had a great time and no one got hurt. Unfortunately someone in one of the other groups of riders was thrown. I don’t think people realize what a how much skill it takes on the part of the horse and the rider to keep it calmly together under those conditions. Glad you all had a great time too.