We are living in a world of such chaos. Devastating hurricanes and fires, threats of war that could change life forever. And that’s just in our country. The same issues exist in many other places across the world.
But on a Wednesday afternoon in Small Town America, Anheuser-Busch brought a team of Clydesdales thru our area to show off what gorgeous animals they are, and tell us all about them. Hundreds of people came to have this experience, so simple but yet so important, Today.
People took pictures and brought kids and young and old alike were fascinated for a while by these beautiful animals. Maybe it’s the mystique of these world famous horses, or maybe lots of these people drink Bud, or maybe people just needed something special to enjoy for a while.
I don’t even like beer, or have horses in my life, but Clydesdales have always interested me and I’ve never seen any in person before. I especially would like to feel their feet, which I know feels just like a mane, but I didn’t get to get that close. I was amazed at the size of their feet tho. I guess when you’re that tall and weigh a ton, you need really big feet.
The crew gave us information about them and their travels. It’s an 8 horse team, but they travel with 10 horses, so all the horses get a day off. They have prearranged night stops at places where the horses spend the night in pastures or horse barns: stables that board horses, or even fairgrounds where they can set up temporary corals and tents for them. They told us about their special food and that each horse drinks 30 gallons of water a day.
They also explained how the training goes for pulling the wagons. They start young with a smaller team and a light weight wagon. They work their way up to being members of bigger teams and learn to pull heavier wagons. The wagon they pull is actually not that heavy, since there’s no beer on it; it just looks like it.
One lady explained to me that they are gentle, patient animals. They are never ridden, and they know they are treated very well and somehow know they are special animals. They all waited very patiently while the team was hooked up, but as the last couple were being hitched, some began to move around more and wanted to go. You can see some pride as they pull their wagon up the street then; almost a strut, saying: Hey, I’m beautiful, look at me!
A dog travels with each team. They explained that historically, the dog ran alongside the front of teams, to keep people and other animals away from the horses. Now people walk at the front, and the dog gets to sit with the driver and enjoy the ride. They gave us a lot of information about the lives of the horses, and the whole process that brings the teams to towns for people to enjoy.
So for a couple of hours, people in this small town weren’t thinking of hurricanes or fires or war. They were thinking of Today and enjoying Today, since Today is what we have. It’s not about where I’m going; it’s about where I am.