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Central Texans heading to Bell County Expo this weekend to get their horses ready for parade season

Posted at 7:37 PM, Oct 07, 2022

With the holidays right around the corner, many cities are preparing for their annual parades.

One Central Texan is doing what she can to make sure horses are ready to hit the route.

Marcia Cross is a proud horse owner and has ridden horses in parades for years.

Now, she makes sure that people have a chance to get their horses ready for the big day.

"They can easily be spooked,” said Marcia Cross, founder of the Horse Despooking and Parade Clinic. “So, the more we can expose them to these things in advance, then the more reliable and trustworthy they are as a mount."

Every year she hosts a de-spooking and parade clinic at the Bell County Expo Center full of obstacles to train horses for owners planning to ride in a parade.

”There is going to be things for the horses to climb up on,” said Cross. “We’re going to have things dangling for them to walk through. Just a variety of things and there will be sound and noise-making things.”

It’s an environment that even avid parade riders don’t have at home.

”It’s amazing some of the stuff she has,” said Monica Gardner, clinic attendee and volunteer. “I have some of these obstacles on my farm, but I don’t have half of what she has there.”

Gardner said she has taken her horses to the clinic several times and it has made a huge difference.

”I have confidence on how my horses are going to behave on the day of an activity because I know that they’ve already been exposed to it,” said Gardner. “Versus, just walking in there and praying that everything is going to work out.”

The clinic is taking place at the Bell County Expo Center this Saturday and Sunday and you don’t have to pre-register.

”They can just register when they get there and it’s an inexpensive $45 a day for the whole day,” said Cross.

They will also be holding a free training event for first responders on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.