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Promoting Appaloosas at Ohio Parade

schroederThree generations of Schroeders — Jan, left, her granddaughter Samantha, her son Robin and her husband, Chuck — line up for the start of Delaware’s All-Horse Parade

Note from Brian Amerine:
Our daughter rode her Appaloosa mare this Sunday through the streets of downtown Delaware Oh., as a member of the High School Equine Science group. There had to be 30 or more Appaloosas in the parade. Next year we plan on getting a group of various regional club members to ride together (Working with Chuck). In the meantime I thought you would be interested in this article about the parade, with a feature on Chuck Schroeder and his family. Chuck is a regional club president and Appaloosa carded Judge.

Horsing around in Delaware is an annual affair for family
They’ve been in all 22 All-Horse Parades
Monday, September 10, 2007

BY HOLLY ZACHARIAH
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

DELAWARE, Ohio – Funny things, those sewer grates. Seems there aren’t any in pastures, so Dreamer doesn’t cotton to ’em so well. But since Delaware city streets are full of them, the pregnant, 8-year-old mare had to toughen up yesterday and skirt them as best as she could.

It was as if the horse sensed how important was the task at hand. Seventeen-year-old Samantha Schroeder has never missed riding in Delaware’s All-Horse Parade — though as a baby, she was carried in her daddy’s arms. So scary sewer grates or not, Dreamer had to ferry Samantha more than 2 miles along the route.

They were carrying on a tradition. It was the 22nd annual All-Horse Parade, billed as the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi River, and at least one member of Schroeder’s family has ridden in every one of them. This year, three generations of Schroeders were atop four appaloosas — Samantha; her father, Robin; and her grandparents Chuck and Jan.

They joined hundreds of people and more than 500 horses and a few mules readying for the parade at the Delaware County Fairgrounds under a miserable, steady rain, and they stepped off under a blistering sun. The Schroeders didn’t mind. They wrapped plastic around their cowboy hats and carried napkins to swipe the sweat from their faces.

The weather, Jan Schroeder said, never stops them. Although her family raises and trains Appaloosas and Quarter Horses for Western pleasure riding on their farm west of Delaware, she saddles up just once a year. Only for the parade.

“The people just line the streets, three and four deep, and call out your name and wave and cheer,” she said. “It’s like a reunion. Sometimes I only see someone once a year, and it’s along the route.”
She wanted to wave to the crowds, really she did, but mostly she just held tight to the reins. Katie was a bit skittish. Sewer grates didn’t bother her, but boy horses? No, Katie didn’t want any of them around.

Still, with so many animals in one place, she couldn’t help but mingle. The parade did indeed have something for everyone. There were draft horses with tails that dragged the ground, and miniature horses whose bellies almost did. There were horses with bells, bows, braids and beads, and even a Barbie “unicorn” with painted pink tail and pink hooves. (No one told it that, sadly, the horn shooting from its head was made of only paper and twine.) There was a team of mules all the way from Michigan, a Conestoga wagon and a surrey or two. (Yes, one had fringe on top.)

The variety is one of the things that keeps the Schroeders coming back year after year. The afternoon is a lot of work, with saddles to oil, manes to brush, shoes to repair and buckles to shine.
But when someone called out Jan Schroeder’s name, and she was able to let fly a queen-worthy parade wave, the smile on her face made it clear that every sore muscle she’ll have this morning was worth it.

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