Monday, April 23, 2012
The Majestic Horses of Disneyland's Main St.
Take One: Many years ago, I used to carpool with someone who kept a horse on a rural piece of property a few minutes off our carpool route. A few times she asked me if I would mind if we could stop on the way home to see the horse who was getting up in years and actually no longer rideable. Now I'm an inner city kid who moved to suburbs as a teenager. Horses were kind of foreign to me. I really hadn't seen very many up close and personal. Man that horse was big but it was also quite friendly and loved visitors. But it was the eyes, those big soulful eyes that had my heart melting. So hard to describe, I'll never forget it.
Take Two: Again many years ago, the Rolling Stones, Mick and Keith, wrote a song called Beast of Burden. Of course, the song was written about people in a relationship of sorts but its one of those songs that just kind of sticks in your head and surfaces every once in awhile.
Take Three: Arriving at Disneyland first thing in the morning right after opening, you can see the cast member attendant and driver of the horse drawn streetcars that parade up and down Main Street pull one of the majestic horses out from behind a gate by the firehouse to begin the morning's service. What a beautiful animal. As an adult, I kind of made a vow to myself that I wasn't going to let one of these glorious creatures drag my sorry behind around Disneyland. That horse was not going to be my "beast of burden".
Someone I work with now is a horse person. She owns 7 of them and rides competitively in endurance events. We don't specifically talk about horses because, even now, it is subject that I'm not really familiar with but over the last few years I've gained enough information from her to know that horses really kinda of like having something to do. They can get bored. So the horses that go up and down Main St. might actually like it.
I actually think the Disneyland horses (I don't know the breed, sorry) have a pretty good life. Main St. vehicles (all of 'em) only run up until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. They are done when people start getting lined up to watch the afternoon parade. And if you watch closely, the horses get rotated fairly regularly so its not the same horse doing the streetcar pulling for hours on end. They get to go back to their comfy home at Disneyland's Circle D Ranch, a first rate animal facility just outside the park where I am sure they are well, well taken care of. One day I was partaking in one of my favorite Disneyland pastimes - a cruise around the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain. I know the recorded schpiel by heart. So I glanced over at the Indian village and almost shockingly I saw a horse doing a little running in pen tucked up behind the village. It took me by surprise at first, was it an advanced animatronic? No, it was just one of the Main St. horses out having a nice time for himself.
I'm still not going to get in a Main St. horse drawn streetcar. No, I'm sticking with my conviction of not letting that animal drag my rear end up Main St. He's not going to be a beast of burden to me but the reality of it is - he's probably got a pretty good life with a lot less stress, worries, and fears than my own