Years ago, in a past lifetime, I was working as a journalist for a small rural newspaper; covered four major towns and another dozen minor towns/settlements in Western Australia.
One day I get a request to cover the wedding of the son of a prominent local business owner. Mother of the Groom (MoG) was also a big advertiser in our paper so I was tasked to get a pic for the social page as a gesture of good will to her.
So I contact MoG for details of the nuptials. That’s when I get told the Bride has decided that she doesn’t want to take a horse-drawn carriage to the church (so old fashioned), she wants to RIDE THE HORSE DOWN THE MAIN STREET. Good idea but she never factored in the physical difficulty of straddling (as in leg on either side of the horse), while wearing a big floofy white wedding dress and still looking elegant. Forget the strappy stiletto heels for a moment.
Fortunately MoG had used her considerable local connections and managed to find a local farmer with a couple of quiet and presentable nags to loan for the day. I say a couple because there were two of them, two because Mother of the Bride (MoB) has decided that making a grand entrance from the back of a horse is a great idea and she wants a piece of the action…ummm….I mean Mum wants to share in her daughter’s special day!
So we assemble in the carpark at one end of town, at the opposite end of the main street from the church. The Bridesmaids/Best Man/Grooms are all to travel up the street in a fleet of vintage cars followed by the horses.
It was while we were assembled in the carpark that they discovered a rather big hitch in this grand wedding plan. MoB’s decision to ride with her daughter was rather last-minute and she had neglected to find out if her own wedding attire was suitable to riding a horse….remember they are not riding side-saddle?!
MoB has chosen a lovely suit with a mauve jacket, white blouse and mauve skirt….a short (knee length) tight skirt…see my problem? She couldn’t get on the horse very elegantly with such a tight skirt, let alone straddle it.
In the end MoB had to roll that skirt pretty-much up to her groin in order to sit comfortable….roll it up all the way round, not just tuck the back part under her bum and roll a bit of the front in order to free her knees!!
So mother and daughter had to ride almost a mile along the main street of town -in front of lots of curious bystanders (the clip-clop of hooves on asphalt always makes heads turn)- with mum practically using her skirt as a pink belt, showing the world her knobbly knees, veiny calves and cottage-cheese thighs. The bride’s wedding dress was also bunched up in a rather odd fashion (again forgot to check the physics of riding a horse when designing her outfit).
That was probably the most bizarre wedding I ever had to photograph; the poor official (wedding) photographer and I had to work REALLY hard to get some “decent” photos of that event! basically a lot of shots side-on with bride in front and slightly ahead so her body or the horse’s neck hid mum’s legs.
Pity the bride, you don’t want to censor you wedding photos to hide what color knickers your MUM was wearing! 0411-11
With that story leading off today’s post, here are some videos of weddings and horses gone bad. The first demonstrates that even the best of horses can be startled by something as common as people clapping….
I suspect in this next video the pair of horses had not been desensitized to the flapping, white, drapey things at their heads and when they catch a glimpse from behind their blinkers, the panic ensues as they try to flee these scary things at their heads.
I suspect the horses in this video were not desensitized as well as they could have been to loud music. While the driver pops them with the whip when they balk, he doesn’t appear to be using his other method of control, his voice. And the screaming guests make matters worse because they spook the horses further. For God’s sake, if you see horses getting out of control, shut your mouth!
This last video demonstrates an epic fail on so many levels. What kind of idiots bring a stallion AND a mare in heat to work a wedding? When the stallion mounts the mare, the danger to people, vehicles passing by, the horses is unbelievably high. And then you have the idiot yelling “whoa” while another is whipping. Talk about mixed signals. The moron who kicks the stallion in the groin….if he is the stallion’s handler/owner, he’s saving face by taking it out on the animal rather than dealing with the reality that his animal is poorly trained and handled. The moral of the stories is, if you want horses at your wedding, make sure the people handling them are experts.