Let's Go to the Circus
The circus is another place where you can see all kinds of talented and well-trained horses. Have you ever been to the circus? The first circuses were held thousands of years ago in a special building made just for them. Eventually, the circus started to move from town to town so that more people could get to enjoy the fun! Many people went just to see the calliope, a steam organ on wheels. When people heard that familiar sound, they knew the circus was in town. For many years, people in Wisconsin have been able to watch an old-time circus parade that lasts around two hours. Before there were cars and trucks, horses pulled the circus wagons from town to town!
LUV U 4 EVR
What kind of horse is your best friend? To find out, color in the squares that contain the letters that appear three or more times. Read the remaining letters from top to bottom, and left to right.
The Main Event
Would you believe that the circus is the oldest horse show in history? Its history goes back thousands of years. Horses were and still are the main attraction at a circus. At most circuses, you can see acrobats who do somersaults on the horses' backs or ride on two horses at once. Many of the horses without riders are so well trained that they seem to know what to do and can be directed by just a nod of the head from a person walking around on the ground!
Sometimes the parade part of a circus is the best part! Horses were used to pull all the wagons containing the performers; in the old days, sometimes there were teams of forty horses. How did all those horses keep in step with each other? Sometimes they didn't. Have you ever seen a team of horses where one horse isn't pulling his own share of the load? Horses have been known to kick or nip the lazy horse!
Even in small towns, horses and riders still continue to lead the parades or have children riding in wagons pulled by huge horses. If you have a horse or know someone with a horse, you may be able to get permission to ride with him in your local parade. Sometimes, in a big city, the horses may be ridden by a police officer who helps keep order along the parade route.
Bareback and Sidesaddle
Sometimes at the circus or in circus parades, you will see people riding sidesaddle or doing stunts on horses that aren't wearing saddles. Ancient people rode horses without a saddle; saddles weren't even invented until around 2,000 years ago! The rider used the horse's mane as a means to climb up on the horse and many people still grab a handful of hair as they swing themselves up into a horse's saddle. Horses don't seem to mind and some people say there is no sensation in their mane or in the horse's tail, either.
Some riders still go bareback for short periods of time, but it is much safer to ride in a saddle. Bronco riders at the rodeo ride bareback and it certainly looks like it is hard to stay on that horse without a saddle!
If you were a girl and lived many years ago, it was considered unladylike to wear pants and ride with your legs hanging down on either side of your horse. Women were supposed to wear skirts and sit in a special saddle that let them keep both legs on one side of a horse. Imagine a saddle with only one stirrup and a big knob to hook your leg around. It would be harder to control your horse and you wouldn't be able to press with your leg on the right side to tell the horse what to do, so riders must use a little whip and tap it on that side. Some girls still use sidesaddles and wear skirts for certain events.
What am I?
What am I?
Depending on how formal you want to be, you could call me Barbara or Babs. Although I can be found in several other places now, originally I only lived in very warm climates.What am I?
Ride on the Side
If you get the chance, try to ride sidesaddle sometime. To see what it might feel like, try sitting on a chair sideways all through supper, getting up and sitting down, always using only that side.
A Good Match
Here's a matching game where you take six horse pictures, tape them on six recipe cards, cut the cards in half and then turn them all face down on the floor. Now try to find two ends that match by looking at any two cards at a time. The person with the most matches at the end wins.