‘All-around horse’ gets a spot in parade

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 9, 2002

VIDALIA &045; It takes a special kind of horse to march in a parade.

The horse needs to be calm, patient and good-natured, able to put up with noise and excitement, wait through delays and ignore annoyances like flying candy.

All those qualities, said Vidalia resident and horse-owner Kenneth Beamer, come with age.

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&uot;I wouldn’t ride no young horse in no parade,&uot; he said.

But Beamer said he doesn’t have to worry about his 15-year-old quarterhorse Shakon getting spooked or biting a curious child’s fingers.

&uot;He’s very easy,&uot; Beamer said, as he and his wife, Darlene, got Shakon ready for the Natchez Community Christmas Parade Sunday morning in their yard on Riverside Drive.

Beamer, 35, has spent most of his life riding horses. &uot;I’ve had a horse since I was two,&uot; he said.

He bought Shakon five years ago from a man in Fayette, and he said the horse has been one of his favorites.

Beamer said Shakon is just as comfortable riding in a parade as he is on a hunt or just moseying down a quiet wooded trail.

&uot;He’s an all-around horse,&uot; Beamer said. &uot;He’ll do anything.&uot;

And while Shakon was quite relaxed as his owners decorated him with Christmas bells and strings of tinsel, Beamer said the old horse still has enough energy for goat and cattle roping at the occasional rodeo.

&uot;He’s a good horse,&uot; Beamer said, and gave Shakon an affectionate pat before getting back to preparing for his afternoon ride.