Today was posse deployment for Flash and me. After his sensory experience in San Diego two weeks ago, where he had to be next to Jackson all the time, I wasn't sure how he would be. I decided before we left that I wouldn't worry about leaving at a certain time, finding a place to park, getting him tacked up in the posse gear, or all the sensory he would be exposed to. If it wasn't so early in the morning, (leaving at 0700), I would have had a glass of wine first. The bottom line was that I was relaxed and guess what? So was Flash.
The deployment today was at a regional park in Chino, California. Every year at this time, Civil War buffs do a reenactment of famous battles fought during the Civil War. These reenactments are held at various times throughout the US. Those participating really get authentic with the dress, way of life, living style etc. of the 1860's. There are Union camps and Southern camps, horses on picket lines, army tents from the period, farriers with old forges, and soldiers that look as if they actually fought in the Civil War. There was even one person there that looked exactly like "Buffalo Bill". Along with this are about 500 Boy Scouts camping in tents for the weekend waiting for their "history lesson". And spectators, maybe 2,000. Mothers with baby strollers and umbrellas, dogs on and off leashes, ATV's racing around, airplanes flying overhead, and kids, hundreds of kids; all with cap guns or rifles, running along side of the horses shooting at them. Oh, did I mention all the vendors? Period flags being sold everywhere, food stands, "easy ups" every 10 feet, people trams driving back and forth, music on loud speakers playing "When Johnny comes marching home". Also the marching drums of the Union soldiers as we rode by were somewhat distracting.
There was 9 of us today from the posse. We split into two groups, or so we tried. When the first group of 5 left to go one direction, the second group of 4, (which was my group), were supposed to go the other direction. Flash and Scout were the lead horses, but Scout was not too brave today. Scout insisted on going with the other horses, and it wasn't until Flash took command and went the other direction that Scout decided to join. The only time Flash spooked was when the door of a motor home that we were walking by flew open, and a miniature dog jumped out. Flash just planted his feet and I laughed at him, told him he was a bad dance partner.
All the horses did really well. The main sensory event was when the reenactment of the battle took place in a large grass field, (approximately 3 acres). There were about 12 replica cannon from the period, all of which were firing VERY loud blanks that literally shook the earth when they were set off. There were about 75 Union soldiers backed with a cavalry unit of 6 horses, and about 45 "Rebs". Our posse group was right next to the battlefield, about 75' from the large cannons. The "battle" lasted about an hour with hundreds of musket rounds, (blanks), being fired by the foot soldiers, several cavalry charges with the horses, and about 80 to 100 discharges of the cannon. Smoke hung heavy in the air and the South was finally driven back. The entire battle took place right in front of our horses. We stood in a line on our horses for over an hour, and not once did any of the horses even flinch. Pretty impressive I thought.
It was a very good day for Flash and the posse in general. Absolutely nothing bothered him, other than the motor home dog. And not once did he ask, "where is Jackson"? Just a typical 8 hour day; but we were both glad to get home, me to my wine, and Flash to his herd.