Anyone who’s seen the TV show “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe” on the Discovery Channel knows there’s some hard work involved in even the simplest of pleasures.
Cleaning up after one of the favorite attractions in any parade is one of those dirty jobs, but, hey, someone has to do it.
Most everyone enjoys watching horses as they participate in a parade, but not everyone may want to deal with what they typically leave behind. Equine entries into Waxahachie-held parades know, however, that’s one of the requirements to participate. Before they leave, they have to clear their staging area of any reminders they’ve been there.
“I’m a horse person so manure doesn’t really bother me,” said Julie Hinz, outgoing president of the Ellis County Equine Association.
While picking up after their horses may be something owners don’t mind doing, some of them do opt to let someone else do it when they can.
“Usually our husbands get to do it,” said Doris Himelrick, a member of the Bluebonnet Arabian Club. “We usually let the husbands do the fun part.”
Still, the majority of owners don’t mind picking up after their four-hoofed friends or the horses owned by somebody else.
“Everyone in our group picks up after our horses,” said Gloria Michael, a member of the Cedar Hill Saddle Club. “One year I picked up for some other people because they didn’t know they were responsible for it.”
The groups are responsible for picking up the “horse patties” in their loading and unloading areas, but they declined the opportunity Wednesday to dodge traffic and pick up after the horses along the Crape Myrtle Festival parade route, which stretched from College Street to Getzendaner Park.
“I am not going to fight traffic to pick (the horse droppings) up,” Hinz said. “I don’t think it matters on the public roads. It will dissipate and it’s just recycled grass anyway.”
The city had a problem with people not picking up after their horses in the past, Hinz said.
“A few years ago we got a letter telling us to pick up after our horses or they won’t be allowed in the parade next year,” Hinz said. “This is the only parade I have been involved with to make a deal out of it.”
There wasn’t going to be a problem with cleaning up after this year’s event though because all three organizations came prepared with buckets, shovels and pitchforks.