Hundreds of riders come to Volcán from all over the province of Chiriquí with their beautiful horses. I was told that the Tierras Altas region doesn’t have a favorite breed (like, for instance, the affection in Vermont for the Morgan); I saw a predominance of Arabians, thoroughbreds, and paints, some Palominos, and one or two examples of just about every other breed. Nearly all appeared to be well cared for; I saw only one that needed to be briskly curried, and another that was frothing and trying to throw her bit, a sure sign that the wrong bit was used or that it wasn’t fitted properly.
The riders were of all ages and both genders. Most appeared to be Panamanians, but I saw one gringo, one Asian girl, and a few Native Americans mixed in (probably hired hands). I loved seeing children, as many as three, seated in front of their parents on the same horse, and one proud little boy all alone on his own small horse!
Everyone was clearly enjoying the event, including the crowd of people lining the main road in Volcán, the various entrepreneurs selling fried chicken or second-hand hats, and the dozen dozens of riders. At one point I kissed Andrea’s hand, and some young guys behind us started whistling with amusement, to tease us old folks for being romantic. So I turned and announced to the people around us that now our secret relationship was out and my honor was sullied. Everyone laughed.
As the parade wound down we did the traditional “promenade”, walking down the street looking for friends and relatives to visit with, past the parked cars with huge stereo speakers blasting bad music into the street while people with situational hearing loss stood around drinking beer.
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