Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth of July! Now please, pass the potato salad...

Tomorrow is the big whoop-tee-do holiday and I'm planning to get up really early and ride before it gets too hot. But then, what would Fourth of July in Southern California be without triple-digit temperatures? Once Wally has his after-ride shower and is tucked away, out of the afternoon sun in his "cabana," I'll begin the task of preparing my annual Tub of Potato Salad. Yes, that's right: I can easily morph from trail riding/stall mucking/tack-cleaning horsewoman to Queen of the Kitchen... as long as it doesn't involve baking cookies. I simply cannot bake a decent batch of cookies, but that's a topic for a different sort of blog. Or therapy.

The potato salad will then be shuttled down to our neighbor's house, where the festivities begin about 5:00. Since we all either own horses, ride horses or appreciate horses, the conversation often leads to something about horses, which is nice. Nothing like grazing my way through a potluck supper while discussing recent trends in horseshoeing or the most effective paste de-wormer.

Once the sun sets and we've all consumed our fill of guacamole and... potato salad... and whatever gets grilled on the barbecue, most of us will head off to the community park which hosts the annual fireworks extravaganza. One year a pinwheel ran amuck and flew into the crowd of spectators, briefly creating havoc, but I believe that technical advances in securing pinwheels to posts have increased since then (i.e., use a bigger nail). So I doubt that'll happen again.

Fortunately, Wally isn't bothered by the various displays of fireworks in our area. Due to the danger of fires starting in our dry foothills, fireworks are illegal around here, except in organized, official displays at parks and stadiums. Nonetheless, Wally can still hear the "boom!" and see the high-flying pyrotechnical displays as they ascend into the nightsky. Wally being Wally, I think he actually enjoys the show. And why not? Horses played a big part in America's war for independence. You can read about some of the horsey historical trivia I researched in this short article on Horse Channel:
Horses That Helped America Gallop to Freedom

Now go get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July. And think of me, elbow deep in chopped red potatoes and pickle relish.


Anonymous said...

My mare Emma is at a barn where my friend's husband owns and races a race car so she is used to loud noises. She is black so she goes out into the field at night and ejoys the stars in the sky so the fireworks just are more sparkles in the sky.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. How sad that a tribute to independance and the horse appears on the site below an article about the BLM proposing euthanasia of wild mustangs.

Kristen Hassen said...

Hi Cindy,

I love your articles in Horse Illustrated. I am a trainer in Ohio and I have been trying to break into the equine publishing world.

My website is

I would very much like to correspond with you and ask you a few questions. I am finding the switch from training to writing about training to be complicated and frustrating. My email address is

I am sure you are an incredibly busy person, but if you get a chance, please send me an email. Thanks so much!


Anonymous said...

My horses are often a part in Independence Day parties! We invite family over to our house (our horses are stabled at home) and have a party. All the little kids are given pony rides, which is always the highlite of the day. I wounder what my horses would think of snacking on potato salad?

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy, I'm your fan from Italy Francesca!
I still miss "life with horses" on HI... even if there is this wonderful blog your column on the magazine was my favorite one (and I also still miss Moira...)
anyway, I would be curious about the recipe of your potato salad! you know we eat so much pasta here that I would like to try something new and "exotic" from the pacific coast...

Cindy Hale said...

I did indeed post my potato salad recipe on my blog today. I always liked bringing along my own lunch at horse shows or lengthy trail rides, so perhaps you can use it on your next big horse event.

I agree that it's a sad contrast when we're celebrating horses' contribution to our country's history... while also considering euthanizind the mustangs. There has to be a better way, don't you think?

casinositehotcom said...

This is a wonderful write-up.