For once I am well ahead of the game. That is, if the game is the 2016 Christmas Horse Parade in Lisbon, then I am well ahead of it. But the big news is that it is back — WITH HORSES — and it looks to be as big as, or bigger, than it was before.

Last year, well, something happened. Who knows what does not matter but the parade held on with a tractor parade and vendors. They carried on in fine style and bought time for a reorganization. The time they bought made all the difference.


This year there will be horses again, 150 entries worth of horses! Each horse is an entry and that means that if you have a 20 horse company you need to get your entries in soon because they have 60 entries already. The price is $25 per horse/entry and that counts for carriages — they already have some carriages — horses, got them too, and mules, yup, some mules already signed up!

The activities start with the horse parade at 3:30 p.m. There will be a break of about 15 minutes after that which will be filled with Christmas type things, carolers and such, and then the tractor parade starts after that — if you are interested in entering the tractor parade, read on. There will be a vendor village this year and it will have lots of folks with fun stuff for kids — Christmas is really a kid thing after all. There will be lots of last minute things for adults too. of course. And you can still apply to be a vendor.

If you want to know more about this new form of Christmas Horse Parade you can go to or to find out about this event.

From its web page we learn that the "the Lisbon Christmas Parade has raised over $40,000 for programs to help alleviate want in our community.

"On Thursday, May 19, 2016, The Great Lisbon FARMERS FEED THE HUNGRY Christmas Parade Committee presented donation checks to the Howard County and Carroll County Food Banks, the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department and the Maryland chapter of Farmers & Hunters Feed the Hungry.

"$2,500 was presented to each food bank, while $1,500 was presented LVFD and FHFH. According to Edward Leister for the Carroll County Food Bank (Carroll County Food Sunday), the Lisbon Christmas Parade donation has consistently been the second largest donation received each year since the parade began."

As you can see this is not only a fun and very "Christmas-y" thing to do but it counts a great deal to your communities as well.

On to more courant items. On Sept. 16-18, Caroline and Mike Krome's Persimmon Tree Farm on Bloom Road in Westminster will be hosting the George Morris Clinic. For those who ride at a certain level that is enough to say and it could well be left right there.

For those to whom this is news it needs to be said that this is an educational possibility of rare distinction. I can remember going to watch this clinic and taking with me a photographer who did not ride horses except as a naive passenger. She took pictures all day and said to me as we left, "That's it! I am going to learn to ride. Really ride! That man just puts the idea of riding well into your mind like a beacon!"

There have been, at a guess, several thousands who have seen George Morris at work in a clinic and gone away with that same enlightened attitude. Mr. Morris is not to blame if it did not continue at the level at which it entered the lives of those who watched but he certainly is the one who opened the shutters of their mind's eye and allowed the light to shine in.

The clinic itself is full. There are auditor spaces left; they are available for $80 a day, including snacks and an always lovely lunch. Being handed a tasty lunch is always a good thing but having it on the exquisitely kept grounds of Persimmon Tree raises it to a treat in itself.

There will be three sections designated by fence height. The 2-foot-6, 3 feet, and 3-6 heights are only somewhat indicative of the difficulties to be encountered in those divisions for riders who thought they were doing awfully well as they were.

New this year is the book signing sale for Mr. Morris' brand new autobiography. He will also sign copies of his other books but the $35 signed autobiography will likely be the best Christmas present ever for those dedicated riders on your own Christmas list. You can call Persimmon Tree Farm for times and more details on all of the above at 410-876-8645.