Parade fan favorite talks about special bond with horses - KPTV - FOX 12

Parade fan favorite talks about special bond with horses

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MOLALLA, OR (KPTV) -

Thousands of people will gather in Portland next month for the annual Grand Floral Parade, which is a big part of the Portland Rose Festival.

On top of all the bands and floats, there's one particular performer that is always a fan favorite, organizers said.

Pedro Munoz Sanchez and his dancing Friesians have been performing at the parade for more than 10 years. They've been up and down the West Coast, Mexico and Canada to take part in private parties, exhibitions and parades.

For Munoz, performing is more than just putting on a good show. It's about all the work that goes into getting to know each horse on a personal level.

Inside his barn that sits on 40 acres of land just outside Molalla, he unbraids his horses' manes, brushes them and cleans them. It's a long, tedious process getting them ready for a big show, he said.

"It's not only training the horses," Munoz said. "Keep them nice looking."

Munoz's passion for horses started as a young boy in Mexico. It was work back then, he said. But after taking a trip to Spain roughly 15 years ago, it became something special.

"I see all the fancy stuff that they're doing there, and it's really interesting to do those things with the horses," Munoz said. 

For the past several decades, Munoz has put on his fancy suits and amazed audiences all along the West Coast.

He spends weeks, months, even years to train each horse to do special tricks, including passage. It looks as if the horse is skipping.

"You nervous, they're nervous," Munoz said. "You comfortable, you make them comfortable. They're really sensitive. They feel everything."

Munoz said the key is to make sure he understands each horse's needs, what they enjoy, what they don't. It helps build a bond that's hard to break, he said.

"Some days you feel really good," Munoz said. "Sometimes you feel really down. They're the same way."

Munoz said he enjoys seeing all the smiles out in the audience. For him, it's a feeling you just can't beat.

"When I perform, I see people really excited. That is my payment," Munoz said.

Munoz told FOX 12 that he doesn't have a favorite trick to perform. He just gets enjoyment out of seeing what each horse likes to do.

You can see Munoz and his horses up close during the Grand Floral Parade on June 8. It begins at 10 a.m.

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