Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Believe in Santa Claus and Arabian Horses, of course......

I've gotten behind trying to get everything ready for my family to arrive today, so didn't really get the post prepared today that I was planning on. So instead I'm going to post some pictures of Scandalous Rhythm playing in the snow. He was the first chestnut born on my Arabian horse breeding farm and was also the first colt born in our third season of foals by my stallion, Scandalous Legacy. In coming posts I'll be sharing Rhythm's story.

Also in this post, I'm going to include a touching story I received in an email early this week. This is what Santa Claus has always meant to me.

In addition to the story, I'm including my recipe for bran mash. It's a great treat for Arabian horses (or any other horses as well) at Christmas time, or cold winter nights or just plain for a treat! I use this mash for my mares after they have foaled.


I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she
snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been
going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.

That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby
Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

The bran mash is pretty simple. I like it to be a bit on the soupy side so keep that in mind when adding water. I put a feed scoop of bran and a feed scoop of whole or crimped oats into a very large pan. If you don't have a pan large enough to accommodate this, you can cut down the portions of bran and oats but keep them equal. Add two big apples chopped, four to six chopped carrots and 3/4 cup of molasses ( I do not measure, I glug!) . Cover with water and heat. Stirring constantly until hot.

Serve hot!!!!

Sometimes when a horse is first introduced to this mash, they'll wait for it to completely cool before eating, but once they've learned what a treat this is, they love it hot.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. I hope you have had a Wonderful Christmas MiKael! And have a very good new year too!

  2. Thanks for the great story - that's what it's all about. :)
    Hope you had a great holiday with your family!

  3. I am scared of horses but I can look at your photo's and really admire Scandalous as magnificent.

    Loved the story you told. That is magical. I believe in the magic of passing good deeds forward.

    And I voted for you too!

    I also have a question :-)

    How do you choose the names for your horses? It must be difficult yet you have chosed such fab names.

  4. I am an old man and can remember many Bobby Deckers in my time. I was also one of him. And I never got a coat and we never had a Christmas tree or a dinner. We were poor people but my dad did get me an orange once and gave it to me on a day they called, Christmas. I loved it. That was the only Christmas present my parents ever gave me or I ever got.

    I got tears in my eyes for your story about the coat and about your grandma. A wonderful story and I read every word.

    Most people don't know what a "scoop" is or the size of it. I have scooped lots of scoops of oats and things in my time but you might want to tell everyone about how much a scoop is.

    Loved your post today. It brought back lots of memories of simple times.

  5. Merry Christmas. Thanks for a wonderful year of stories.
    I'll use your mash recipe today.

  6. GREAT post! Love the story and I'm so glad to hear another adult believes in Santa as well! :D

  7. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas...those photos of Scandalous Rhythm are beautiful!

  8. Here's to you from another firm believer in Santa. I've been noticing your posts for a few weeks now and decided to visit. Great stories!

  9. Wonderful stories MiKael. I hope you are feeling better. I am struggling a bit :-(

    We have had beautiful weather which is a bonus though. I will definitely print out your mash recipe and see if it will do the trick with my mares when they have foals again. Sounds yummy LOL.

    Loved the Christmas story. ((((Hugs)))))


  10. Rachelle, I hope you had a great Christmas too! And that your move goes as planned!!

    arthist99, I hope you had a great holiday as well.

    kahless, thanks for commenting here. I'm sorry that horses scare you. They are such amazing animals, I love sharing them with others.

    I try to chose names that tell something about the horse. Its look, personality, history, something that makes sense to me. Rhythm got his name because of his irregular markings on his legs.

    Abraham, I am sorry that you had to live through such hardship as a child. I have heard many stories about the Great Depression.

    I'm known for using a three pound coffee can in place of a scoop. But the size of the scoop isn't as important as having a pan large enough to cook it in. So to start off, I experimented with what would fit in my pot! LOL

    molly, you're welcome. I've so appreciated you being one of my regular readers! Thank you for that!

    Let me know how she likes her mash!!

    equinespirit, I believe alright. This story is what Santa means to me for sure!

    barn goddess, we had a nice Christmas, at least I didn't get tires or pots and pans. LOL, what was your hubs thinking??

    Rhythm is such a fun horse. Wish I had pictures of him playing with his barrel. You wouldn't believe it. He can figure out a game with just about anything and that's what he was doing in the snow.

    VintageP, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Hope you come back.

    lori, sorry that you aren't feeling well. I hope you don't have the same crude that I have had, it's been hanging on forever.

    With the mash it's ok to up the amount of the molasses to encourage them to eat it at first. Some people don't like to give their horses that kind of sugar so I put the amount on the light size. With mine, I go up and down depending on the mare.