Monday, December 22, 2008

Celebrating Christmas at the barn

This is the first time I have felt like I'm part of a barn at Christmastime. (Last Christmas I had just moved to a new barn, and although that barn — before the manager changed — turned out to be like one big happy family, the first barn I was at never had that feeling of cohesiveness.)

I decided I wanted to do something nice for everyone (and their horses) at the barn this Christmas. To that end, I bought cheap stockings at Target — the ones that are made out of colored batting and are very plain — to decorate. I also bought brown felt, which I've cut into horseshoe shapes, and bright red thread, for sewing a horseshoe onto each stocking. Each horse's name will be written along the top of his or her stocking with red 3-D paint.

Of course, the stockings are more for the owners than the horses, since the horses really don't care about stuff like that. What they do care about is treats, so I'll be making homemade peppermint horse treats to fill each stocking.

I decided to make the very last recipe on this list of homemade horse treats, because it was the only recipe that didn't call for crushed peppermints. Hard candy contains gelatin, which is made from animal keratin, i.e., cow and horse bones and hooves. Since my horse is not a carnivore and certainly not a cannibal, I didn't think he would appreciate snacking on his less fortunate friends. (I'm also leaving out the food coloring.)

I'm in the middle of making the stockings now, and I'll be making the treats sometime in the next couple of days. Christmas at the barn is going to be so much fun!

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