It’s the night before Christmas, we’re out in the barn,haffie-holidays-gypsy
          Blanketing horses to keep them all warm,
          They’re eating their dinners, tucked in cozy stalls,
          Not aware that it’s Christmas, or any special day at all.
          They can dream of spring pastures from their pine-scented beds, 
          No visions of sugarplums dance in their heads.

          But we people are thinking of merry parties and such,
          Maybe feeling a little sad at missing so much.
          This season is special but the horses don’t know,
          We’ve got work to do before we can go.

          We finish the chores and head on inside,haffie-holidays-sherlock-best
          To get ready for dinner and our own yuletide.

          It’s nearly midnight, the carols are sung,
          I remember a story I was told when I was young,
          How at midnight on Christmas Eve,
          The creatures of the barnyard can speak to us with ease.

slick-head          I am called to the barn, I wade through the rain, 
          I know I must go, I can’t really explain,
          I slide open the door, pause for a while,
          Then slowly walk down the dimly lit aisle.

 

          A nicker from Leslie, a wink from Queenie,haffie-holidays-buttercup
          Sleepy little Gypsy waking to see,
          Lu-Rain rustling her bedding, a snort soft and light,
          Each horse gave a greeting as I walked through the night.

          I thought about parties bright lit and warm,  
          The ones we don’t go to ’cause we have the barn,
          And vacations and holidays that we don’t get,
          When we’re working long hours for bills to be met.

          Walking all the way to the end of the aisle,  haffie-holidays-copper-boy
          I stop to stroke Caity, it brings me a smile,
          She snuffles my face, warm breath on my skin,
          It starts me to thinking about my horses, my kin.
          I could be at parties with laughter and mirth,
          But where I am right now is the best place on Earth.

                                             –Author unknown–
                                                –adapted to reflect our horse names–

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Slick Chick "before"

It’s not often that you can see a Haflinger’s ribs.  In fact, we never saw them until we got Slick Chick.  Here’s a picture of Tom holding her when we unloaded her from the trailer.  You can count every rib, hip bone shows up also.  There was a bump on her hind end where the spine and croup join.  Never saw that on a horse either.  Had to ask the vet about that one.

Our vet body scored her at 3.5.  That was where I placed her as well.  But we were told with a good diet, exercise and love, Slick would do okay.

That was the fall of 2004. 

 Today Slick is fat, sassy, and well, just plain beautiful.  We spent the first two years slowly getting her weight up while also teaching her ground manners, doing some desensitizing, and most importantly, giving her lots of love.  She enjoys being groomed, so even while unrideable, she was used regularly in our Girl Scout programs for hands on work.

Aubrey mounts Slick ChickWe are now working with her under saddle. 

She has learned to stand square at the mounting block and not move off until given the signal.

She has a very nice trot and a fast walk.  She is very willing to learn and  will be an asset to our program next year.

 To honor this special horse, we are featuring her in our ornament series.  Each year we create an ornament with one of the horses from Pretty Pony Pastures.  At the end of the Christmas season, the ornament will be retired, making it a great gift and collectible.  The oval ornament is 2.3” wide by 3.25” tall and comes with a red ribbon, ready to be hung on your Christmas tree. 

ornament-sampleOn this year’s ornament, Slick Chick is wearing faux reindeer antlers.

Purchase your Haflinger Christmas ornament at http://www.cafepress.com/p3riding/4096492  All items purchased at this Pretty Pony Pastures Gift Shop support our therapeutic riding program.

If you are looking for love, check out our Love me, Love my Horse section. We love all breeds of horses there http://www.cafepress.com/p3riding/4653896