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Santa back in the saddle

Jackson Bell

For one day, Santa Claus traded in his reindeer for a horse in order

to sing for the needy.

Santa, joined by more than a dozen other equestrians, paraded


through residential streets bordering Burbank and Glendale on Sunday

as part of Equestrian Trails Inc.'s annual Christmas Caroling Ride.

Singing riders collected packaged food from residents along the way

to benefit the Burbank Temporary Aid Center.


“It was really an old-fashioned Christmas celebration,” said Lynn

Brown, vice president of the local Equestrian Trails chapter.

“It’s homey, and it is simply people decorating their own horses

and giving pleasure to their own neighborhood,” Brown said. “It’s not

some big, slick corporate event, just some people’s goodwill in

enjoying the spirit.”

The ride, which started at the Bar S Stables near Allen Avenue and

Riverside Drive, featured horses wearing antlers, sleigh bells and


bows. Led by a truck full of carolers, the four-mile ride paraded

through streets along Riverside Drive and Main Street, stopping

briefly to serenade residents at Beverly Manor Nursing Home.

Two riders handed out candy canes from their saddlebags to locals

who donated packaged food for the needy. The ride collected about 100

food donations, Brown said.

Over the past 10 years, the ride has become a tradition, and Brown

said it’s not unusual for seniors in wheelchairs to come out and


listen to the carolers.

“They like it because they’re usually forgotten about, and when

carolers go to the trouble of showing up in something as unusual as

horses in costume, it is really heartwarming,” she said. “They are

always happy and smiling and waving when we show up.”