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.”