1. Remember that last year, horse tried to murder you because you got her reindeer antlers on a headband. Shiver with fear as you recall her hooves flying towards you. Decided that perhaps a headband is not the way to go this year.
|The face of a mare that is SO mad that mom put antlers on her|
2. Scrounge up random Santa & elf hats that you bought at some point in the past few years. Don't bother trying to adapt them for a horse's head, assume that her ears will hold the hat in place.
3. Both free lunge and ride your crazy horse to try to tire her out. When she is being a bit of a terror even after riding her, just commit to this. You want the holiday photos, don't you!
|Casey being insane while being free-lunged|
|Still crazy while under saddle|
|Believe it or not I was not asking for haunches-out here|
|I guess that's one way to do a trot-canter transition?|
4. Untack and brush your horse. Don't bother to do a great job, because you know that she hates to be brushed and so if you spend a lot of time trying to make her gleaming and perfect, all you've really done is fueled her rage for the past half hour.
5. Shove all of the cookies possible into your pockets. ALL OF THE COOKIES. You will need these as horse is a cookie-monster. Offering her a cookie is the only way to get her to behave and calm down if she decides the freak out, so be prepared.
6. Bring your horse to the outdoor arena. The background is not very pretty (jumps and such), but you NEED the fencing so that if horse decides to take off and try to murder you again this year, you can just let her go without dying.
7. Put the hat on the horse's head. Surprisingly it manages to stay on (told you the ears thing would work). Quickly realize that there is no way you will be able to get a photo of the horse without you also being in the shot, so throw a hat on yourself as well. Nevermind that you are not dressed in holiday clothing of any sort, commit to the experience.
|The ears hold the hat in place!|
|Of course she managed to pull off her best alpaca impression on the only photo I got of her by herself...|
8. Shove your horse's face full of cookies. Don't give her any time to realize what you have done to her, if she has cookies she'll be happy. Also make her "smile" for the camera.
|Take the cookies and don't kill us all!|
|Smiling for the camera. Also note our very lovely background...|
9. Realize that as amazing as the photos will be with your horse, they could be even better with two fuzzy animals! Grab your dog (who is terrified of your horse), shove a much-too-big hat on his head and make him pose as well. Ignore the fear in his eyes, it just brings a nice gleam to them.
|Nothing like a little bit of fear to make a great family portrait!|
10. Process photos after the fact. Start crying laughing at how silly they are. Bug your husband who is trying to study for his law school finals with your hysterics and attempts to show him the photos!
|Ok mare, we get it, you're adorable|
|The cutest little Santa I've ever seen|