Dear Santa,

How are you? I hope you had a pleasant summer holiday and Mrs. Claus recovered from last year’s bout of cheer-induced exhaustion. Have you given any thought to my proposal to supplement your Air Fleet with horse-drawn ground support? It could efficiently handle more urban areas, allowing you and the reindeer to focus on distant rural outposts. Anyway, keep us in mind. I have a full team of well-conditioned volunteers eager for some world travel experience.

I suppose I should get down to the business at hand. As has been our custom, I’ve collected the Holiday Wishes from each of the residents here and compiled them into one list. There are a lot of books again this year, Santa—we’re a cerebral bunch!

Allessandro (gray Andalusian with “big” mane, first stall on left): black saddle pad, black polo wraps, a copy of Lorenzo and Gallop to Freedom

Inga (big brown mare with star and snip, midway down, left side): jeweled browband, new quarter sheet (royal blue preferred), a copy of Kottas on Dressage and Women Are from Venus and So Are Their Horses

Zip (bay Quarter Horse, white face, first stall on right): show halter with lots of silver, tiger-striped slinky, copy of The Modern Horseman’s Countdown to Broke (he prefers the DVD set) and Lessons Well Learned

Midge (pinto Mini next to Zip): one of those big bags of carrots, a copy of Mini School

Salute (tall, skinny Thoroughbred, four white socks, right side): a gift certificate for a massage, a copy of Better than Bombproof and Beyond the Track

Jessup (palomino-colored Walking Horse, last stall on the left): a bit that doesn’t pinch, a copy of The Gaited Horse Bible, organic sweet feed

Trinket (chestnut Arab, second stall on right): New soft brush, baby oil, a copy of Trick Training for Horses

Jack Flash (grumpy pony at the far end on the right): Peppermints and a copy of The Little Red Riding Book

As for me, I’d be happy with one of those round rubber curry combs with all the nubby thingies—oh, and maybe the WEG Show Jumping Highlights DVD to help pass the time on those long, cold nights in January.

Thanks, Santa!

Cheers, Buster Bay and the Crew at the TSB Stable