Smitty Acts as Santa's "Elf Appaloosa"

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Smitty made his public debut yesterday, as the "greeter" for the Appaloosa Museum's annual Christmas open house. We are fortunate to live just a few miles from the museum and adjoining Appaloosa Horse Club, and always find the open house to be a big smile-maker.

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This event is made for kids, but savored by adults. There's just nothing like the expressions of children who may be encountering a real horse for the very first time in their lives.

Every year, throngs of area children arrive for Santa's arrival on a saddled Appaloosa, plus games, refreshments, and the chance to frost and decorate cookies in the Appaloosa color pattern of their choice. (You gotta love those Appaloosas in the green-and-red-sprinkle pattern.)

Santa's Appaloosa, Shadow, stands patiently in the rear picnic area for any child who wants to climb aboard. There's a lot of picture-taking, and a lot of impressions being etched, at this hometown holiday event.

Smitty, I must say, was just as good as he could have been--curious but calm, and very, very patient with all the petting and picture-posing. And, he was just like a magnet! He was mobbed for his entire two-hour stay.

The pavement was too slick for him to have been unloaded out into the parking lot, so we just?pulled the trailer right up to the museum's front door, dropped the windows so Smitty could look out, and set up some steps to assist the little ones in being able to get right up to him.

We set up holiday decorations and goodies alongside the trailer, but I don't think anyone noticed. They just couldn't take their eyes off the "elf Appaloosa" with his head poked out the window!

Someday, Smitty may have to take over for Shadow as Santa's Appaloosa--some big horseshoes to fill there, for sure! Yesterday, I think he got off to a real good start, showing "App-ti-tude" for the job.

See more photos from the day here.