By Arneth Beck, Reporter
On Sunday morning, Dec. 12, riders and horses gathered at Legacy Farm and Stables in Loon Lake, preparing for their annual day of caroling around the community on horseback. Steam rose up into the air from the heat of the horses. Soft neighs and snorts created a melody of their own while the riders brushed, saddled and bridled their mounts.
A parade of horses with their riders strode out of the barn, in single file. The riders decorated their horses with bells, blankets, hats, lights, and other holiday accessories. They gathered together in a section of the arena as they waited for others to get ready. Everyone seemed eager and excited to sing carols on horseback. This is an event that the riders of Legacy have been doing for roughly fifteen years. Some riders even travel from Spokane to ride at this stable and participate in this day’s event. Joyce Morgan, the owner of Legacy Farm and Stables, has made this a tradition.
This year something special was added to their serenade parade. Tecla and Mark Speed hauled their M-T Loft Hay wagon from Ford to join in the singing and horse fun. The wagon was pulled by a team of two brabant horses, named Axle and Curly. “We’ve had the big horses for five years, but we aren’t commercial,” Tecla said. They have the big team for fun, and for doing things at home like sledding in the winter months. “This is our first time coming to Legacy Farm and Stable to do this,” she said.
With the giant steeds hooked up, and riders mounted, their posse began the holiday caroling adventure. They started at Legacy Farm and Stables, located off highway 292 in Loon Lake, and turned onto McVay Road, crossing the train tracks and beginning their songs as they strode through the neighborhood. They made a pit stop at All Seasons then continued on their way to the next neighborhood, passing by Loon Lake Elementary and singing all the way to Loon Lake Acres. Their last stop was Loon Lake Saloon.
The weather wasn’t the best on the day this event took place – the sky was a little overcasted with a slight, harsh cold breeze – but that didn’t stop the riders from singing their hearts out. Everyone was given a pamphlet with the list of song lyrics to sing. There was laughter as many mumbled through verses they didn’t know, but regardless, it was a cheerful sound that put smiles on everyone that came to listen. They sang twelve different songs along the route. The classics like ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ ‘Let it Snow,’ ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer,’ and ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas.’ were sung the most frequently. Even the harsh winter breeze seemed to stop its howling and listen to the harmony of both horse and rider, and the sun came out.
There were fourteen horseback riders while many more people rode in the wagon being pulled by the strong team, and others rode on bales of straw on a wagon being hauled by a truck. All the horses behaved wonderfully, which made the event go very smoothly. The mustang there was 39 years old! There was also a tiny pony named Pumpkin that had to trot along to keep up with his bigger friends; he even went up a few steps to visit a woman in a wheelchair at one of the stops.
Riders of all ages; adults to young children being ponied on the pony, rode along for the fun. Ava, who is a newer rider at Legacy Farm and Stable and at her first caroling ride, told me about the trails they ride, which we passed by, and about the bay mare she rides named Ladybug. Devaney and her daughter started riding last summer. Her daughter rides what seems to be the more famous bay pony, Ladybug, and her mother rides a black horse named Carlton.
If you would like to listen and watch a serenade parade of horses and riders, you can mark your calendars for next December! They have made this a yearly tradition, and they surely count on doing this again come next winter. If you would like to join in on horse fun, you can check out Legacy Farm and Stables at their Facebook page or website.
Reporter’s note: I would like to give my thanks to all the riders and the owner, Joyce, and co-owner, Dawn, for giving me a great welcome. They treated me as if I were family and that I belonged there. Special thanks to the team that came out and offered their wagon for non-horse riders to still join in on the fun! Also another mention of thanks is for everyone that answered all my pestering questions. I must say, it brought a smile to my face to have the chance to ride in a horse-drawn wagon while singing ‘Sleigh Ride’ with a group of great people that I had only met that day. And when they weren’t singing, they were exchanging horsey jokes. I’ll share one with you, “Why couldn’t the pony sing well?” “He was a little hoarse.”
Wishing everyone, four-legged as well, happy holidays and cheers to a new year!