I know there is not much to admire about the Marlboro Man. After all, these iconic cowboys were used to advertise cigarettes but I was too young to know about smoking back then and I just loved them because they were cowboys. They were ruggedly handsome men with sharply chiseled features and strong jaw lines and all decked out like cowboys. But what I loved the most was the ads that would show up at Christmas time. Then the Marlboro Man would be out on his horse, traipsing through fresh powder. High up in the Rockies. I even remember one ad where he went up into the forest to cut down an evergreen tree to bring it down to the ranch for Christmas. Then there would be the big Budweiser Clydesdales, pulling their beer wagon, with their bells jingling. And, lately, Wells-Fargo advertisements showing their horses pulling the stage coach, the emblem of the banking conglomerate, through the snow. But the heck with what they are advertising! I simply cannot get over the beauty of seeing horses in the snow. As a horse lover, you have not felt the yuletide stir your heart until you go out on a Christmas day, swing your leg over a horse, and go off riding in the snow. For me it evokes all the mystery and adventure of the West. Jeremiah Johnson. The great horsemen of the First Nations. To me that image of plowing through snow, a sheepskin coat pulled tight around you, your hat pulled down low, as you lean into the wind and the falling snow, with the warm light of a cabin in the distance. Well, that epitomizes the warmth of family, Christmas, and our fellow creatures.

Peace on Earth, Have a wonderful holidays and a Happy New Year. See you in 2017.

The Wells Fargo Bank’s horses making their way through the snow.

 

The Budweiser Clydesdale, immaculately decked out for a Christmas beer run.

 

Look past the cigarettes for a moment and consider the scene of a cowboy leading his horse through the snow.