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Christmas Horse Rides Again

By Staff | Dec 23, 2015

Photo by Miles Layton Christmas horse rides again: Seven-year-old Emily Shimp of Pine Grove pets Zigger, who along with his owner Robyn Yeager, took a 10 mile loop around Pine Grove on Saturday to spread little Christmas cheer again for another year. Yeager handed out more than 40 bags of candy to boys and girls near and far during the ride that has become a holiday tradition in this neck of the woods.

Snow covered the ground and temperature was a balmy 34 degrees, but that didn’t deter Robyn Yeager’s Christmas spirit as she rode her Zigger through Pine Grove.

“Our town didn’t have a Christmas parade, but that didn’t stop Zigger and me from riding,” said Yeager soon after the pair took a brief stopover Saturday afternoon at the Valley Diner along Route 20. “People toot their horns and wave. This ride puts people in the Christmas spirit.”

Yeager was dressed as Santa, though she wore a green helmet on her head instead of the red stocking-style cap that is the big man’s familiar trademark. Zigger, who bears a striking resemblance to General George Patton’s white horse, was very tame to touch.

“I love horses,” said Emily Shimp, 7, of Pine Grove, who petted the horse of course. The little girl smiled when Yeager gave her a bag of Christmas candy. Zigger, whose right eye is blue and left eye is deep brown, nodded his long head.

“He likes kids,” Yeager said. “We have about 40 bags of treats that we’ll give out during our ride.”

Yeager said she rescued the 20-year-old horse more than 15 years ago from someone who didn’t appreciate the animal. Since that time, the pair have traveled more than 12,250 miles together and made many 10 mile loops around Pine Grove during the holiday season to dispense cheer.

“We knew Zigger would be out here in advance,” said Shimp’s mother, Amanda.

Cars tooted their horns as they saw Yeager and Zigger march along Route 20 that the Shimp family suggested was annual ride that everyone knows about in Pine Grove.

“People ask, ‘Can I pet your horse?'” Yeager said. “They pet Zigger. It’s a good experience for everyone. A lot of times, the older people enjoy it as much as the younger ones.”