off to see a man about a horse.

We open our presents on Christmas Eve, it’s a European Catholic thing. You have to open up those toys so you can hurry off to Midnight Mass at the local cathedral! We don’t go to Midnight Mass, but we have kept the tradition of opening presents early; it’s all about priorities, and clearly ours are in order.

This year when Viktor handed out the presents he whispered in my ear *you’re going to kill me when you see what I got Precocious*. He was right, I did want to kill him. I still do.

First, she unwrapped a halter. Then, a lead rope.

I think I was in denial until Precocious started screaming at the top of her lungs. She understood perfectly.

*Daddy, you bought me a horse! You got Reuben!*

Yes, daddy did in fact buy Reuben for Precocious.

Oh my.

We have a good friend who grew up on a ranch in small town Utah with horses. He couldn’t say goodbye to them when he moved to the *big city*, so he brought a handful of them to live in a pasture near his house. He’s been kind enough to let us ride his horses on a regular basis since Precocious was old enough to walk, and we all fell in love.

There was one horse in particular Precocious fell in love with, broke {taught him to tolerate humans on his back}, and nursed back to health after an injury. Reuben. Like the sandwich.

When our friend offered Reuben up for sale Viktor *had* to buy him. Precocious would be heartbroken otherwise.

Never mind the fact that I asked Santa for a horse every year for Christmas as soon as I was old enough to be cognizant of the animal. We don’t want Precocious to be heartbroken like I was.

We all love Reuben.

Especially me.

Merry Christmas to me, 25 years too late?

I’m trying not to think about the fact that we still don’t have a living room floor and we’re going to be feeding a pet that weighs several hundred pounds.

Ever heard the phrase *eats like a horse*? Me too. At least this one stays outside. For now.

{photos by Nicole Carman Photography}

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Kalli Ko :

    best dad ever

    so awesome

  2. Sarah :

    What kid actually gets a horse! I think we all ask for a pony for every birthday and Christmas and just figure Santa couldn't fit it into his sleigh. What a lucky girl!

  3. Naomi :

    Wow! Way to go, dad…

    So does Reuben live in your yard?! Craziness.

  4. KJ :

    I think you might be in second place as favorite parent. how fun for her (and you. I'm a horse lover, too). And now I'm thinking about that episode of seinfeld about kids that had ponies…but I'm not judging. ;)

  5. Petit Elefant :


    I think he wins some kind of prize, doesn't he?


    I've still wanted a horse my whole life, it never went away! So now I just get to choose, who eats? Me or the kids?


    Seriously, way to go. Sigh. No, I wish we had enough land for Reuben but we don't, so he lives about 15 minutes away.


    It was kind of a present to me too, I just didn't know about it! Happy day.


    Well, technically Reuben isn't a pony, so I think we're exempt. Right, right?

  6. likeschocolate :

    I guess that means that your living room floor is in the works-right? All her friends will be jealous! Doesn't every 10-11 year old want a horse. I did or at least until my father said I had to clean up after them and I declined.

  7. Azúcar :

    Just slap some sauerkraut on him…

  8. The Glamorous Life Association :

    I am thrilled (er, slightly jealous) for the BOTH of you.

    And to think. I can't get my husband to let me have a cat. And you got a horse.

    You are one lucky girl.
    And that is one lucky horse.

  9. Petit Elefant :


    The living room floor has been *in the works* for MONTHS. Now if we can just make it happen!


    If someone is going to be eaten it will be the CAT.


    You can have my cat, how's that for a deal?

    I'd be excited if I didn't have to pay for the thing to eat. And the saddle, and the blanket, and the boots, and the…

    Well, you get the idea. They're pricey little animals.

  10. Krista :

    Wholly cow! Who's going to win the "Dad of the year" award?! Every girls dream! Congrats to your daughter AND you ; )

  11. V and Co. :

    okay, no joke…my husband and i just had this conversation today:
    him: i want to buy katie a horse
    me: spit out hot chocolate…WHAT?
    him: yeah i want her to actually be able to say "my daddy DID buy me a pony"
    to which i rolled my eyes and and walked away before he could see the super excited smile.
    A PONY!! I'M FINALLY GETTING A PONY!!! ahem i mean katie is.

  12. Camille :

    Can I live vicariously through you and Precocious? Lucky!!!

    Beautiful pics by the way. Looks like Reuben completes the fam :)

  13. Miranda :

    holy crap. your daughter got a horse for Christmas. who ACTUALLY gets a horse for Christmas!? that is just freakin' fantastic! seriously.

  14. Donna :

    How many girls have asked for a pony for Christmas and been disappointed? Not your girl! I'd say she has Daddy wrapped around her little finger. Have fun riding!

  15. stephmodo :

    You are a brave {and very good} mom Allison! Love these images. Think of all the wonderful times ahead. How wonderful that you live in a place where you can keep a horse happy and healthy.

    Happy New Year!

  16. Emily :

    My sister would think Viktor the coolest dad EVER. She never got a pony for Christmas so ended up buying her own (and a couple since then). Me? I'd take a new living room floor any day. I can appreciate the beauty that is Reuben, for he is a beautiful horse, but I'll keep my feet planted firmly on the ground!

    Merry Christmas, Precocious! You are now the envy of little girls all over the world!

  17. Quinn :

    Holy moly!! A horse for Christmas? That's the thing everyone wants and asks for, but never gets. Don't tell Kelly Anderson's little girl. She's asked for that the past few years and still hasn't gotten it. Oy veh! Go dad!

  18. Erin :

    lucky girl!! i would LOVE to buy my daughter a horse. maybe someday.

  19. b. :

    Definitely a GOOD DAD!

    We have 3 horses…they cost a lot to feed but it also provides a great opportunity for the kids to learn how to work. Then when I get to betching about how expensive they are, I figure at then end of days…I have transportation AND food storage? I heard horse tastes like chicken.

    Let me know if you find a good horse shoe-er.

  20. Petit Elefant :

    Hey mom, with the living room floor thing, you haven't gone into the future yet. Dad is just finishing up the final touches on the laminate. THE FUTURE IS AWESOME!

  21. Melissa :

    I think miss P just lived EVERY woman's childhood dream. WOW, what an awesome surprise!!!

    On a funny note, have you read the Oatmeal's take on horses? I don't agree with his opinion, but it's hilarious:

  22. lovely lindsay :

    this is magic.
    love, lindsay

  23. Marie {Make and Takes} :

    What are you doing to me? My kids are sitting here reading this with me and talking all about how P gets a horse! Which is absolutely amazing, she'll never forget this Christmas!!

    Does Ruben have a brother?!!