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Kick off the holidays at the horse stables with luminaria walk

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By Special to the Monitor

What began as a woman’s desire to share her love of animals has since turned into a Los Alamos holiday tradition.
Stede Barber, the organizer of the Mesa Rider’s Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program, had the idea to light up the stables for the holiday season.
She wanted people in the community to be aware of, and appreciate, the animals at the stables, so she organized the first two events, which were successful.
Now, the Luminaria Walk is organized by the Los Alamos Pony Club, in conjunction with the Barn Owner’s Association. The club also uses the occasion as a fundraiser by selling, setting up and cleaning up the luminaries for the barn owners. The Pony Club families, kids and parents alike, fill bags and set them out. This event has been a holiday tradition at the stables for over seven years.
“This is a great activity for our families,” said LAPC member Samara Graham. “It is great to see them out there all working together.”
Over the years the walk has added other elements, including hayrides. Some of the barn owners will be at their barns to introduce attendees to their animals or to put out treats and hot drinks. In 2008 the group had Santa visit to take pictures with one the our local horses, Nemo.  
The Luminaria Walk organizers were really excited when in 2009 when the Los Alamos County Recreation Department moved their North Pole workshop from Ashley Pond to the Posse Lodge. The
Recreation Department hosts a evening of treats, crafts and pictures with Santa. This year the Pony Club has added a silent auction to help with their fundraising efforts, also held at the Posse Lodge.  
“We have been so pleased with the donations the local community has given. We are a small group in comparison to many in town, so every donation goes a long way to help our kids in their equine pursuits,” said Lisa Reader, Los Alamos Pony Club District Commissioner.  
This year’s festivities at the Stables and the Posse Lodge are from at 5-7 p.m. today.