Forget about Rudolph, Dasher, Prancer and the rest of that reindeer crew you usually hear about on Christmas Day.
Instead, remember the names Jet, Shortstop, Java, Dakota, Lobizon, Doc and Willie. They are horses -- not reindeer- and they were noticeably in the Christmas spirit Saturday at Canterfield Farm in West Dundee off Route 31.
All seven horses seven horses donned red-and-white Santa hats as they grazed outside the private barn where they are boarded. It was the sixth consecutive Christmas that Canterfield Farm's horses modeled the hats.
Dennis Nastali of Sleepy Hollow, who owns the 14-year-old American appendix quarterhorse-thoroughbred mix Shortstop, said the hat idea began as a lark on his friends' farm. It has evolved into a holiday tradition that has caught the eyes of Christmas Day travelers on Route 31 near Boncosky Road.
"People stop along the road when they (the horses) are out there," said Nastali, 66, who started riding horses when he was in high school.
Holes are made in the Santa hats so they can be secured through the horses' halters. Nastali said Lobizon and Java were new to the hats this year and took to them right away.
"They have to break the halter to get (the hat) off," he said.