Santa was interviewed recently and asked why horses weren't used to
sleigh. Here's his answer:
"Well, first off, most of the applicants were Arabians and they turned
have a fear of heights. In fact, they had a fear of air in general.
snorts and feet-planting would bring the sleigh to a complete stop
off the packages. They don't follow anything but the lead mare and her
head-tossing raised heck with the rein signals.
Then the Standardbreds showed up and that fast trot, winging thing
work well in the air because it tends to propeller and pitch us
the sleigh. They were great at pulling, though. Faultless.
We ended up auditioning a team of heavy drafts and their ground drill
top notch, but they didn't get any lift-off.
Saddlebreds didn't get any air either because they have those dead
on their shoes and there's that winging thing again.
A friend of mine, a cowboy in Texas, sent me a team of reining and team
penning horses to try, but every time they got near a cloud cluster,
run crazy circles around it and throw us off course.
So, we auditioned some Baroque horses - Lippizaners, Andalusians and
Lusitanos - figuring they could do airs above the ground and get lift-
That didn't end up working because they wanted me to wear one of those
flouncy Spanish riding outfits with a three-cornered hat instead of
suit and cap, so I couldn't very well show up looking like King
Christmas Eve. As good as they are in the air, so bad they are at
Belly flops every time. Sad. No injuries, though.
For the hunter/jumpers, we were finally wearing the right color -
the fox didn't like being the lead all the time.
The thoroughbreds were fast as lightning, but we missed all our test
yup, blazed right past every single one.
Then we found out that mustangs are called "mesteno" in Spanish, which
translates as "you can never get these horses to do anything in harness,
much less in unison." They didn't speak English, anyway, and my
As a last resort, we called in the old, reliable quarter horses but only
half of them showed up for the audition.
The horse thing didn't work so we tried dogs. Seemed logical to use sled
dogs. But the tail-wagging thing created too much air turbulence.
So we ended up with reindeer."