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Friday, 12 December 2014 11:10

A Holiday Purchase with a Purpose

By | News

Horse-Shaped Wreaths to Benefit Old Friends at Cabin Creek

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Most holiday wreaths are made with front doors in mind, but one local woman only has one thing on her mind as she creates her handmade, artificial wreaths – horses. 

Ceci Leonowens, of Saratoga Springs, has had a busy winter making Christmas wreaths. Her horse-shaped, handmade wreaths are made with artificial Canadian pine and when packed away with care, can be used year after year.

“I made one for myself, saw how awesome it was looking and decided to kick it up a notch,” said Leonowens. “I also try to capture light and movement, say in the horse’s mane, so I’ll use glitter and things like that.”

Leonowens is a self-proclaimed horse lover and has been riding horses since the age of three. She also says she comes from a creative family, which has helped her tremendously. From the frame to the design, Leonowens makes every wreath by hand which can take upwards of two hours for a single wreath.

The right wreath, whether placed on a front door, above the fireplace, on walls, or even in a window, offers visitors a big, festive welcome; but not only does Leonowens want to bring holiday cheer to the community, she also wants to help local horses by donating 15 percent of every sale to Old Friends at Cabin Creek. The non-profit organization provides a natural, nurturing, forever home to retired race horses. Old Friends is Saratoga County’s only thoroughbred retirement farm and one of the few that will take thoroughbred stallions.

“I got to know the horses there and the volunteers who do amazing work,” said Leonowens. “I admire them so much. What they do for these horses and what the horses have done in their lifetimes – everyone there is amazing. So I thought, why not? It’s going to be a hard winter, the horses need food in their bellies, coats, veterinarian checks, so I’m hoping to just do my part to help these beautiful creatures.”

According to organizers, the average cost of caring for a horse at Old Friends at Cabin Creek is approximately $15 per day. That amount is based on the cost of hay, grain and regularly-scheduled veterinary and farrier care. That amount increases significantly when there is serious illness or an injury, or when the cost of hay and grain changes; but does not reflect any costs associated with facility management. Old Friends at Cabin Creek is staffed entirely by volunteers.

Leonowens is hoping some of the profits from her horse-shaped wreaths can help contribute to the growing Old Friends at Cabin Creek’s growing expenses. She’s planning on selling wreaths again next year as well.

“People go to the track in droves to see these horses race,” said Leonowens. “But once they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind and it shouldn’t be like that with any animal. These guys still have so much spunk and life and personality, so it’s great that they get the care they need there and it’s such a beautiful place.”

Leonowens’ wreaths are 2 feet by 2 feet, sell for $65 and can be customized. To place an order, email Leonowens at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All wreath orders need to be placed by Tuesday, Dec. 16 for pickup on Thursday, Dec. 18.


To volunteer, donate and learn more about Old Friends at Cabin Creek, visit their website at www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com.

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