There are a few times each year when many adults transform into big kids, and one of those times is Halloween, including me. The concept of dressing up as alter egos and scaring the pants off anyone available is just something we can't pass up!

Gentle Carousel's Cloudburst

The winning photo of Gentle Carousel's Cloudburst portraying a scarecrow.

One celebrity who always gets into the holiday spirit is the "Queen of Homemaking," Martha Stewart. Also an animal lover and horse owner, Stewart hosts pet photo contests on her website throughout the year. Her latest contest? The 2011 Halloween Pet Photo Contest. And this year the winner was a tiny equid that was just too adorable to say 'no' to.

According to a press release from Gentle Carousel Miniature Horses, Stewart selected Gentle Carousel Cloudburst as the winner of her Halloween photo contest. The tiny horse was chosen from more than 500 entries from around the nation, the release indicated.

"Cloudburst and his therapy horse friends, all wearing Halloween costumes, have spent October 'Trick or Treating' inside hospitals, assisted-care programs, programs for Alzheimer's patients, and with patients in hospice care," the release continued. "They are members of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, an all volunteer 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity. The 26 tiny horses visit thousands of adults and children each year."

And yes, the press release noted, Cloudburst really is holding the basket!

I was pretty excited to see little Cloudburst recognized, not only for being really stinkin' cute, but also to bring further notoriety to the wonderful therapeutic work Miniature Horses do all across the country. Not something you've heard much about? I would definitely recommend reading up ... it's very heart-warming stuff.

Motivated by Cloudburst and the rest of the Minis in costume from Gentle Carousel, I decided to scour the Internet to bring you some of the best in horsey Halloween costumes:

A post from the Examiner showed a great paint job to liken a sorrel-colored horse to a giraffe. I can only imagine the time it took get the lines just right...and the patience it took on the horse's part to remain still for that long!

Halloweenhorse.blogspot.com kept my attention for quite a while with many intriguing costumes including Little Bo Peep (and a very large sheep), Gumby and Pokey, a piñata, and the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. This site also featured two of the most patient and tolerant horses the world has ever seen dressed as a rocking horse and a tractor (I promise there's a pony in there somewhere!).

Not to be outdone, the Midwest Stallion Directory followed up with horses dressed as Dino from The Flintstones, a very scary dragon, Cousin It from The Addams Family (a costume that remarkably resembles my Miniature Horse, Brandy, during the cold winter months...), and--my personal favorite--Gary from SpongeBob SquarePants.

Have you ever dressed your horse up in costume? Share your stories below!