Friday, March 4, 2011

Dashing Through The Snow

I remember as a kid going to some outing or another that promised a hay ride.  The anticipation was wonderful as I thought for sure horses would be carting us through the fields on a wagon filled with hay.  No such luck.  Instead a tractor drove up with a wooden platform much like those used in parades and we drove down a road.  I'm not sure there was even any hay.

Fast forward some 20 or 30 years and I still haven't taken a proper hay ride behind a horse.  But recently I heard our Community Association was planning a sleigh ride.... with real horses (they promised).  Let's just say I jumped up and down and sang carols throughout the house thought this was a pretty fine idea and decided we should go.  Saturday morning the weather was frightful and I worried it would be cancelled but after a quick call I was reassured we were still on and in the winter's dark some thirty people came together at a warming hut on an old farmstead.

See that moon above?

Then piled into sleighs, 18 people at a time

And wrapped under blankets we rode under a starry sky through the fields

and just LOOK at those horses!


  1. Not only real horses, but a real sleigh with runners too! And it's red!! What fun it all looked like.

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  3. Oh, that looks wonderful! Last time I did that was with a bunch of friends when we were students. Now I want to do it again. :)

  4. What a nice sleigh ride. You don't see that much anymore. We have horse driven carriage rides here, but not the actual sleighs. In PA we had them and I miss that.

  5. Laurrie - I hadn't even noticed the runners! of course they must have them to get through the snow but I didn't even think. I just couldn't believe the strength of those horses working up to a trot with a sleigh packed with people.

    SeaBlush - Many thanks! I'll hop right over to visit.

    Ms.S - it was just as fun as I thought it might be. It was a terribly cold night but we bundled up, snuggled up and had a laugh or two. Good company, of course, always helps.

    Donna - I think to have a sleigh business you need many horses and few people keep as many large horses anymore. Luckily for us this farm is close by and has for many years specialized in these rides.
    The night we went was quite busy. Our group filled two sleighs and there was another large group (the astronomy club) right behind us in a couple sleighs.

  6. Hi Marguerite, I bet the sleigh ride was great fun. i love the fact that the sleigh was red. You need a bit of bright color when you are surrounded with white and the black darkness of a night time sky. Enjoy the weekend!

  7. What fun and I imagine the near full moon was just perfect! Wonderful horses!

  8. Wonderful! Can't wait to try out that marvellous adventure! I've been on hayrides before but not in a sled in the winter - so glad the weather held for you:)

  9. What a wonderful evening you must have had!! We have a lovely farm near us that offers the same thing..Ross Farm Museum. Oh the east coast life eh!! You're settling in real fine))))

  10. Jennifer - I had never heard of a sleigh ride at night but you learn something new every day. The driver had a lantern he turned on during some of the darkest spots through the trees but otherwise the horses knew the route quite well and it was wonderful to sit and watch the stars.

    Carol - the stars that night were spectacular. We couldn't have picked a nicer night, although it was extremely cold. I laugh at the photo of me a bit as I can tell I've got two pairs of pants on and 3 shirts under my coat.

    Jane - they sure know how to make winter fun around here. I'll bet you'll be able to find one similar in your neighbourhood.

    Gardeningbren - One of the things we were told prior to moving east and had some worry about was whether we would fit in. A lot of people talk about how 'come from aways' are always outsiders but we've been very fortunate to have a wonderful and friendly group of neighbours who have taken us in and those worries haven't materialized.

    Tamara - I highly recommend anybody who has the chance to take a sleigh ride for themselves. It was a lot of fun.

  11. How wonderful! I have actually been on a real hayride, but never on a real sleigh drawn by horses. How much fun that must have been. gail

  12. How magical. I hope there were bells...

  13. so you some found a use for all that snow, sounds wonderful,

    on another note re the twigs we both tried to force, just to say the willows I cut didn't leaf out just catkins on some of them, the Forsythia and Flowering currant both leafed out, still waiting to see if I get flowers on the flowering currant, some shrubs respond better than others,
    keep warm, Frances

  14. How wonderful! I hope there was also some hot chocolate involved.

  15. What a wonderful experience! I think I've only ever seen real sleighs in a museum. Looks like fun!

  16. Oh that looks wonderful - am very jealous!

  17. Gail - It was everything I hoped for!

    Plantaliscious - in fact, I forgot to mention that, there were bells!

    Frances - it sounds like we have the same issue. The willows formed their fuzzy catkins but the roses and apples just stopped. I have no idea why they didn't continue. Ironically I actually cut some branches from a mountain ash but didn't bother posting as I thought it was a slim chance anything would happen. The leaves have emerged and flower buds have pushed out on these branches. completely unexpected.

    HolleyGarden - there was indeed hot chocolate in the warming hut and a roaring fire. It was a darn cold night.

    Casa Mariposa - funny you should say that, I don't know I've ever seen one before either other than a museum.

    Bub - I'll sell you some snow if you'd like and you can have your own sleighride!

  18. so pleased you have some leaf to see and flower buds too! a few weeks ago when I cut a small branch off an Alder I clipped a few twiggy bits to try as cuttings, as I didn't do them straight off I put them in water to keep, they are still in the water and nothing has changed, so some plants react well to being brought in the warm and others don't, Frances