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Any one sleighing in the snow blanketing the NE?

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  • Any one sleighing in the snow blanketing the NE?

    Do tell!!
    Last edited by gothedistance; Feb. 20, 2008, 07:13 AM.

  • #2
    Even if I had a sleigh no way i could here, we have a crust of sheer ice on top of all the snow, the horses don't even break through it! My little dogs slides down all the hills and slopes I'm not eve putting the horses outside right now, just into the indoor arena to stretch their legs, I don't want to risk slipping on the hill down to our pastures and hurting myself brining them in nd out.


    • #3
      Does using a sulky count? We are blessed with over a foot of new soft fluffy stuff and a lovely sunny afternoon. I took the old man out for some exercise and had a ball. Hubbie plowed me some lovely driving paths around the outdoor ring and farm. What a joy to hear the crunch of the snow, jingle of the harness, and the snorty action of a Hackney enjoying his time. Would love to have an Albany cutter some day.

      Anyone else enjoying the snow?


      • #4
        I have to say driving or even riding in a real life sleigh with bells would probably be the only way to get me to leave the warmth of sunny FL for the cold. It just sounds delightful!


        • #5
          My mom was! She sent me some lovely pictures of the morgan mare she bought from me, with the bells on and in her pretty cutter sleigh. First time my mom had ever gone sleighing! I miss living in MA. PA is great, but we don't get the amount of snow I am used to. I went sleighing two weeks ago when we had that 4 inches of snow, and had fun, but it isn't the same as going in lots of the white fluffy stuff.


          • #6
            actually we've been sleighing since Nov.24!!!! Portland cutter w/ single large pony. Right now there's almost too much snow on the groud, we got over 1 1/2 foot Sunday! Some drifts around the barn are up to 5 feet high!
            My major problem is frozen fingers, it's hard to keep going then...but we still have fun! We went and cut a X-mas tree in the forrest (we have over 125acres) and brought it back behind the sleigh. T'was a lovely day!


            • #7
              I have to agree with Happy Feet on this one. It would be wonderful if you sleigh drivers would post some pics. Thanks.


              • #8
                I stopped sleighing years ago when the road crews got over-zealous at maintaining the roads. There is nothing better than a packed road surface with a little fresh powder. Unfortunately, with modern salting techniques, it now has to be below zero for the roads to maintain their cover.
                There was a guy across town who had an old fashioned snow packer made to groom a trail.

                If you can't get good roads, and don't have a snow packer, the only hope you have is that the ground freezes hard (rarely happens) and you only get 6 or 8 inches. A real bummer huh? I do have some older sleighing photos at home though. Maybe I'll remember to post them tonight. Those were the days!!!
                ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::


                • #9
                  Originally posted by goponies View Post
                  actually we've been sleighing since Nov.24!!!! Portland cutter w/ single large pony. Right now there's almost too much snow on the groud, we got over 1 1/2 foot Sunday! Some drifts around the barn are up to 5 feet high!
                  My major problem is frozen fingers, it's hard to keep going then...but we still have fun! We went and cut a X-mas tree in the forrest (we have over 125acres) and brought it back behind the sleigh. T'was a lovely day!
                  You might want to try the little heat packs, put them in your gloves and boots. They have some that last 6-8-10 hours! Check at the local Hunting supply store. They are a GREAT invention for keeping the extremeties warm when you have to be outside.

                  We used to use the old hot Soapstones to sit on in sleigh, kept that part of the body warm! Kept them on the warm woodstove all the time, ready for any outing. Good for the little folks when we used to go, they could be out a while. Warm buns, snowsuits, goggles, heavy blankets to wrap up in.

                  We don't get enough snow here anymore, plus the tall horses are just too big for the little cutters. All you can see is between hocks and rump, no front view ahead. Then there is the zealous snow plow guys. Dragging steel for a mile and a half to dirt roads, makes us all crabby with the squeal. We sold our nice little cutter a number of years ago, sure had a lot of fun with it back then. An Owosso sleigh, which seem to be very desireable in the East. Some come with springs and doors.

                  Might sound almost as good as sleighing, if I put a bell or two on the dog!

                  We did get a good 6 inches of snow here on Sunday, but supposed to be up in the 30Fs today, may rain. We hardly got to even use the snow! Horses are liking the snow, easier to run on than our frozen, icy ground of the arena was. I let them out in the big field, room to bounce around.
                  Last edited by goodhors; Dec. 18, 2007, 01:55 PM.


                  • #10
                    Oh it's Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together with You!

                    1984 my Arabian gelding Dandy. Boy that was a cold day! Notice the round brass liverpool bit. I bought it for the horse in the last picture. I've never seen another like it. It's my favorite for a fancy turnout.

                    1990 my Saddlebred gelding Oliver. Why is it that the days that are cold enough for sleighing are too cold for horse harnessing?

                    About two weeks ago Mr. SmartAlex and I dug that old cutter out of cold storage in Mom's tractor shed. After 17 years, it is not just shabby, but dirty too, but it will get an amateur restoration next summer in the interest of Christmas decoration. The grapevine horse "Twiggy" is a hand-me-down from the neighbor. Me thinks I need to dig around for a better harness. Perhaps that old collar in the garage will fit.

                    Now, the "good" sleigh. Dad bought me that green cutter for practice. This is my nice gold sleigh that I am going to have restored, pictured at the Chautauqua Institution Sleigh Rally in 1987. My Appaloosa hunter Dusty is the horse of choice for this activity. A similar photo made the "I Love NY" winter sports brochure the following year. I was home sick from high school for 3 days with a cold after that miserable wet day.
                    ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::


                    • #11
                      Wondered if the pony with the western saddle and the flexible flyer sled tied to the saddle horn counts? LOL Now the prettiest outfit, but alot of fun for the kids!
                      The View from Here


                      • #12
                        You asked for Sleighing pictures!!

                        This first one is WHILE it was still storming, about 8:30pm.

                        These are the next day, in the sunshine



                        I asked mom if I could post her pictures, she said sure, I just have to resize them. Be back soon!


                        • #13
                          Great photos!


                          • #14
                            My mom and her lovely morgan mare. This is the first time my mom had ever gone sleighing by herself.


                            The Sleighbells!



                            • #15
                              All the horse pictures look nice. We had a Pair of little yellow horses that would match that one in the pictures. Same light color, white manes and tails. Ours had tall stockings. They were great to drive on the sleigh.

                              We had a string of bells like the mom's horse. We had to add an extra strap for length, so bells went around the girth area, buckles on the belly area. You put them outside the shafts so no bells get crushed. We had a string hooked from bell strap to checkrein hook on saddle. Kept the bells in place, so they didn't travel back to the flanks. She was rather greyhound built, big girth, narrow flanks. With bells in that girth area, they didn't flop on moving horse.

                              With the Pair, we had a set of shaft bells that strapped on, great sound. You can hear the good bells for a VERY long distance. Neighbors would ask us how the sleigh ride went, they heard us out, over a mile away.

                              Horses like the music, will often match it in gait speed.


                              • #16
                                Oh what lovely photos! Makes me wish for snow and a sleigh

                                We used to ride the x-county ski trails all winter when I lived in NH but had problems with the horses' hooves snowballing. We tried all sorts of things - candle wax, Vaseline, pads - but nothing totally eliminated it. What to you do about it nowadays?
                                Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                                PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


                                • #17
                                  I would LOVE a set of real sleigh bells. The little strap I have on the front of the palomino pony is real bells and sounds very very nice. They don't interfere with the pony there and are very easy to put on, so they work for me, although the big strap of bells would be just about the bestest gift from Santa!

                                  My mom uses the jingle bells and they were just put on in a hurry after she was sure the horse wouldn't mind them. She does need to get an extension because they won't fit around the horse's middle.

                                  I did find that the horses "step lively" to the bells. Just makes every winter drive complete, having the bells on!

                                  As far as snowballing goes, the horses have pads under their shoes, and the shoes have borium tips and drill tech on them, to keep them from sliding in the ice.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Ashemont View Post
                                    Oh what lovely photos! Makes me wish for snow and a sleigh

                                    We used to ride the x-county ski trails all winter when I lived in NH but had problems with the horses' hooves snowballing. We tried all sorts of things - candle wax, Vaseline, pads - but nothing totally eliminated it. What to you do about it nowadays?
                                    Snow pads or snow rings under the shoes. LF

                                    Edited to add: I didn't read Lazy's comments be for I replied. I also use the borium and drill tech for the shoes. It is a great stuff.

                                    Don't by cheap bells. I would rather hear nothing than the sound of cheap sleigh bells. Good bells have a ring rather than a tinkling sound. Mrs. Lost got me a set of the heavy cast neck bells for Christmas several years ago. Then for my birthday she got me a set of Swedish rump bells. The good rump bells will run nearly $20 per bell. So a set of bells for a pair can really add up.

                                    My mare is great to stand unless she has the bells on. She will do the whole body shake every 30 seconds if she can ring her bells. It makes the kids laugh when we give wagon or sleigh rides.

                                    Lostfarming in Idaho


                                    • #19
                                      I'm getting good ideas now for bells. I have my great grandfather's strap of brass bells all one size. I never thought of putting them around the neck. They can be a pretty tight fit on some horses. Also, I have a strap of rump bells, but I like the photo of them strung down the chest strap.
                                      As a kid, I had all this harness, and all these bells, and only a vague idea of what went where. Here is a good website on Sleigh Bells. Someday I hope to own a set of saddle bells, but those can be so pricey. recently on ebay a set went for about $300. I have figured out how to put them on the harness and still have a place to run the reins!

                                      ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::


                                      • #20
                                        Saddle bells actually are anchored by the rein terrets. You unscrew the terrets, then insert them thru the hole at base of saddle bell frame, then screw the terrets back in.

                                        I would recommend using hip bells as hip bells. Strapping them on as a martingale, can cause a lot of movement, which strap is not designed for. Especially antique leather. Not much leather stress on hips, with backpad strap running thru the holder.

                                        I would warn bell lovers, to be careful in not "over-belling" the horse. Some horses do well with bells, have great gaits to a good rythym. Other horses, just are not as nice sounding with their bells on. You may be able to adjust speeds, get the better sound with the bells going along. Or not. Sound is just a clamor, not nice.

                                        Along with bells being just a noise, is using MANY bells. They argue with their tones, so nice sounds don't blend, again just a noise whatever the gait or speed a horse does. We once put all our bells on the horse, "because if one set it good, SEVERAL sets would be wonderful!!" NOT true, gave the us and the horse a headache! We took some off, not far down the road, clamor was deafening. Mare unpinned her ears, all our moods improved immediately!

                                        Do make sure horse is comfortable with bells BEFORE strapping them on him, so he can't escape the sound.

                                        WA suggested feeding equines with bells as part of your attire, before driving with them. Sounded like a good idea, noise means FOOD, everyone is happy with food. Will tolerate the noise for the reward of food.

                                        The winter sounds of bells may be much expanded with everyone thinking of getting them out now!