January 30, 2011

Sweet 16

Last night we were in Norwich at a lovely girl's Sweet 16 party. Duke & Diesel on the Cinderella Carriage, decorated to a cool blue winter's theme. The birthday girl looked beautiful, dressed like Cinderella in a lovely blue gown and fur wrap, with Prince Charming to escort her. We love these jobs!

January 29, 2011

Pros & Cons of a Snowy Winter

I know I seem to be harping quite a bit about the snowfall we have had so far this winter. Who can help it? What does it mean for a farmer when there is 60" of snow to contend with? What it means is that we literally have mountains of piled snow, snow that needed to be bucketed out of the barnyard in order to move trucks and trailers, tractors and teams. We almost lost a 1200 lb bale of hay the other day because the tractor got stuck in the snow. Ice forms, and grows, daily from the eves of the house. My front door will not be accessible until Easter, I am sure, because the ice is so thick on the steps. On the other hand, our fire burns hot in our wood stove, and the dogs lay content all day. For the little pleasures winter affords us, we are grateful.

Photos: Top: Putting out a round bale, no easy task in this snow.
Second: A view of our humble house from the street.
Third: As the snow piles grow, so do the fillies. This is Leila, standing horse size already, at just 7 months old.
Bottom Photos: The dogs have it best. Penny & Simba stay by the fire all day.

January 26, 2011

Travels Through a Storm Called Denis

Add ImageNaturally, the weather turns bad and my husband Terry, says, "Let's hit the road." Against my good mother's wishes, who forbade us to leave our cozy farm house to fetch a snow blower for my father, we headed out just as the snow began to fall. And fall it did. Through it all we drove up to Plainfield to run an errand, then to Moosup for the snow blower. We made our way down to Ledyard on another mission, and drove over the river and through the woods to East Lyme to my parents' house. Spending some time to visit and have a bowl of soup, we watched the flakes grow larger and larger, until they looked like butterflies in the sky. Our last stop today before heading to Lisbon was the Colchester house. By the time we arrived home, easily four inches of fresh snow coated the driveway. The horses, standing eagerly by the gate with ice on their whiskers and a disgruntled look in their eyes were brought in one by one to sleep in a warm, dry barn for the night. Not even a storm called Denis would stop my truck driving man from getting 'r done today.

Photos: Top: The house I grew up in.
Second: Ducks in a field at a dairy farm in Ledyard.
Third: Morgan's Vineyard.
Fourth: Snow in the wilderness.
Bottom: Foxwoods.

January 22, 2011

More Sleighing

Although the temperature was less than 20 degrees all day (only 5 degrees when we woke up this morning), our sleigh rides went on anyway. Here, a few photos, and a link to a youtube video (click on the title of this blog to see the video).

January 20, 2011

Got Snow? Take the Sleigh!

Sleigh rides have been in order since the weekend after Benedict. Here are just a few pictures for you to enjoy!

Rain yesterday, but there wasn't much of an impact on the conditions, other than those icy spots. Our biggest concern over the next couple of days is the sever temperature change. 15 degrees for Sunday - that is just too dangerously low!

Photos: Duke & Diesel plow the fields, and plow the snow. What a team!
Bottom: Customers have been coming from all over...but our favorite couple? My parents!

January 16, 2011

Loving the Snow

I love nothing more than to watch as our horses roll, run and frolic in the snow, especially when there is a LOT of it. Here our cross, Danny, is shown after rolling in the powdery stuff. Click on the title of this blog to see video!

January 14, 2011

Elaine's Recent Articles

Two of Elaine's most recent articles about carriage driving may be seen in MA Horse Magazine. One is titled "Driving Ponies" and the other is Carriage Driving: Finding an Instructor. Click on the title of this blog to go to MA Horse Magazine's web page (www.mahorse.com), and click on the link at the bottom of the page to view an on-line version of the magazine. Enjoy!

January 12, 2011

Pictures from a Snow Day

A Storm Called Benedict

The second major snow storm of the year is upon us. It envelopes us not in a sublime quietude, but in a howl of wind and swirling snow. It is predicted that by this evening, "Benedict" will drop better than 18"-24" of snow on eastern Connecticut. I have yet to venture out to measure the mound on the bird bath - usually an accurate indicator.

Naturally, all our animals are snug in their stalls, or roosting in their coops or on the rafters of the barn. It is unlikely that any of the horses will be put out today. Later towards evening, when the storm finally passes, we will get the tractor out and plow the barnyard. I imagine tomorrow we will offer sleigh rides. But for today, we will enjoy the indoors, the roaring fire in the wood stove, and the comfort and company of our three dogs.

Photos: Top: Waking up to significant snowfall - our barn and truck and trailer.
2nd: The bird coop.
3rd: The market wagon and bird bath in the front yard, all but completely covered.
Bottom: Penny and the new puppy, Simba, enjoy the heat of the wood stove.

January 10, 2011


The new puppy arrived on Saturday! Weighing just under a pound, I was shocked at how tiny he is! He is sweet and playful, and Penny & Moses don't know what to do with such a little guy. We are excited and happy to have him as part of our family. Although I first named him Linus (after the wise Peanuts character), my daughter Maegan protested enough to make me change it to Simba. To tell you the truth, it fits!

January 1, 2011

First Night Hartford

Thousands of people came out to celebrate New Years Eve in Hartford yesterday. The carousel was open in Bushnell Park, and while some lined up to ride the painted ponies, just as many lined up to ride with us on our wagons. Still others took advantage of the ice rink at the south end by the Pump House Gallery. Bright sunny skies and warm temperatures kept us comfortable all afternoon, and brought people out in droves.

Does anyone else notice how both teams (Danny & Dakota and Duke & Diesel) are in perfect stride in these pictures? I once heard an old teamster say, "Any two horses can be a pair, but only a TEAM works TOGETHER!" How true that is.

Photos: Top: Approaching the arch at Bushnell Park on First Night.
Second: Two of Hartford's finest patrolling the park on horseback.
Third: Danny and Dakota on the Polish Wagonette.
Last: Duke and Diesel on the Pioneer Wagon.