February 24, 2011

All in a Day's Work

The latest trip to Pennsylvania had Terry delivering nearly two dozen drafts to the sale barn and more to Amish farmers. It also had him delivering another agricultural product — tobacco. It is the same tobacco he helped plow and harrow fields for, plant, harvest, put up, and bale (all with horse-power or by hand) this past season.

As for sleigh ride conditions - ouch. Not as good as you think. Our own fields are at this very moment still decent enough, but our attempt to do sleigh rides at a party this past weekend failed miserably. In spots, the snow was so deep as to cause our struggling team (the massive Danny & Dakota) to bend the pole. Being a metal pole, it did not break and was easily straightened afterwards. Had we opted to use our antique sleigh with wooden pole and eveners, the result surely would have been a "sleigh-stranding" deep in the woods of Lebanon!

Photos: Top: 700lb bales of tobacco headed to the buyer.
Middle: Sleigh driving - one part joy, two parts luck. Our metal pole is bent as our horses attempt to turn around in what turned out to be a deep snow drift.
Bottom: Although plowed areas are bare of snow, the fields and trails have areas that are still nearly three feet deep.

February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Sleigh Ride

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and we filled it with rides in our heart red sleigh! Danny & Dakota took to the snow with high stepping glee. The temperature was in the 50's - snow is gone from the driveway but still ample in the fields, and still too high in the woods to make a safe passage without rolling it first! Hard to believe. This has been quite the year for sleighing!

Click on the title of this blog to visit our Connecticut Sleigh Rides webpage for more sleigh ride information!

February 14, 2011

Winter Fest and Valentine's

Valentine's weekend. A Winter Fest in Mansfield on Saturday and one of our favorite, regular venues in Old Saybrook at the Inn on Sunday. In spite of the weatherman's promise for warm weather, it remained chilly both days, with winds to set your teeth chattering! All in all, however, we are not complaining. (Click on the tile of this blog to see us on a video on Patch.com in Mansfield!)

Photos: Top: Elaine with Danny and Dakota at the Saybrook Point Inn.
Bottom: Friend Dale Naegeli stopped by to visit us in Mansfield, and took the team for a few trips around.

February 12, 2011

Princess Birthday Party

There is one thing we Italians, followed closely by the Greeks, love in life: good food, good wine, and family. Not always followed in that order, of course (ahem). So given that fact, what better way to celebrate your daughter's very first birthday than to hold a bash as big and opulent as most weddings? Our Cinderella Carriage was at such a party last night, bedecked and bejeweled, for one lucky little Princess.

February 7, 2011

Scenes from an Orchard Sleigh Ride

What a beautiful day yesterday was! Aside from the fact that it was my son's 22nd birthday, the sun was shining and the temperature reached into the 40's. A new venue for us, Horse Listener's orchard, hired us for sleigh rides for a winter festival they put on for the town of Ashford. We look forward to working with them later in the year for orchard wagon rides!

February 4, 2011

After Ella, Ice Everywhere

Here we are two days after Ella left her mark on the state (and on at least 9 other states, so I hear). Two days of snow, rain and sleet left us with quite a mess, on top of the three feet of snow already covering the ground. Our electric fence is literally buried in spots, but that hasn't done anything to short it out — it will still knock you on the ground! The only trouble is, it barely stands above our horses' knees. They are ever respectful of it, however, and leap and turn in the air before they reach the fence line.

These photos were taken yesterday morning, after the horses had been let out for the first time in days. Naturally, the camera wasn't in hand when they were first all released into the paddock. Had I had the camera at that moment, you would be seeing pictures of all seven galloping full tilt, sparring with one another, and rolling in multiple spots, as if to shake the winter blues from their manes. I tell you, it worked!

Photos: Duke & Diesel inspect the empty water trough, and wait for the hose to be turned on. After running and bucking and rolling in the snow, they all calmed right down and went to work on the round bale we put out for them.

February 2, 2011

Dive into Driving

This issue of the Horseman's Yankee Pedlar not only has my monthly driving column, Driving Heads Up, but a feature article I wrote titled Dive into Driving, a "how-to & why-to" for getting involved in driving clubs throughout the North East. Click on the title of this blog to go directly to the article on-line! Or, be sure to subscribe to the Pedlar for your reading enjoyment, 12 times a year!

If you go to the Pedlar's home page www.pedlar.com, you will see a box on the left hand side that lists the top five most popular articles. Did you know, two of the five, Hitch Horses: Impressing the Generations, and The Art of Sleighing, are both articles written by me, Elaine Joseph? It feels good to know, years later, that not one but TWO of my articles remain in the top five most popular HYP articles!!! Testimony to the power of the carriage horse!