A Vermont Sleigh Ride | Dashing Through the Snow

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Ivy the Belgian

Ivy the Belgian

Julia Shipley

Dashing through the snow? Check.

In a one horse open sleigh? You betcha.

O’re the fields we go? Yep.

Laughing all the way? Ah, not really.

It was more like speechless awe. Our Vermont sleigh ride had us riding on rails instead of radials, with chilly air rushing into our faces, amazed to experience cross country travel through the winter world without a windshield.

Linda Ward, who has been giving sleigh rides for 14 years, held the reins of her Belgian, Ivy, while her party of two snuggled into the hundred year old sleigh robes behind her.

Linda and Ivy are harnessed up and ready to go

Linda and Ivy are harnessed up and ready to go

Julia Shipley

Then we were dashing past the lyrics of “Jingle Bells” and plunging into the real life lyrics of “Over the river and through the woods”…and we should have felt as silly for all this old timey fun, but we didn’t.

We were smitten. There are so may ways cross a winter landscape—skis, snowshoes, snowmobile, Subaru—but is there anything more intimate than this—horse and driver and cuddling cargo?  And to ride so quietly in a vehicle that glides, the runners hissing on snow, occasionally scrunching on ice, pulled by the hay fueled heart of our noiseless engine?

approaching the covered bridge

approaching the covered bridge

Julia Shipley

Our great great grandparents would no doubt find our thrall amusing. Our new year’s joy ride was their bus and grocery getter.

Bundled up in blankets on the bench behind Linda, we're heading out for the fields and woods

Bundled up in blankets on the bench behind Linda, we’re heading out for the fields and woods

Julia Shipley

Yet for the duration of our jaunt, their scenery, what they would have seen, was our scenery, too: the arched over birches, the burly mountain backdrop, the sugar woods and the snow smothered field.

Oh what fun? Heck yeah.

 

 Linda Ward owns Raven Ledge Farm in Waterville, VT

Linda Ward owns Raven Ledge Farm in Waterville, VT

Julia Shipley

 

 

Comments
  • Beautiful photos…I have never been on a sleigh ride and you show it in a wonderful way!

    Reply
  • I adored the photos and made me wish that I was back East, if only for this sleigh ride….the horse is just beautiful and the sleigh ride would be like a meditation in the open fresh air of Vermont…so relaxing and peaceful…..

    Reply

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