Use Snow and Winter Conditions for this Fantastic Outdoor Activity!
Photo (c)2006-8 M. Syncerz
Winter is the time of snow and sleigh rides. On a ride with a family sleigh everybody can take part and have outdoor fun in a special way.
It does not need to be a Santa sleigh or an antique sled, but it should have the right size to fit the family and the horse/s.
If you want to buy a sleigh you might need to travel a bit, as in times when the automobile replaced the horse drawn sled, wealthy families sold them to rural areas, the sleds kind of "migrated" into the countryside. But again in some barns you can often find cheap sledges in need of repair.
You might find an antique one that needs total refurbishment and with a bit of talent you might be able to rebuild a little treasure. Usually all wooden parts and the shafts need to be replaced. Again, safety first!
There are different designs of sleds: One horse open-,two horse open-, Albany-, Round Back-, Portland-, Vis-à-vis-, bob-sleighs, one seater, two-, three- and four seater. Even buggy conversions exist, where you put the carriage on specially constructed sled runners.
Sledges do come in all different sizes, so you definitely will find the right size for your horse or pony.
Traditional colors range from green, dark blue, red and black to wooden varnished. A nice paint finish always looks very posh. A white sleigh is very nice for a winter wedding and with a decent flower decoration it could look absolutely fabulous.
Usually you travel with an open sledge, so you need to keep warm. A normal blanket might not be enough...in the old times they used thick furs (today we have got modern fabrics for those purposes) and often took little stoves with them, if the journey was long.
The horse is harnessed as for a carriage drive. There is one important difference: a sledge does usually not have a break and therefore a strong breeching is essential, no matter, if you use a single horse or two horses.