Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sleigh ride!

Today was wonderful! My friend Eugene offered me a sleigh ride as a (delayed) birthday gift, so we went over to his farm today (been in the family for over 200 years!) and I had the best time.

I was on this sleigh pulled by two gorgeous Belgians. Best of all, Sam and Jake (the twins who own these beauties) let me drive the horses for two good long runs. 


No, the horses are not moving in this photo. But we got trotting soon after! I today I discovered that I absolutely love driving horses. I've always liked the big draught horses, but this is the first time anyone has handed me the reins. I am totally hooked and now harbouring dreams of owning a couple of heavy horses. It doesn't help the Eugene, Sam and Jake were all encouraging me to do this. Eugene told me I am a natural, and a "good woman driver." Coming from him, this is tremendous praise! 

Our friend Inari came along too, and so did Marie-Emmanuelle and our godson Ben!


On our second ride in the sleigh (we had three today), Ben had a nice nap, first in my lap, then in Gordon's!



He really seemed to enjoy his day!


And here is Eugene's old sugar shack and "man cabin"...


He thoughtfully has provided an outdoor ladies room to the side of the man cabin, complete with sign and toilet paper...


"Girls' rest area". Complete with wood shavings to soak things up!!



He has a woodstove in his shack, too.


Here we are, enjoying the gorgeous sunny winter day.




Gordon, me and Inari enjoying our first ride out.



Abby the dog came along too and enjoyed her day running with the sleigh.


Ben got up close and personal with the lovely Belgian horses.


Aren't they magnificent?




Marie-Emmanuelle and Ben posed for a photo with Eugene. It was pretty cold today, about -10C but the windchill made it feel quite  a bit colder. Inari and I were having trouble feeling the ends of our fingers and toes by the time we finished at 5 pm!


It was great having Ben as my own personal law-warmer.


Inari and Gordon sitting back-to-back on a bale of straw on the sleigh.



So what do you think? Can you see me with my own team of horses? I like horses but I have to say, the only ones I've ever dreamed of owning are draught horses. Still, I have MUCH to learn.

Best birthday gift ever! Thanks Eugene.










31 comments:

  1. They are beautiful. Yes, I can see you adding a couple to your hobby farm. Glad you had a great birthday celebration once again. That Eugene...he's such a softie.

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  2. I'm not a huge fan of horses (my first one was a b*stard), but I would love to own a Shire. Are the wood shavings for lying down on (for a rest), or for peeing on?

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    1. Some doctor on our road was supposed to get Shire horses, but after two years, they still haven't shown up! I had heard he was flying them in from England. Beautiful beasts!

      I think the shavings were for peeing on, but you never know with Eugene...

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  3. The bigger and chunkier the horse the better! Go get 'em!

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  4. Oh, I want to go for a sleigh ride, too! With you driving the horses!! Of course, I can see you having a team of Belgian horses. The girls' rest area is interesting but, hey, if it functions, who cares what it looks like. This is rather late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NATALIE!! May many more sleigh rides come your way!!!

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    1. THank you so much Jean! The sleigh ride was wonderful!

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  5. "Good woman driver" Wouldn't have doubted it for a second!

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    1. Hee hee, high praise from my friend Eugene!

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  6. Always loved draught/shire horses,they are amazingly gentle.
    Nothing like using an outhouse in the winter!
    Jane x

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    1. I love their personalites! So big, but like you said, so gentle.

      I took a pass on using the outhouse. :)

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  7. What a wonderful day. Thanks for taking us around, even to the facilities. The horses are magnificent.

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    1. Aren't they? And they were so well trained. And strong!

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  8. I can see it all! Two draft horses. Detailed knowledge on horses. Training your horses. Micro shots of horses. You bet ! You're a natural. These guys must have horses for sale!
    In the other hand, go for it. You'll love horses.

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    1. THere are LOTS of horses for sale around here. FOrtunately I have several friends with horse knowledge, so if we do take that plunge, I'll be getting a LOT of advice!

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  9. What a lovely present! And, the day looked perfect with your family; love seeing how you all embraced the weather:-D XOXO

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    1. Lots of long underwear! :))

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  10. What a wonderful day complete with POSH facilities! I want to wish you a Very Happy VERY Belated Birthday!!

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    1. I know, i know! I mean really, toilet paper in the bush! Very luxe.

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  11. I in love! Your photos are so sweet!!!!!

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  12. Looks like no expense was spared on the girl's rest area!

    Yes I can see you with your own team of horses, and I think they'd fit in very nicely.

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    1. Just need to get the barn and some pasture sorted out for them! (THe horses, not the girls!)

      I was impressed by the wood shavings Eugene put down for absorption!

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  13. A sleigh ride! How magical!

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    1. That's exactly the word I would use to describe it. A sleigh ride through the woods, ahhhh...

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  14. Shire horses, Draught horses, Belgians, they're all beautiful beasts.......I've loved these creatures since I was very young.
    The photos are beautiful Natalie, love the horse with the blonde mane and tail.
    It looks like it was a fun day for everyone.
    No expense spared on the women's rest area, hehe......heated toilet set needed in that weather surely!!

    What a wonderful birthday pressie, maybe next birthday you'll actually get a horse.

    Claire :}

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    1. We had such a good time, even though it was nippy out there with a windchill of something like -22C! I had so much fun.

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  15. What an awesome way to spend a winter day - my favourite horses are Percherons!

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    1. They were my Mum's favourites too! Magnificent beasts.

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  16. Fun day ! Thanks for sharing. Driving a cart or buckboard is fun isn't it .
    I love driving my mini horse and ponies ...who would look like ants next to these guys!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!