We have a family of six horses at Vermont Sleigh Rides. During sleigh season, three horses are “on duty” and work and reside at the Stowehof Inn. This year, the sleigh horses are Big Jim, Coconut and Bart.
First, the “captain,” Big Jim:
Big Jim’s been with me since 2002. He’s a fifteen-year-old Belgian who was trained by the Amish and spent many years as a full-time logging horse. He’s got a “let’s get the job done” personality. Jim’s the leader of the pack and specializes in the pulling the family and group sleighs (with his partner, Coconut). In his “off season,” Jim pulls firewood and saw logs with me and helps keep the garden plowed and cultivated.
Coconut is an eight-year-old Percheron mare. She joined the herd last Fall after I met her while driving horses at the Pumpkin Festival at Cedar Circle Farm (Thetford, VT). She’s a beautiful horse with a proud gait. Coconut specializes in teaming up with Big Jim to pull the group sleigh.
And then there’s Bart (sorry, no sleigh-action-shots yet):
Bart’s a fifteen-year-old Percheron/Canadian cross. We got him in 2004 as an untrained horse. We first trained him to the saddle, whereby he then went to riding camp with our then-eight-year-old daughter for several years. Later, we trained him to drive and he’s now specializing in pulling the romantic sleigh. In the off-season, Bart returns to his life as a saddle horse in the woods of Worcester and Walden.