Saturday, January 16, 2010

Season of Sleigh Rallies

Even though snow brings a multitude of problems, New Englanders have always found time to enjoy fun in the snow--after they finished shoveling. A good twist of turning lemons into lemonade!

One of these pastimes is Sleigh Rallies. Born in Connecticut, sleigh rallies are a low-keyed competition held in open snow-filled fields. No fancy, high-priced licensed judges, just some local official (or willing person) chooses the winners. A chorus of sleigh bells jingle joyfully through the day as single horses hooked to antique sleighs join farm horses pulling utility sleds. And usually pairs of huge draft horses join the fun. Often a spectator can hitch a ride in a sleigh.

Because sleighs don't turn as easily as wheeled carts, the class only goes one direction. (Does not reverse like typical horse show classes.) Officials running a sleigh rally looks around the field to see what kinds of horses and sleighs have shown up for the day, then taylor-makes the specs of the upcoming class to suit what he sees. Lots of outdoor fun. Does much to alieviate cabin fever.

Oh, I know, you have too much work piled on your desk to spend a few hours at a sleigh rally. Take a break. Get some fresh air and you'll come back to attack those deadlines with fresh vigor.

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