Sleigh Ride at Fern Ridge Farm

Saturday was pitch perfect for a sleigh ride. And a sleigh ride seemed a fitting way to celebrate our daughter’s 9th birthday.

We—accompanied by a giddy group of girls, a few dolls, and plenty of celebratory vibes—descended upon Fern Ridge Farm, a 250 acre hilltop in Chelsea, Vermont, with open meadows, red pine forest, larch plantation, and maple sugarbush owned by Meg and Ben Canonica.

Ben uses a pair of Belgian and Belgian/Percheron draft horses, Ted and Roz, to pull logs out of their woods and to cultivate their one-acre vegetable plot. They raise pigs and have started a CSA (community supported agriculture), selling vegetables to neighbors and friends.

Their sleigh was locally built and decked with a string of bells and painted Swedish hues of red and turquoise. We snuggled in under blankets, and Ben’s call of “Ted, Roz, get up,” began our leisurely slide across the white fields of snow in the open meadow where Ben and Meg were married last summer. The horses pulled us onto woodland trails, up and down hills and along ridges. Soon snow began to fall—gently at first, and then in earnest. When we returned to the meadow—now approaching it from the top looking down into the valley—the snow was heavy and swirled about us in our own personal snow globe. Steam rose from the backs of the horses, illustrating the effort of the journey. Our cheeks were red, our feet were chilly. Hot chocolate beckoned.


If you find yourself in or near central Vermont call Ben or Meg Canonica to arrange for a sleigh ride: 802-685-2202.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. David Petrie
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 17:43:35

    Our local farm that had the best sleigh rides — to a log cabin in the woods and back — shut down. So sad. I googled this one with no results. Contact info? And what beautiful photos as we prepare for a celebration of more snow.


  2. Sue
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 21:01:50

    I had the opposite experience today: after a week of warm temps and rain, the lower altitudes are green again, with sandy, gritty roads and sidewalks and patches of dirty snow. But the peaks! Clear skies mean spectacular sunsets on the mountains. Lower reaches in navy blue shadow, high, snow-covered peaks brilliant white with sunshine, slowly going pink, peach, orange. Had to stop by the side of the road to watch on my way home from town. We won’t have any fresh snow for at least 5 days – enjoy yours!


  3. vtbee
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 22:24:55

    sue, is this meg from the coop? what a lovely, lovely way to celebrate lowry’s b-day! thank you for the beautiful pics and gorgeous descriptions.



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