Long time no blog. Since 9/11/10, we’ve had a turnover in command, a record breaking Canandaigua Christkindl Market, a stellar Festival of Trees and a much needed week off between Christmas and New Years.
The calls are starting to come in about carriage rides for weddings both here and at Sonnenberg Gardens. Many of our carriages have been refurnished. I found this great blog by a company that disassembles worn carriages and rebuilds them using as many of the original parts as they can. They do use modern tools such as orbital sanders, but the results are stunning. The blog that this link will take you to shows a Park Drag being brought back to life. http://tinyurl.com/4gaz8tb
Here is OUR Park Drag
For those of us that have a long drive to the Homestead, the record amount of show that we’ve received has been tiresome. It can’t be any better for sleigh rides. We’ve had great publicity this year and people love coming out for this unique experience. Here are some photos of last weekend’s sleigh rides.
We’re thinking spring and are working on a series of gardening classes. It only makes sense since this was a working farm for many years. Our new education director, Kim Bellavia, is putting this great course together and should be finalizing it next week.
It seems like we here at the Homestead are always about a month behind other organizations when it comes to listing our programs. It may be because October, November and December are so busy for us with the preparation and running our two biggest fundraisers. Kim has some great ideas, so keep an eye out for them. My father had this wall hanging with the saying “Next year I’ll get organized”. We can strive for that.
If there are any classes that you’d like to see us offer, please leave us a comment. Stay warm and come on over for a $5 sleigh ride.
I always get asked about the horses that pull the carriages and sleighs at the Homestead. These are all owned by our volunteer carriage drivers and are brought here when it’s time to take visitors on rides. Here is their story as told to me by Denett Pimkowski, our head carriage driver..
Shawn is an American Saddlebred. They are very graceful horses and have a comfortable ground covering walk. They were popular with country doctors, traveling salesmen, plantation owners—people who spent a lot of time on horseback and could appreciate a comfortable horse. Shawn is owned by Dr. Geoffry Hallstead and Geoff, Dawn and I drive him.
Flirt, Peter, Suzie, and Lucy are Morgan horses. Morgans were the first American breed of horses, dating back to the American Revolutionary war. Justin Morgan, a school teacher, bread his stallion to local Vermont mares for some extra money. He kept a diary of who he bred his horse to. All the offspring come out looking like the stallion (father), so after the war, Morgan’s diary became the foundation book for the Morgan Horse Society. Morgans are known for being a do-everything type of horse. Small Vermont farms were often a one horse situation, so the horse needed to be able to plow the garden, take the family wagon to town, get the family to church on Sunday and be ridden for errands. Many Morgans are both ridden and driven and have very sweet personalities. They are like the Golden Retrievers of the horse world.
I started the carriage ride program in 1998 with Flirt. She used to belong to Judge Cribb. When he owned her, he bred her twice and got Peter and then Lucy. I bought Lucy from Joe and when he died, Peter came to me. Lucy has been injured and not working at Granger recently. Suzie belongs to Sue Knauer and is also a Morgan horse.
Beauty is a Dutch Harness Horse. She belongs to Sue Knauer and just started at Granger for sleigh ride season. The Dutch Harness Horse was bred and developed in Holland to pull carriages. They have very flashy “action” which means that they naturally lift their legs high when stepping out at a walk or trot on a carriage