Video: Driving a Horse Drawn Sleigh in Quebec

Darley Newman from Equitrekkingtravel.com shares her experiences learning to drive two Belgian draft horses in Quebec.
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Darley Newman from Equitrekkingtravel.com shares her experiences learning to drive two Belgian draft horses in Quebec.

In February of 2010 I was in North Hatfield, Quebec to get a driving lesson. Jacques Robidas got Mimi and Jackie, two Belgian Draft horses, ready for my?lesson. I would be learning to drive a horse drawn sleigh--so nice in the winter snow!

We took off at a good clip into the forest. Jackie and Mimi are related, Mimi being Jackie?s daughter, and get along like two peas in a pod. I had driven a cart in Vermont, so knew a few of the commands (haw go left and gee go right), but we stuck to staying straight on the trails for my first lesson. It is exhilarating to guide the horses and to hold that much power and be able to control it with your reins and voice. As a snowstorm blew in, we were able to get the full experience of being in a horse drawn sleigh.

For dinner, Jacques? wife cooked up a delicious pastry filled with buffalo meat, zucchini, broccoli, couscous, salad with smoked salmon, bred with fresh homemade pesto, and cake for dessert. Everything was made with organic ingredients, making me feel healthy after a day on the trails.

After a cozy night in my cabin, I awoke to another great meal. Breakfast consisted of eggs, pancakes, potatoes and ham and spinach, black tea, and toast. We toured around the town, seeing a covered bridge and other New England architecture.

Darley Newman is the host of the Emmy Award-winning Public Television series Equitrekking??, which takes viewers on horseback riding vacations around the world. Purchase Equitrekking DVDs in our shop and learn about Club Equitrekking. Learn about equestrian vacations and book a horseback riding vacation at www.EquitrekkingTravel.com, www.Equitrekking.com.