Sleigh Rides - Sask News

Sleigh rides: A fun and popular way to enjoy winter


Sask News Now"It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you..."

Those are some of the lyrics to a popular, festive song that you might hear on sleigh rides across the country at this time of year. You also might hearthese lyrics in your own backyard, as many in the areaenjoy the wintery weather, snow and the festive spirit with Sanguine Clyde's, a sleigh ride company just west of Grenfell in Summerberry, Sask.

"We've been doing them (sleigh rides) now since 1996 or 1997. We're booked everyday next week and the Christmas season gets particularly busy," said Sherry Telfer, co-owner and operator of Sanguine Clyde's.

The company was originally started by her father, Harvey MacFarlane, who began giving sleigh rides about 30 years ago. Sherry started out booking and giving rides while her father was on the road as a long haul truck driver, but now home for a while, MacFarlane is once again taking the reins of Sanguine Clyde's, as the senior member of this father-daughter team.

Getting into the sleigh ride business seemed like a natural fit for Telfer, after spending much of her life around horses."When I was growing up, we used to race pony chariots and chuck wagons. Dad did it for 20 years and I actually raced from the time I was 16 until I was 20" said Telfer. "I was around the horses all the time growing up."

Involved in the family business for a few years now, Telfer was first introduced to Clydesdales by her father."I took a 15 year break and while I was taking my break, dad got into Clyde's and did some showing with them," she said noting some of the work she has done with them over the years. "The training starts in the barn at chore time (when horses are fed). You set parameters during feeding time and it carries over to everything that you do with them."

Clydesdales are well known for their role in wintertime pulling sleighs full of adults and children across fields and parks in rural parts of the province or in cities like Regina, where you can often find Sanguine Clyde's throughout the season. Other features that Clydesdales are known for their size and their large hoofs with long, thick white hair. But there is also another feature which many people may not be familiar with.

"They are so gentle - very, very gentle and quiet," said Telfer. "My 3 year old daughter and 4 year old son work with them all the time. Clydesdales are known as 'gentle giants'." Sanguine Clyde's uses two Clydesdale horses and a rubber wheeled sleigh or sled, because, as Telfer pointed out, there is no guarantee there will be enough snow each winter for their sleighs to work with.

Currently, the company is working on developing their ride schedule throughout the year, although the Christmas season is usually their busiest time.

For years, Telfer and her father MacFarlane have enjoyed giving sleigh rides to school groups, churches and local businesses throughout the winter. And there is one reaction that Telfer sees from many first time sleigh riders."So many of these people that we do the rides for, they've never been that close to that kind of horse, and to see the looks on the children's faces when they get up close to an 18 hand Clydesdale - it's just so thrilling to watch them and to see their reaction to the horses," she said.

Continuing the family business and sharing the beauty and enjoyment of sleigh rides in winter is something Telfer wants to keep providing her community and the surrounding areas. And for many people, seeing Clydesdales pulling a sleigh across a snow draped field at Christmas time is indeed something to behold.

"It's just a beautiful sight," Telfer said. "We enjoy it a lot."