Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling too
Come on, its lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling “You Hoo”
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you

sleigh ride in the woods

Are you singing the above song in your head right now? Are you imagining a sleigh rides with friends?

Horse-Drawn Sleighrides with a group of friends can quickly transport us back to an earlier time in history, can’t they? Depending upon how vivid your imagination is, you can almost imagine yourself in a Currier and Ives print, when most winter travel was done by horse and sleigh through the brisk winter air.

Are you wondering what it would have been like to be able to take a horse drawn sleigh rides over the river and through the woods when the horse knew the way to carry the sleigh?

You don’t need to wonder any longer because Apple Holler is one of the few places in the Milwaukee or Chicago area that offers horse-drawn sleigh rides to the public.  You can create your own memories when you visit Apple Holler and take a private sleigh ride with family and friends.

As you listen to the clump of the horses ‘ hooves as they travel through the crisp snow, you can enjoy the magic of winter as you get a glimpse of a simpler time when the pace of life, especially in the winter, was much slower.

While we may not have a river, we do have plenty of woods for your sleigh ride. Your sleigh ride will take you, and your family or friends through a trail of 78 acres of scenic orchard and woods.  You will even be able to see some of our beautiful hardwoods, many of which are over 100 years old.

 Your sleigh is being pulled by a team of Haflinger horses that were purchased from our Amish friends.   The Haflinger horses have been pulling our sleighs for the past 21 years.   It has often been said that “Haflingers can do anything with a smile”.

According to the American Haflinger Horse Registry:

The breed origin can be traced to medieval times when writings told of an Oriental breed of horse found in the Southern Tyrolean Mountains of present-day Austria and northern Italy. Many of the villages and farms in the Tyrol were accessible only by narrow paths requiring agile and surefooted horses for transportation and packing. Artwork from the region in the early 1800s depicts a noble chestnut horse with riders and packs traversing steep mountain trails.

horse close upThe specialty of the Haflinger lies, of course, in its unique golden chestnut coloring with a long, flowing white mane and tail. But more unique is the people-loving, willing and forgiving temperament that was established over centuries of living alongside and working with the mountain peasants, serving all purposes for all family members. Haflingers very simply became part of the family.

The modern Haflinger is now found all over the world, active in such varied disciplines as dressage, jumping, vaulting, packing, pleasure driving, CDE, western, trail riding, CTE, endurance riding, hitch work and therapeutic riding programs. Haflingers hold their own in competition with other breeds, often showing surprising athleticism and strength for their size.

The Haflinger continues to capture hearts and enrich lives as it has for over two centuries. Horse lovers desiring an equine companion that is safe, versatile, dependable, and beautiful have discovered the Haflinger. Intelligence, character, willingness, grace, stamina, athleticism and long life make the Haflinger a wise choice for everyone.

At the end of the sleigh ride pulled by these magnificent horses, you will enjoy a cup of hot spiced apple cider or hot chocolate, s’mores and marshmallows while sitting around a warm campfire, and creating even more wonderful memories of your sleigh ride at Apple Holler.

If this sounds like a definite “Winter To-Do” this year, we wanted to share a few Do’s and Don’ts with you before you arrive to ensure that your sleigh ride truly is a memorable experience.

  • Do make a reservation. Your sleigh ride is only for your group, so reservations are required in advance.
  • Do dress warmly.
  • Don’t forget the blankets! We strongly suggest you bring some warm winter blankets to snuggle under.
  • Do bring carrots. Our horses LOVE carrots- make sure you bring long carrots so that your fingers don’t get in the way.
  • Don’t forget the camera. If you are bringing your smartphone to use, make sure it is charged.  There will be many opportunities for photos along the way.
  • Don’t worry if there isn’t a lot of snow on the ground on the day of your sleigh ride. A horse-drawn wagon ride is offered as an alternative when snow cover is sparse.
  • And lastly, DO enjoy yourself as you travel through our winter wonderland.