Years ago, when I was about 8 or 10, my family had a lovely little cutter (small sleigh), similar in size and shape to the picture posted below. I don't know where my stepfather got it from, but it was in rough shape when we got it. The burgundy velvet seat was worn and ripped and the paint was checked and cracked, but structurally it was sound. We sanded and sanded to get the old paint off and then he painted it a lovely deep green, smooth and glossy. He did metallic gold pinstripes to accent the shape of the sleigh, putting a fancy script "E" in a corner of the striping on each side, as that was his initial. The seat was reupholstered in a similar burgundy fabric, and the little cutter was PERFECT.
We had a big black stallion, long-legged and strong, with a long, wavy mane and tail. He would've been too much for any of us kids to handle but my stepfather was able to hitch him to the cutter and drive him. There was black harness, nothing fancy but serviceable, and 2 big strings of sleigh bells to go with it.
When we took it out, my stepfather and mom would ride in the cutter along with 1 or 2 kids, and the remaining kid or kids (there were 3 of us big enough to go out at the time) would tie a rope to our saucer (remember those things you slide down hills on?) and then to the back of the sleigh and go along for the ride that way. The only peril to this was that you had to be careful to keep from overtaking the sleigh on a downhill and sliding underneath between the runners!
The cutter was restored before we moved to the farm in early 1970, and we enjoyed it and the horses for maybe 2 years at most. Then the problems began, money and otherwise, and the horses and the cutter were sold. There's not a lot that happened on the farm that I care to remember, but that horse w/his sleigh bells on, high-stepping through the fresh white snow, pulling that beautiful, shiny cutter is something I'd not thought about in many years.
Thank you for today's posting, Ann. Again, I seem to have something in my eye as I remember that time and am reminded that nothing and no one is w/o some good...