1 This is my housekeeper, Laura Acuna, polishing my horse drawn sleigh. This one dates from the early 1900s. Laura and Sanu worked hard getting the carriage house ready for the tour.
2 Before the advent of the automobile, many people traveled by horse and buggy in the warm months and by cutter or sleigh when it snowed. This is my two-bench cutter.
3 Cutters are typically smaller and were meant for a cozy ride for one or two couples. Sleighs were built to accommodate a larger group so that entire families could travel together.
4 This beautiful carriage is a Brewster Wicker Phaeton.
5 Also known as a Lady's Wicker Phaeton, the low-slung body allowed easy access for women wearing long skirts.
6 The carriage was designed to either let the lady drive from the front seat or for a coachman to lead the way from this seat in the rear.
7 This is a Brewster Bronson Wagon, also from 1900, which was the popular sporting wagon for country gentlemen. It's framed and paneled sides were the inspiration for the early "Woody" station wagons.
8 The driver's seat in carriages is almost always wedge-shaped. The added height raises the driver above the horses' backs so that he or she has a clear view of how the horses are behaving.
9 The seats are upholstered with a wool broadcloth.
10 Laura likes to use this furniture tonic by Christophe Pourny because it's made from natural, non-toxic ingredients that nurture wood as it restores luster. http://www.christophepourny.com/store/furniturecare.html
11 Sanu is cleaning a marathon carriage, which was manufactured in Poland.
12 A marathon carriage is quite fast and is used for driving competitions. The carriage is designed to carry a driver and a groom, who counterbalances the carriage on tight turns.
13 There is also a gig in my collection.
14 A gig is a light, two-wheeled sprung cart pulled by one horse.
15 After detailing all of the carriages, Sanu and Laura covered them until the day of the tour.
16 Sanu washed all the windows inside and out using Martha Stewart Clean, of course!
17 Cobwebs were dusted away.
18 The floors were vacuumed.
19 And the floors were washed.
20 Gyurme helped by dusting the lights.
21 The lights shone brightly!
22 Phurba power washed the stable floors while Gelbu mucked the stalls.
23 The stable floors are power washed about once a month.
24 As always, Betsy and Dolma made sure that the horses were well-groomed. This is Meindert getting all spic and span just before the tour group arrived.
25 When driving, horses require special harnesses, which are kept very neatly in Betsy's office. They were purchased from Freedman Harness in Canada. http://www.freedmanharness.com
26 Sanu and Laura carried a large tray of homemade cookies.
27 In addition to cookies, coffee and tea was served.
28 All set and ready for visitors
29 This is Rolf Van Schaik who, along with his wife, Carol, organized this visit.
30 Paul Fournier and Karen Webb loved the miniature Sicilian donkeys.
31 Who wouldn't love Rufus, Billie, and Clive?
32 Judy Ballantine - Founding board member of Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue www.saveyourassrescue.org
33 Paul was intrigued with all of the burlap-covered boxwood.
34 The group wandered from the stable to the carriage house.
35 Karen Webb posing with the Brewster Bronson
36 Carol Van Schaik, next to the Brewster Wicker Phaeton, organized this tour.
37 Betsy Perreten, my stable manager, was there to answer questions.
38 Gemma and John White
39 Betsy, Bruce and Olga Hausser, Lee Sawyer - CAA President, John Frost, (back row) David and Liz Herrick
40 New arrivals
41 The guests enjoyed mingling.
42 The cookies were very popular.
43 There was a good turnout.
44 Thank you, Sanu and Laura, for all your hard work getting ready for this tour.
45 Dawn Ziegler, Susan Knauer, and Paula Leonard
46 Emily Tompkins - D.V.M. and Mike Karlin, D.V.M. Dipl. ACVS
47 Audrey Bostwick Perkasie, Betsy, Karen Schell, and P.J. Crowley - CAA Director
48 Everyone was taking photos with their phones.