IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -
In one Idaho Falls neighborhood, the idea of dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh isn't limited to the song "Jingle Bells." It becomes a reality that turns heads and delights neighborhood children.
The sound of jingling bells gets a lot of attention in town a couple times a winter when Larry and Wendy Cudmore bring the sleigh out of the garage and the horse in form the stables outside town.
"We have a great time just going through the neighborhood and picking up whoever wants to go on a ride," Cudmore said.
The kids come running and Cudmore is happy to give rides. He even lets the kids take the reigns under his supervision.
Cudmore is an avid outdoorsman. He has owned 29 year old champ, a registered foxtrotter, for 10 years. When champ got a little old for trail riding in the mountains, Cudmore taught him to pull a buggy and a sleigh.
"A couple summers ago I asked my brother about the old sleigh off the North Dakota farm, and as far as we know it hadn't been used for about 70 years, Cudmore said. “My brother said I could have it and this is the second winter Champ's been pulling the sleigh, so we have a great time."
It's a win-win situation. Champ needs some exercise in the winter and Cudmore enjoys seeing the reaction in the neighborhood.
"People came out of their doors at Thanksgiving and asked 'Can you come back in two hours when we're done with our dinner?'”, Cudmore said.
Working with horses again brings back lots of memories for Cudmore.
"I grew up with horses on a farm in North Dakota and left that when I went off to college, and got back acquainted about 20 years ago and it's my main hobby now."
Driving the sleigh around the neighborhood is rewarding for Cudmore.
"Putting smiles on faces like your grandchildren and having them enjoy that, it's just fun. It's just good fun," Cudmore said.
In the summer Champ pulls a wagon, which you can see in the Idaho Falls Fourth of July parade.