It is winter and it’s Christmas time, and along with Santa and snowmen and reindeer, many people associate this time of year with horse drawn sleighs. Most people today have never even seen a real sleigh being pulled by real horses. But there are places where people still hitch up their horses, wrap themselves in warm blankets and with sleigh bells jingling, go for a sleigh ride.

At the Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, they’re trying to keep this wonderful activity alive. Each February the village hosts an Antique Sleigh Rally with dozens of horse-drawn sleighs pulled by a variety of horse breeds including Haflinger, Gypsy, Morgan, Arabian, Clydesdale, Percheron, and miniature horses.

Dozens of sleighs? How many is that?

**1. How many sleighs are in 1 dozen?**

**2. If there were 2 1/2 dozen sleighs in the rally, how many would there be?**

Back in the 1800’s many people used sleighs as their main source of winter transportation. In fact, with the ice and snow it was like the roads were paved! And – it’s easier to slide on ice than it is to slide on the ground.

That’s why you can skate on ice – imagine trying to skate on the ground. It can’t be done. Why is that do you think? Ice is slippery, dirt is not. If something is slippery – it has less **friction**!

Science Talk – friction: Friction is a force that holds back the movement of a sliding object.

The runners on a sleigh are designed to be as smooth as possible, so they have less friction and can slide more easily over the ice and snow.

The sleigh to the left is a one horse, two-person sleigh. It was built in 1840.

**3. How old is this sleigh?**

Let’s take a look at this sleigh’s **dimensions**.

Math Talk – dimensions: Dimensions are used to describe the size and shape of an object.

The body of the sleigh is 53″ long with the runners adding an additional 26″ to the length of the sleigh.

**4. What is the total length of the sleigh?**

The sleigh measures 43″ at its widest point and 46″ at its highest point.

**5. How much higher is it than wide?**

Back when sleighs were common, they didn’t have snow plows to clear the roads. Instead of plowing the snow away after a storm, teams of horses and oxen were driven out to ‘break the roads,’ and trample the snow down.

The sleigh in the photo to the left is another style of sleigh. This one has a total length of 74″ and the seat back slants backward at about 70 degree angle.

**6. How much longer is the stencilled sleigh than the sleigh shown here?**

**7. What type of angle is a 70° angle?**

**8. Is a 70° angle > or < a right angle?**

The sound of sleigh bells is music to many people’s ears. Did you know that sleigh bells were developed as a safety precaution? Because sleighs glide so silently over the snow, the jingling sounds prevented collisions, especially in the dark.

A walking horse moves at an average speed of 3 to 4 mph and trots at an average speed of 8 mph.

**9. What does ‘mph’ stand for?**

**10. If you were driving a sleigh and your horses trotted for 1/2 hour and walked for 1 hour at an average speed of 3 mph, how far would you have traveled?**

The next Antique Sleigh Rally is Saturday, February 1, 2014. Not many of us live close enough to attend this wonderful event, but, at least we can enjoy this video!

Antique Sleigh Rally – Answers:

1. How many sleighs are in 1 dozen?

Answer: There are 12 sleighs in a dozen.

2. If there were 2 1/2 dozen sleighs in the rally, how many would there be?

Answer: 2 1/2 x 12 = 30.

OR 1 dozen + 1 dozen + 1/2 dozen = 12 + 12 + 6 = 30.

There are 30 sleighs in 2 1/2 dozen.

3. How old is this sleigh?

Answer: 2013 – 1840 = 173. The sleigh is 173 years old.

4. What is the total length of the sleigh?

Answer: 53 + 26 = 79. The total length of the sleigh is 79 inches.

5. How much higher is it than wide?

Answer: 46 – 43 = 3. The sleigh is 3 inches higher than it is wide.

6. How much longer is the stencilled sleigh than the sleigh shown here?

Answer: 79 – 74 = 5. The stencilled sleigh is 5 inches longer.

7. What type of angle is a 70° angle?

Answer: a 70° angle is an acute angle.

8. Is a 70° angle > or < a right angle?

Answer: A 70° angle is < a right angle.

9. What does ‘mph’ stand for?

Answer: mph stands for ‘miles per hour’

10. If you were driving a sleigh and your horses trotted for 1/2 hour and walked for 1 hour at an average speed of 3 mph, how far would you have traveled?

Answer: Step 1: To calculate how far you would go in a half hour at the trot: 8 ÷ 2 = 4. You would travel 4 miles at the trot.

Step 2: One hour traveling at the walk at a speed of 3 mph, will take you 3 miles.

Step 3: 4 miles + 3 miles = 7 miles. You would travel 7 miles.

Common Core:

3.OA.D.8 – Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division word problems

4.NBT.B.4 Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm

4.NF.B.4b – Multiply fractions by whole numbers

4.MD.A – Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

4.G.A.1 – Acute, right, obtuse, and straight angles

Photos:

All photos courtesy of Old Sturbridge Village