WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
Focus On: Antler Ridge Farm Sleigh Rides
For 41 years, Dave and Sandy Hoxsie have been helping families and friends alike to create everlasting memories at Antler Ridge Farm in Williamsburg. According to Dave, many people do not realize that reindeer really do exist. He says that watching people meet these majestic creatures along with their two massive Percheron draft horses, Dixie and Danny, is something he never tires of seeing.
Dixie and Danny are a mother-and-son team, both born on the farm. Weighing in at an amazing 2,000 pounds, Dixie is 20 years old, and Danny is 17. They work in perfect unison to pull a 12-person Christmas sleigh full of happy humans into the woods for some hot cocoa around a blazing bonfire. It is easy to observe that these horses are doing what they love best. The joy they bring to visitors at Antler Ridge Farm is priceless.
It’s hard to predict the weather weeks in advance, so fortunately, snow is not required for the Hoxsies’ sleigh to glide through the woods. Several years ago, they made modifications that allow the sleigh to run with or without snow. Dave says that every year, the sleigh ride schedule is full before the holidays even arrive.
Each trip takes about an hour. When you arrive, there is an eclectic stone warming house full of antiques along with historical and educational information about the horses to check out while you wait for the sleigh to pick you up. You might even get to hug a reindeer or one of the resident alpacas, but if you don’t get to meet them before, you will certainly meet them when your sleigh ride concludes.
Guests at Antler Ridge range from locals to out-of-town visitors from as far away as Russia, New Zealand and Australia. One family has joined the Hoxsies on the sleigh ride for 13 years in a row as a memorable family tradition. Last year, Dave and Sandy even got to meet Cooper Rush, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
In the spring of 2023, Antler Ridge will be adding more reindeer to their herd, so next holiday season there will be even more friendly nuzzles to be had when visiting. Their addition adds more reasons to do what Dave says everyone does anyway, “Arrive early and stay late.”
Maybe you and your crew should be on the list of people who find some holiday joy and cheer gliding through the woods on a sleigh this year. Trips run from November through February. Visit them on Facebook at Facebook.com/AntlerRidgeFarm or give them a call at 231-645-3647.
Antler Ridge Farm
6259 M72 E.
Williamsburg, MI 49690