Thursday, August 25, 2016

When the "best" price isn't always the best thing.

We have all heard "you get what you pay for" and all the other similar cliches when it comes to purchasing a good or service. We have all also privately desired to obtain that good or service at the lowest price possible.

This is being a "smart" or "savvy" shopper. Right? Well...not always. You see some business's have very little "wiggle" room and some none at all. Commercial carriage is a good example.

Very few if any that remain in the business for long are doing it because it is highly profitiable. It's just a business where that simply isn't possible. Its a high cost/low return business, and there is no way around that. Its a labor of love not fat bank accounts.

Which is why I caution you against hiring the "cheapest" carriage service in your area. You just can't provide feed, vet, farrier, hay, grooming supplies, dental care, etc for carriage horses and at the same time play cut rate with the prices you charge.

You just can't. See...not too many businesses have employees that are on room/board/meals & full medical 365 days a year for very part time employment. Not only that its usually not just one of those employees its usually two per carriage operated. You know...just in case one is sick, lame, or can't work for whatever reason. 

So...its more of a "THEY get what you pay for" and I mean that quite literally. The horses are the "they"and the price you pay directly affects the quality of the care they get. Its the difference between a company that can afford to call the vet when needed, and one that put's up a Go Fund Me page in hopes that a sympathetic public might pay that bill for them. (usually not) 

Also worth noting is when you look you will notice that the "bargain bin" carriage services are cutting lots of corners. Look at the first photo of a horses obviously wearing tack that does not fit and undoubtably belongs to one of their far larger horses. Or the second photo that clearly depicts that it can be third world bad for the horse belonging to the outfit that is operating on a razors edge. Compare them to the last photo of a proper first class turn out. 

I hope you keep this in mind when you are shopping for a carriage service. If the ones that charge the most seem to look the best there are good reasons behind that. When live animals are part of the equation the cheapest around is never the best choice. Paying a fair market price for an any animal industry endevor insures fair treament of the animals. So please...when it comes to carriage services, shop with your eyes, and not with your purse strings.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday weddings and afternoon rides

I admit I have been neglecting our Facebook page. I have failed to upload photos from recent events and I have been driving a lot lately. This has resulted in me not being in a position to take photos which is going to happen again today most likely with our Sunday wedding. No rest for the wicked is what they say.

We have found ourselves becoming busier and busier. Last year's tax returns showed our gross almost doubled from previous years. We have added new horses and new carriages to our fleet. Above pictured is our Carriage Machine Shop aka Bird in Hand Amish made 8 passenger wagonette.

The addition of this carriage is for a new service we will be offering come fall when it cools off a bit. We are going to be offering Sunday after church carriage rides starting here from our farm.The rides will meander down gravel and quiet country roads surrounding us. They will last longer than a typical city hack ride does and will offer something for those of you that are looking to just relax and kick back rather than playing chicken with cars in a busy downtown.

Your welcome to bring along snacks and refreshments to enjoy on the carriage, maybe bring a picnic basket! As you can see it has a top to shade you from the sun. Depending on the response we may be adding additional days and times to the rides. If you would like more information, or want to get on a list to be sent the dates, or make a reservation call me at (501) 232-4102

We are excited about this new service. For our old friends, new friends, and those we have not met yet! We hope to see you soon! :)

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 year in review, out with the old, in with the new!

The first thing this year found us in New York City with the Carriage Operators of North America convention in February showing our support for the horse drawn carriage industry there. We had an awesome time! 

We got a few really cool photos in Central Park from the seat of a carriage too!


We  had a blast with this little cutie at her birthday party! Dad went all out for the apple of his eye with a petting zoo, bounce house, and of course Cinderella and her carriage pulled by Prince and Pearl! :) 

Cinderella fell in love with a baby Kangaroo 

We serviced many beautiful weddings, All over the state, from Fayetteville, 

to Mountain Home,

 and Eureka Springs to the north, and as far south as

Alexandria, Pine Bluff, Waldron, and everywhere in between.

and always a few events each year where they don't need a horse at all!


and a new great partner in training! we love you Lilly!

We attended birthday Parties from the serene countryside of Bisco to

to city Suburbs everywhere.

Saw amazing sunsets to enjoy

and little Princess's galore! 

The sweltering month of August found us giving our horses a break and driving carriages in the cool of beautiful Cape May, New Jersey for a dear friend.  

As fall approached we were at a small town parade with a Homecoming Queen


and plenty of corporate events

where horses get kisses from cows!

and places where horses get kisses from adorable babies.

and others where the pets and scritches come from the grannies.

Rides for all at Daddy daughter dances!

Lastly many thanks to our sponsors for a few local Christmas time rides too!

From day cares, to nursing homes, weddings galore, and church functions, Many birthdays, corporate events, and anniversaries. We even enjoyed a few country drives. Our deepest thanks to all our customers both new and long standing for making this year the busiest and best yet! We appreciate you!  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Forever in their debt.

    Prince and Pearl, Duke and Baron, Queen, and Bonnie and Clyde. 

   All seven of our carriage horses are amazing horses. They brave things that would have the average horse badly spooked. We routinely encounter all sorts of crazy things that very few horses would ever tolerate. Heavy traffic, loud motorcycles, and honking cars is the mild stuff. We have had everything from a carriage full of teen girls screaming at the top of their lungs, to mariachi bands, bagpipes, the massive gun fire on New Year's Eve, and even fireworks. Lots more of the typical stuff as well, screaming babies, hyper children, every sort of flapping plastic, and loud event commotion, is all just part of their "norm"  

   Unlike the hack or street carriage horse our special event carriage horses have to perform in a different environment at each job. Someplace they have never seen before and are unfamiliar with. Most people can't fully grasp the level of training much less the immense trust that these horses have in us and us with them to be able to perform under those circumstances, and do it calmly. Good commercial carriage horses have to have a naturally adaptable personality. The reliable ones always do. A large part of their fearlessness is due to the bond they have with their drivers and footmen. It is a mutual bond that is nothing short of divine. 

  This brings me to share with you a little about the human side of the equation. You see, the bond flows both ways. The connection a driver has with his/her horse is equally important. Being flight animals even the best horses can get a little rattled once in awhile and that is where our equine partners trust in his person comes in. A soothing tone of voice, a command given with authority does wonders to let that equine partner know that not only is he being given direction, hes safe because he is not alone. It's hard to describe to the non-horseman, but to those who are, it's as real a thing as the morning sun. Speaking of such things among their peers the horseman simply nods in understanding. 

  So you can probably imagine the deep love and appreciation the horseman/woman has for their horses. We keep each other safe and out of harm's way. We lean on each other for support when things get sideways. The trust that forms between a carriage driver and his/her horse goes far deeper than just affection for a beloved pet. It is a mutual respect like no other. The love and admiration we grow to feel for our horses is immense. Carriage drivers thank God every day for their brave and wonderful horses, and cannot help but to feel forever in their debt.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A new year brings new things.

Meet the newest edition to our herd of carriage horses! This is Baron. Baron Von Garriott to be exact, but just Baron for short. Baron is an experienced special events horse. He has a really nice personality and is just a really agreeable kinda boy. We are actively bonding with him now and he is doing very well with everything we have asked of him. As you can imagine as horse lovers we are really excited to start a new journey with our new horse. The excitement around here is palatable.

We have also added a new horse drawn vehicle to our fleet. Powder coated in a glitter gold frame and upholstered in the passengers section in a matching glitter gold seats our new Wagonette will be a big hit for those larger parties where the numbers of people riding are more than can easily be handled with a more traditional carriage. The Royal Wagonette will comfortably hold 12 large size adults and 14-16 people of various sizes. Pulled by one of our teams of horses its a really fun as well as a classy ride! You really have to see it in person to appreciate it. When the sun hits the gold sparkle frame it is really stunning. 

Late last summer we added a new Clydesdale mare to our family. A Registered mare that is 9 years old and has been shown all her life. Now our Clydesdale gelding Clyde has a new girlfriend! and her name? Well...Bonnie of course! We have been working the horses together and they act like they have been team mates all their lives. Clyde only one year younger than her and they are marked remarkably the same for two very flashy horses. Look for them on the job together sometime this year. While there always seems to be something in the works around here thats all the new news for now. :) 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Year in Review - 2014

We started the year early with wedding, engagements, birthday parties, and...

She said yes!

The girls love feeling special with dad at the church sponsored daddy daughter dances. :) 

and of course birthdays are better when you get to feel like a total princess! 

Before the weather got warm we showed our support for our fellow operators during the corporate events we were servicing in early spring. 

More weddings with our different carriages

and a new partnership with our very own Cinderella, Miss Amanda Cross! 

From Conway cuties, to local nursing homes...

Our horses got love and attention from both young and old. :) 

and then those jobs where you try not to cry...

Like, Relay for Life.. 

..and Make a Wish.

More beautiful brides

 we wisk away in the night.

 Custom decorations for a glorious sight

Some weddings for friends

 so much fun

Loved the bright colors Rita! 

We had some interesting themed weddings

Like this one that was East Asian 

Arkansas Angels and the others that always have us back :)

again and again...

and in the middle of it all a brand new horse

 to expand our horses that can work in teams

Princess Bonnie and Count Clyde working together

and of course our Prince and his Pearl

and a project that started in Spring

and did not end until fall

and rainbow Unicorns... 

that can do it all!

 With weddings way north

and others way south 

and Parties for Princesses everywhere in between

with sugar and spice

and everything nice.

Then lots of daycares with Santa

where he





I guess since hes Santa he can do that.

And then after dark we had the rides in Burns Park.

Family Fun

Cozy Couples

Group rides where you meet new friends

The End...