Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Customers or Old Friends?

Had a super great time tonight with new customers that already feel more like old friends. Thats Trent in the picture with his wife in the pink coat ( it was her birthday and Trent had surprised her with the carriage ride) and his daughter is hugging Dukes head. These folks also have horses and were a total blast to have on board. I really think Ron and I enjoyed ourselves as much as they did.

Then we get home stop for the mail and I got the nicest thank you card from a job we did 2 weeks ago that read:

To The Princess's Carriage- Thank you so much for coming out and supporting A Royal Night Out! Your discount and carriage ride helped us raise $33,000 for the kids!! Its supporters like you that make it possible! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Community Connections Team

Does life get any better than this?

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Quinceanera in El-Dorado, the city of great riches.

Friday found us in El-Dorado, Ar. We were in the city of great riches to celebrate with this young lady her Quinceanera. Our carriage was followed through the main streets and around the courthouse square by the biggest white Cadillac Limousine. It contained her hilariously rowdy escorts. ( well sort of they we all hanging out the windows, and sitting on the limo's doors) What great fun we all had, and the young beauty even got her photo taken by the local newspaper!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A trip to El-Dorado

El-Dorado, spanish for "The Gilded One" A legendary city or historical region of the New World, often thought to be in South America, that was fabled for its great wealth of gold and precious jewels and eagerly sought by 16th- and 17th-century explorers, including Sir Walter Raleigh. this case its in South Arkansas, but the experience certainly yielded a great wealth of good times! Being nearly a four hour drive south of us we decided to leave the morning before and overnight at the Bar J Ranch of El Dorado where both we and our horse could stay together fresh and ready for the next days carriage service for the young ladies Quinceanera in town. For those of unfamiliar with what a Quinceanera is you can read about it here,
At the Bar J we could literally open the door of our very nice hotel room in the horse barn and look right at Duke happily munching away at his hay. Just how cool is that!

The staff at the Bar J are dedicated to personal service and let me tell you they know how to do it. Everything from where to park, help with unhooking the trailer (even in a down pour), where to put our horse, to home cooked meals in the mess hall we had someone there within seconds to help. We started out being happy to just find a place to stay for a job the next day and ended up with an experience that leaves us hungry to return another day for a fabulous western style vacation. I really cant say enough good things about the Bar J experience but I can give you a pictorial glance of it from the pictures I took on our brief visit

You can learn more about all they offer on their website here:

This is a place that I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, horses, and the western lifestyle. Family oriented and kid friendly too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Willow Wind of Searcy Arkansas

Here is a recent picture of our Cinderella carriage sitting in front of Willow Winds event center in Searcy Arkansas. This photo only captures about a fourth of the true size of this gorgeous adobe house. Inside boasts gorgeous southwestern design throughout and a full sized swimming pool as well. Already becoming a popular place for weddings and receptions ( the grounds are as gorgeous as the house) I cant imagine a more perfect place to celebrate a Quinceanera in Arkansas! The owners are about as nice, thoughtful, and accommodating as folks can get, and I highly recommend Willow Wind for your next special event!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Young and Old Beauty

This photo was taken in front of the 100+ year old Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in downtown Fort Smith Arkansas. The carriage is our Disney Princess. The dark purple roses and silver butterflies really looked good on the Disney. The bride was simply gorgeous and seeing her on the seat was the icing on the cake!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Another Homecoming Celebration

10/9/2010 found us in Little Rock at the JA Fair High School in Little Rock for their homecoming game. We did a photo shoot with the horse and carriage and all the queens court including the Princess's elected from each respective grade.

Let me tell you that is one school that has more than its share of gorgeous girls! The grand finale was when the extraordinarily beautiful young lady in the above picture was crowned 2010 Homecoming Queen and took a victory lap around the track in our Cinderella Carriage.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Homecoming Parade

One of the nice things about having a horse and carriage service is that once in awhile I get to use one of the carriages for my own family. This time it was to showcase my two teen daughters who were in the homecoming parade at school due to being nominated as sophomore and junior homecoming maids for their high school. Our horse was perfect, and we even got some great pictures!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Birthday My Lady, Your Carriage Awaits!

Princess Morgan of Little Rock turned 4 years old this Saturday and boy did her family make it a birthday she will remember! Not only did all her friends and family show up in royal attire, her mother had invited Snow White, Belle, and Cinderella!

Each of the famous Princesses took turns riding with the little ones on our Cinderella carriage through the neighborhood and teaching the girls "elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, touch your pearls and blow a kiss!" to the waving neighbors and passing cars. What a fun time!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Doing it right, and doing it wrong!

Yes there is a difference, a BIG difference and for those of you that don’t know what should, and should not be, I’m going to educate you here so you will know. While what you personally expect from a carriage service may vary, but what you should never accept is the same for everyone. Humane care issues are always first and foremost. I only hope that you would never ride on a carriage with a horse looking like the one in the picture to the left.Yet this is a real carriage horse that was up until recently available in a downtown area for rides. Below one of my white horses is pictured.

The obvious contrast of an unhealthy vs healthy condition between the two horses is really truly  staggering.

While it may not be hard to tell the difference between a dingy beat up looking carriage with a driver wearing street clothes with loose hair blowing in the wind compared to a neat, dressed to kill, top hat and formal wear attired driver sporting a spotless well kept carriage. This obvious difference while IMHO is important its not what really gets my hackles up about a carriage service that’s doing it all wrong.

What I would like to vent about here is the few surviving carriage operators/owners that seemingly give no more care or concern about their horses than they do their turn out, or tacky appearance. They are the ones that give the carriage business a bad name and a bad image.

Thankfully they are very few and far between, but when they are out there on the streets for all to see, and while they are certainly not doing the rest of us any favors, the most disturbing thing is the sad reality for their horses. I’m going to give you some things to think about, and watch for so hopefully if you see such an outfit you will avoid them at all costs and thereby take away their incentive to do more bad business as usual.

Here are the three worst IMO, and three things that you should never ever see!

#1) An underfed skinny carriage horse – there is no, and I mean NO excuse for a horses ribs or spine to be poking out! If you can see and easily count them all like the bay horse in the picture above left the horse is far too thin, and this is not only unhealthy for the horse, it is not acceptable in any way! The draft horses you most commonly see used in carriage services are “cold blooded” and of the type that takes less feed that most horses do to maintain weight due to their slower metabolism and laid back attitudes. If anything a responsible owner has to make sure they don’t get too fat!

#2) A lame carriage horse - while most people find it impossible to see at the walk, the trot is a dead giveaway for seeing a lame horse even for a non-horse person. If the horses head noticeably bobs rhythmically up, then down, with each trot step then the horse is lame and in pain. There are zero excuses to use a lame and in pain carriage horse, its just plain cruel.

#3) An unattended carriage horse – No… its not “ok” to walk away from a horse harnessed to a carriage for any reason. It is not acceptable to clip a horse to something handy so you can walk into a building, or jump in a truck to warm up, or even to use the bathroom. Never for any reason should a horse be left without a handler, not even for a minute. Horses are extraordinarily strong and being flight animals when startled are very dangerous if not under a persons control. Even the very best “steady Eddy” types can get bit by a stinging insect, become frightened if a bridle is rubbed off, or startle from something that was totally unforseen and completely unexpected. Any competent horse owner well knows this, and knows to never say never when it comes to a horse possibly reacting in a bad way to unexpected things. We that “do it right” know its always better to be safe than sorry. A carriage operator is not only responsible for himself and his horse, they are also responsible for the safety of the public around them. If a carriage driver needs a break for lunch, dinner, the bathroom, or to warm up, etc. There should be a ground person to take over staying right there with the horse during their time away.

Well….. off my soapbox, there are lot’s of things I see that I don’t agree with but these are the three major ones I think we can all indisputably agree on.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

First its this, then its that!

Kiss the Bride Expo- bridal show in Little Rock, Sunday March 14th from 12 to 5 pm.

I’m sure you know the feeling, first its one thing, then another, and the next thing you know your head is spinning off and you don’t know where to find it.

The month of March has found us busier than busy bees. While only 6 days into it, its already a whirlwind of calls for carriage service, website problems that had to be fixed, the delivery of a horse we sold to out of state, as well as getting ready for the above show we will be attending in Little Rock 45 minutes north of us where we will be bringing 3 carriages for display.  Just the three trips to get them there is taking some major planning. 

My daughters Shelby 15, and Cody 16 will be in the fashion show modeling bridal gowns on the runway. The girls are really excited about this opportunity. Of course that leaves even more planning on how to get them where they need to be while still getting the carriage booth set up.

What else can we find to do these days? Exasperated in Arkansas!