Wednesday, December 21, 2011
As any lifelong horse person will tell you there is only one way to make a small fortune in a horse business and that is to start out with a large one! Truer words have probably never been uttered.
Horse and carriage service ( assuming it is done properly) is no exception. Regardless of your horse activity horses must regularly eat, be vetted, and receive expensive farrier care on a continuous basis. There is no cutting corners due to off season, a lack of money, not wanting to go out to care for them in nasty weather, or just being plain ole lazy. That might work for some businesses, but not one that employs live animals.
I am very lucky indeed. Besides having family in the race horse hay business which insures me a steady supply of quality fertilized hay no matter what, I am also a gifted with the knowledge, skill, and tools to take care of my horses farrier needs, though I often opt to pay for the service. (I'm getting old what can I say?) Even so, the $180 a week we spend at the feed store for grain adds up quickly over just one months time much less the whole year.
Then of course there are lots of other expenses, winter blankets, feed supplements, salt blocks that got replaced this year at an alarming rate due to the heat and rain combination this year. Then there are wormer's, shots, grooming products, teeth floating, and well...you get the idea.
Something not a lot of people know is "The Princess's Carriage" service was never set up in the first place to "have" to make money to survive. Keeping in mind the cost of properly caring for horses I set up my horse endeavors to be entirely self sufficient without that needing to be part of the equation. I have had horses for 40+ years and have always "flipped" the bill for their care out of my own pocket because of a love of horses, and the want to have, and be with them.
So....the dollars from the carriage service is just an icing for the cake as they say. Every penny goes right back to the horses, and for their benefit. Just ask my tax man who keeps telling me that a business goal is supposed to be to make a profit. Really? Is not having healthy very well cared for horses not a pay check? To me it is!
At any rate we would like to take this minute, this special time of year, at the years end, to thank all the many people each year that use us for their special events. Rest assured you are doing wonderful thing's for our horses, as well as a few others when you do. You see, we also take in underprivileged, often neglected, and sometimes abused horses several times a year as well, though we rarely mention it. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts dear customers, and know ours is a labor of love, not profit.
Thanks again from us here at "The Princess's Carriage" Arkansas finest horse drawn carriage service!
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
I'm surprised at how often we are asked "what happens if the horse uses the rest room?" Well...first of all if the horse actually used a rest room there wouldn't be a question like that to ask in the first place. Right? lol. I do know what they mean though, and exactly what customers are trying to ask in a polite way.
So..I decided to offer up the trade secret here in this photo which shows the solution to the, ahem...problem. All our horses wear diaper bags, bun bags, manure catchers, or even souvenir bags as some call them. Ewe! At any rate its a piece of harness that either attaches to the horses harness or another style that attaches to the carriage's shafts. Either way it catches any "accidents" that might happen.
It lays flat and is hardly noticeable at all. Like the hoof boots if you don't even know any of it is there if you are not looking. So...did you notice the hoof boots in this photo or did your eye just say that was the horses black hooves? Some people will see them, but most wont pay any attention at all. The bun bag is even less visible from a side view, so I took this photo from the back so you could see it.
Long story short when we come to your event you never have to worry about the fact that a live animal is involved. You wont see any "evidence" while we are there or after we are gone. Just relax and enjoy your special day. We really have thought of everything!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
This birthday celebration was for three little girls who were each turning five years old. Each of their families had each pitched in to make it one they will remember for a lifetime. Everyone came, Cinderella, Snow White, Mermaid, Genie, Belle, and all the rest of the Disney celebrities. One little girl was caught whispering to herself "this is really, real" when she saw Cinderellas horse and carriage appear with a gorgeous Cinderella inside along with a present for each birthday girl from Duke her horse. There was also a bouncy house, and of course cake, cookies, and punch.
Great kids, great folks, a great party, and a GREAT TIME!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Also in this picture is a young man that is a friend of my college age son who came home with Travis to spend the weekend with us. Arnold is an exchange student at ASU from Tanzania, Africa. Arnold is astride one of our six carriage horses all of which are not only trained to pull a carriage but also as solid riding horses. This was Arnold's first time on a horse. Our horses are well trained so Arnold was able to relax and just enjoy himself. Even though riding was a new experience for him Arnold had a natural talent for it.
It was awesome for us to be able to share a glimpse of our way of life with a wonderful young man from half way around the globe. Listening to Arnold speak of how "normal" it is for him to see lions, zebra, and elephants where he is from really brings home how different "a way of life" can be from one person to the next. Maybe someday I will get to go visit Arnold, if not then at least he got the opportunity to ride my horses.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Now to understand this one needs to keep in mind their true agenda. You see they do not want people to eat meat, use leather, or own animals at all. They also have a dream of seeing the day when your pet could be represented by one of their lawyer's and sue you the owner for violating the animals "rights" which are determined of course by them.
Now one of the things the anti-carriage horse clan loves to spout off about is the "sad" eyes on the carriage horses, and the use of blinders which are a useful and traditional piece of harness that has been around for many centuries. Along with a whole host of other uneducated, unfounded, and sensationally untrue claims in an effort to dupe the general public into supporting their causes.
At any rate I posted this very close up picture of my horse Duke's eye at the last wedding we were at just this last Friday evening. I don't know about you, but what I see showing in my horses eye is brightness, intelligence, and positively twinkling with life (blinders and all!) Which by the way don't "blind" anything, but direct his nearly 360 degree vision forward. This helps keep a driving horse from being distracted from the side and helps keep his field of vision forward more like ours. Notice I said "helps". If he wants to see something at his side he simply has to turn his head.
Anyway...tell me what you see. I am welcome to comments. Like they say, "Opinions... everybody has one". So...what say you?
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I am happy to announce I now have a professional florist shop on board that is available to provide that service for you for a wide rage of fees depending on what you want. A Perfect Bloom of Beebe, Arkansas has generously agreed to work closely with us and you for that fresh, professionally done live floral in your wedding colors added to the carriage. They can take care of the rest of your wedding floral's as well as many other wedding related rentals that they offer.
If this is something you are interested in do give them a call. Talk to Kelly who is an Arkansas Master Florist about your live dream arrangement for your once in a lifetime day. (501) 882-2144 and we will handle picking it up, and adding it to the carriage for you!
Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Meet Queen a young mare we have had here at our farm in training for the last year. This photo was taken in Quitman, Ar. at her first official special event for “The Princess’s Carriage” our horse drawn carriage service. As you can see it was a wedding. The couple requested our rare Disney Princess carriage. We decorated it in a pale blue that matched the couple’s new home as well as their wedding colors. The event was held in their back yard in a gorgeous neighborhood full of spectacular homes sitting on large lots full of mature trees.
Queen could not have performed more perfectly. She was completely calm and collected. There was even a tent with well over a dozen tables covered with billowing table cloths from the high winds we were experiencing that day. That type thing can unsettle many a good horse, but she was completely unflappable about all that flapping. lol! Queen has a wonderful work ethic, has proven to have nerves of steel ( for a horse anyway), as well as listens and behaves to the highest degree .
We are very thrilled to have Queen now working as an addition to our company. While she is obviously not a white horse ( our specialty) as you can see her shiny black color adds a different kind of very formal look hitched to a white carriage. We acquired her knowing that we needed a horse we could use as a back up plan in the winter months when occasionally it is just too cold to give a white horse the required shampoo bath to be presentable. We could not be happier with this nice young mare and look forward to many more years of a great partnership with her.
Monday, June 27, 2011
If your planning a wedding don't forget to check out the Links page on our
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Meet Lilly Ice my new farrier. This picture was taken right after she had put four new rubber horse shoes on our downtown horse Clyde the Clydesdale. These are not an easy shoe to apply but that isn’t what’s most amazing about this story. The fact that I went through three local male farriers first is pretty interesting though.
There was one that was overwhelmed and claimed the shoes would not fit ( Clyde is sporting them in the pic) Another was an older gentleman in his 70’s who I have been using for several years who does a beautiful job but had to quit because he said doing the big horses made him sore which at his age is understandable. Then a third that came out once but then promptly fell off the planet and can no longer be reached by phone or capable of returning a call left on his voice mail. Which for some odd reason is a common customer complaint about far too many farriers.
However…complaining is not in order when it comes to discussing my new lady farrier Ms Lilly Ice. She is as tough as the horse shoe nails she uses, showed up when she said she would all the way from Russelville 2 hours away, and not only did the job with two unusually cranky draft horses, she did a nice job, and was even open to suggestions without the “I’m the farrier” attitude one generally gets from the guys. You really could not ask for a better scenario. Next time… send me a woman to do a mans job!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Busy, Busy, Busy, is the only way to describe things here this time of year at “The Princess’s Carriage”. Last week was a flurry with jobs all through the week and weekend. This Saturday came finding us no less covered up having to split up both crews. Each heading in different directions, One crew was off to Walnut Ridge, Ar. for a wedding on the campus there. Afterwards we explored a world war museum and aviation graveyard where there are literally jet airplanes from all over the world left to be scrapped. If you have not seen one before its really something to see and worth the trip to Walnut Ridge, Ar.
At the same time another crew was off to Belgian Meadows Farm on Lawson Road in Little Rock to provide carriage service for that popular wedding venue and event center. The farm is a beautiful place with a small lake, rolling meadows and gorgeous mature trees everywhere. Pictured above is a picture of Duke on our Vis-à-Vis in front of the lake and one of the many picturesque trees that abound at Belgian Meadows. Contact info for Belgian meadows can be found on the links page of our website if you or someone you know is looking for what they have to offer. http://princesscarriage.com/links.html
Next Saturday wont be any less eventful (pardon the pun I couldn’t resist) with one crew headed to Scott, Ar. and the other to Searcy first, and later to Judsonia for a total of three in one day. Whew! I'm getting tired just thinking about it. lol
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday night found us at the Clinton Library surprised by the number of festivities going on there with the Walk for Life relay for cancer. These fine ladies in the picture decided to take a ride on our carriage shortly after unloading. After the ride the gal on the left explains to us that she herself is a cancer survivor. I started over to a booth to break a twenty for her change when she tells me to just donate it to the cause instead.
Wow! what a good idea! It feels really good to donate to such a great cause, so we decided to donate a quarter of our proceeds towards the cure off of each and every ride we gave! We found a booth willing to take the money and the great gals running it even supplied a Gatorade to my too busy to stop and get something to drink carriage driver. A great time with a great group to help out with a great cause. I hope we can be a part of their fund raisers again!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
As anyone who follows us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Princesss-Carriage-Arkansas-Finest-Horse-Drawn-Carriage-Service/110479649001672 already knows we were subjected to this verbal accusation last Saturday night in Downtown Little Rock by a woman who decided to yell out “feed your horse” from across the street in an effort to humiliate us. In her defense there have been some sorry looking horses around town and had her outburst been towards one of their owners it would have been well founded.
However….such was not true in this case, and I would like to set the record straight for us here at “The Princess’s Carriage” with a link to an online picture album of every single horse on our farm and that was taken today 4/26/2011 (after heavy, heavy, rain and tornados) last night causing the mud you see in the photos. In case you are not well versed in horse living conditions I assure you mud is not harmful to horses and is a natural part of their normal living environment after storms and spring weather. The other thing you may notice is that my horses coats are not yet shining due to still shedding off the dead winter hair coat. Id be happy to provide older photos of their shining summer coats if anyone would like to see them. Id be happy to e-mail you some. Just send an inquiry to: email@example.com
Our horses live with us here on our farm and are part of our family. I assure you there is absolutely no abuse or neglect going on. Nor a single hungry horse on the place. In the 41 years I have been a horse owner I have never once been accused of not providing my horses with the best of care. I come from a background of horse ownership that demands my horse’s look far better than the average. Showing horses, judging shows, saddle club president, and long standing horse and carriage service operator my horses have always been in the ribbons as well as the public’s eye. They have to not just look good, but awesome. There is only one way to accomplish that and that is through exemplary care.
Unfortunately, not every single carriage service adheres to the same standards I do, and a very few outfits do give ammunition to radical groups like PETA that often assault the horse and carriage industry as one of their favorite targets. PETA’s attacks towards the industry as a whole are as unfair and unfounded as this woman’s verbal attack towards us was. So….here I offer the open invitation to view my horses online as they were today here on the farm, https://picasaweb.google.com/hrslady59/FeedYourHorse?authkey=Gv1sRgCOzg9Zbig9jZ4gE# Personally come see them anytime, feel free to ask questions, see our carriages, and educate yourself about our operation.
Lastly, If you have actually seen something that makes you concerned about who you take a carriage ride with, well…….make sure you ride with us! Really its just that simple.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
We now have the new carriage trailer home. Its 24 feet long with 16 in the back section for the carriage with solid sides and floor tie downs, 81 inches wide and 7'6" to accommodate our tallest drafts, the front 8 feet is rubber matted and padded to either haul 2 drafts facing forward or one riding rear slant. There is a ramp on the back to load the carriage and to 4 foot doors in the sides ( one to load the horse in and out independent of the carriage, and one on the other side for rear access to the carriage section.) We ordered it custom so its perfect for what we do. A big thanks to the folks at Calico trailers in Quitman, Arkansas for doing such a nice job of making it for us!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Nothing is more delightful than the look on a child's face that has been surprised beyond their imagination. The parents of this little girls birthday party did a great job of making sure that the surprise was indeed surprising. Our Cinderella style princess carriage was stationed just outside the home while all the party goers were shuffled into the garage, told to face the garage door, and to cover their eyes with their hands. The door came up and dad yelled "OK everybody can look now" and the picture above is of the excited faces of the children. You can almost hear their excited squeals when looking at the Cinderella style princess carriage, complete with the sparkling white carriage horse sporting his ostrich feather head plume .
To say that they were happy about the horse drawn carriage rides would be an understatement. Groups of one adult and six children got to ride around the birthday girls Arkansas neighborhood, and wave at the many stunned neighbors that had come out onto their porches to see the unexpected site of a white horse pulling Cinderella's carriage with a load of little princesses aboard. This enchanted evening was as fun for us as it was for the kids I dare to admit.
POSTED BY KAREN GARRIOTT AT 1:07 PM
Well...not really Nike, but the equine equivalent to tennis shoes. Having been in the horse industry all my life I pride myself on keeping up on new trends, and better ways of doing things that are always being discovered. Theses hoof boots are one of the innovative ideas that I am really impressed with.
While doing princess carriage rides we are usually working in a mixture of public streets, or private property's. Once in awhile when on the road you will come across debris that you would rather your horse not step on. Broken glass is one. Hence why our horses always wear these protective boots when working. Not only do they offer protection they also allow the horse to go barefoot(without metal horse shoes)when not working which is much healthier for their feet.
Barefoot is a recent trend that has gained popularity with horse owners from all over the world. Barefoot horses receive a special barefoot trim, and/or abrasive hoof trim method utilizing power sanding tools. Coupled with more frequent trims than shod horses, more horses feet these days are being kept healthy, and more natural without the nails required to hold on steel shoes.
Pavement can get hot here in Arkansas, and these boots also provide heat protection, a nice cushion when working on pavement (much like you wearing a good pair of tennis shoes), and are all but invisible in photos. Plus the huge benefit of being able to allow our our carriage horses hooves to be left naturally barefoot when not working. A win, win for everyone concerned. Especially the princess's carriage horses!
POSTED BY KAREN GARRIOTT AT 1:00 PM 3 COMMENTS
Ahhh the life of one of the princess carriage horses. Since we only do weddings, proms, and other special events in Arkansas our horses only work a few times a month. The rest of the time the horses are in a private pasture totally free to play and relax. They have free access to unlimited hay, extra feed twice a day, warm blankets to wear when its cold, a doctor ( vet) and regular pedicures ( farrier) and even a dental plan when its needed.
Retirement here means going from working a few times a month to no work at all with full benefits. A day of work for them isn't exactly the old grind mill either. While we humans will be working all week to prepare for an event the horses part of the job rarely last more than 3 hours total, and on most jobs a good part of that is standing quietly waiting through photo shoots, ceremony's, dinners, or... that ever famous cue for "here comes the bride".Our horses only travel up to about three miles, and usually much less due to the slowness of a horse drawn vehicle.
Not to mention that during those quiet times alone while waiting for the signal to bring up the princess's carriage, our horses get showered with rubs, pets, and even kisses from our footman who generally is one of my teenage daughters. Our horses have become so spoiled that they will literally turn their heads as soon as we stop to look for their "person". Its quite comical, but also endearing that they have gotten so attached to the idea of constant love and affection at the work place. I wanna job like that!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Today was nearly 60 degrees so here at “The Princess’s Carriage” we enjoyed a day outside horsing around. A good friend brought over three of her granddaughters ages six, five ( shown in the picture) and two. The girls had a blast riding horses, petting and brushing horses, and getting cart rides around the farm. Here Aaleigha gets a gentle nuzzle from Duchess after giving the giant horse a kiss on the nose.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Last night found us at Willow Wind event center in Searcy, Ar. for their open house. We dropped off a carriage to add to their landscaping which is Southwestern in style and absolutely breathtaking like the rest of the place. A horse drawn carriage fits right in! At their modest rental prices for events they are without a doubt the best kept secret in all of Arkansas. Talk about a great place for unique and picturesque event photos. www.willowwindarkansas.com
Today found us on the phone with Bobby at Arkansas’s Pro Dj’s. One more of Arkansas best kept secrets! http://www.facebook.com/arprodj Bobby provides entertainment, lighting, Master of Ceremony services, and of course Disc Jockey’s for all sorts of events and receptions with weddings being a specialty. He was contacting us to get the ins and outs of making sure his clients could be guaranteed a horse and carriage if they so wished to have one. Bobby is on top of things that’s for sure. His enthusiasm is contagious and his desire to please his customers more than apparent. We are really looking forward to the chance to get to work with him.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Actually I’m talking about our business “The Princess’s Carriage” and not the size of our family. All those children in the picture enjoyed our custom Cinderella carriage for a tiny Princess’s birthday party which is just one of the many things we do here at The Princess’s Carriage. Busy all last year with weddings, birthdays, proposals, anniversaries, ball room dances, quinceaneras, and even some charity work for the Make a Wish folks. The year was ended with our very busy Holiday season that left us exhausted and ready for the winter weather break we are currently enjoying.
Last year we literally could not keep up with the calls we were getting and since our availability is limited we unfortunately had to turn far too many folks away. So this year we are expanding!
We have a new booking agent on board to help out with scheduling, contacts, and keeping everything running smooth. We are excited! Even with two crews there will still be some limitations as to what we can provide, so if your heart is set on a certain carriage ( we have 4 different styles of custom carriages) make sure to book your event early!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
You probably are wondering what C.O.N.A. is, right? C.O.N.A. stands for Carriage Operators of North America http://www.cona.org/ This year C.O.N.A. is having their annual convention in Memphis, Tenn. This year is the first time it has been anywhere close enough for us to go. We are very excited! C.O.N.A. is not only a great organization the conventions are a great place to get ideas, learn about the industry, and keep up to date on the latest news. We will be joining C.O.N.A. and look forward to enjoying this great organization.
This is Arkansas today. Looks more like Canada if you ask me. Can you believe we have nearly a foot of snow here at “The Princess’s Carriage” our home base and farm in Rose Bud, Arkansas? Drifts outside our back door are up to our knees! The horses love this weather they have been running around and playing like its just the best thing. Us humans however don’t think its so great. The photos were snapped during their mid day feeding. All the rambunctious play ended abruptly when lunch arrived.