Monday, November 26, 2012

Jumping for Joy!

Just a quick picture of one of our carriage horses enjoying a romp in his pasture. This is Clyde the Clydesdale and this is his life when he is not pulling a carriage which he only does a few days a week for a few hours at most.

The Princess carriage horses have an easy life, and these days a better job than a lot of people have. Full medical, dental, and hoof care, room, board, and a 24 hour a day hay buffet, plus treats and grain meals daily. To say its the high life for a horse is an understatement. It's really no wonder we often catch our horses jumping for joy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quinceaneras in Arkansas!

So much fun! what a great day, always filled with memories for a life time. Quinceanera's the girls often shorten to Quince ( Keen-Say) are as spectacular as it comes. A birthday party extraordinaire a celebration not to be forgotten and yes, so, so, much fun!

This young beauty wore not one but two amazing dresses, one in Lime green and the other a blazing orange. She arrived to the party in our horse drawn carriage that was decorated in both colors to match here theme. Her guests enjoyed food, music ( here I believe she is posing with the Mariachi band) and even had an internationally famous band arrive by tour bus who even played tribal tunes.

Eat, dance, and be happy! Now that is a Happy Happy Birthday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

How Incredible!

One of my favorite places to give carriage rides is at nursing homes, and assisted living centers. So many of  the people there are so incredibly interesting, not to mention some even have the very unique perspective of remembering when horse drawn vehicles were a part of everyday life. Take my word for it, that makes for some very interesting conversations!

Just this past Friday for an early mothers day present from the facility to the residents South Ridge Village of Conway, Ar. we were in attendance with Clyde our Clydesdale and Cinderella carriage. It's perfect for the job sitting only 6 inches off the ground making for very easy entry.

The first awesome conversation we had was with a gal in a wheelchair that after giving Clyde a kiss on the nose was at just the right height to notice the hubs on the carriage wheels. She promptly explained to me what the entire procedure was on how to re-pack the grease in a carriage wheel. More amazing than that was she was 100% correct! About the time I was wondering how she knew that, she explained that she in her life had greased many a wagons wheels and then remarked about the fact that our wheels were covered in rubber as she had only dealt with steel. WOW!

I was quite surprised at the number of resident's that instantly knew the breed of my horse, which is not nearly always the case with the younger folks. However...the incident that completely dropped my jaw was the 90's something man that walked up, looked Clyde up and down, and promptly said. "So...your Clydesdale here, he wears about a 22 inch collar, is that about right?" As it turns out this fellow was not close, he was perfect! Clyde does indeed wear a 22 inch collar!

To put this into perspective, I have been a professional  horse and carriage operator since 1984 and do not trust my eyes well enough to tell anything better than small, medium, or large as far as looking at a collar already sitting on a horses neck, No way I could just glance and have it down exactly to the inch. After a bit more conversation with this amazing fellow I learn he grew up working Draft horses on his families farm. To think, I have had horses for 43 years without interruption yet I truly believe I met a man that has probably forgot more about the working horse than I will ever know.

How incredible is that? I am both humbled and in awe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This baby's face say's it all!

Just look at that smile! Dad and daughter having a good time taking a carriage ride at Chick-Fil-A on Cantrell Road, in LR yesterday afternoon. Can you tell which one is having the most fun? I'm not sure I can. No offense to dad, but his little girl is just priceless! Those eyes, that smile, and those dimples say it all. She was having herself a blast with her favorite guy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some "pro's" are not so professional.

Pro-fes-sion-al -1. Following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder other words, they charge for their services, but does that really make them a "Pro"?

Once again sharing my thoughts in an effort to help you reader as we are often a part of weddings and many other special events. I also well know how important a once in a lifetime day is. If your goal is to have a near perfect day with memories captured that will last you a lifetime then who you hire to be a part of that day is going to be one of the most important decisions that you make.

Unfortunately...all services are not created equal, and don't be fooled into thinking that price is the number one thing that matters. Top professionals always cost more than those that are not, and there is good reason for that. As an example of sub standard carriage service I can tell you first hand that I have seen pictures from paying customers weddings where the carriage driver was wearing street clothes complete with a camouflage T shirt and a dog on the carriage. Really? at someone's wedding? I only wish it were not true. Now would you want something like that in your wedding photo's? I highly doubt it. As you can easily predict an outfit such as this does not use top of the line equipment, their horses feed and care is not usually up to par, their safety practices are questionable at best, and is just a slack job all the way around.

For tips on what you should expect from a carriage service visit the Why Us page on our website:, and for an education about what you never ever want to patron, read this from our blog:

This issue was really creeping into the forefront of my mind during the introduction to digital photography class I have recently been taking. Our instructor Matt Dyson of Dyson Photography of Cabot tells me that he has had intro student's that are already set up as business's, advertising, and charging people for their services, and yet they are just getting around to taking his first level beginners class! Even worse is that this has happened on a number of occasions and he has been teaching the classes for a number of years.

Notice in the photo how by using a shallow depth of field and just the right lens Matt created a dream like look to this photo while leaving the gorgeous birthday baby in sharp crisp focus. Matt's prices are very reasonable and quite the bargain considering he is truly a professional. Not only is he someone who is highly versed about the inner workings of the camera, but also all the elements it takes to produce far better than "ok" or "good" pictures, but truly amazing photo's. The number of things that need to be in place for that is just staggering, not to mention hard to do. I had not the first clue about any of that until I took his class. After eight intense hours of instruction and have yet to barely scratch the surface of what I should know just to be a major rookie photographer. Not to mention taking over a hundred shots just to get one decent example of our "homework" assignment each week.

So dear readers my share here is to remind you to sit down and decide what matters most to you. Think about if cutting corners is really worth the imagined savings, and be very careful that you are really getting what you are paying for. For both a very reasonable and totally competent photographer I can with full confidence recommend:

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A guardian weather angel?

I had been stressing out all week about our huge upcoming carriage service for Mountain Home high school's prom at the towns ASU campus. Not because of the size of the job, the number of carriages, or even the size of the crew involved, but because of the predicted weather which was a sixty percent chance of rain and thunderstorms.

Now...don't get me wrong, all our carriages have rain covers, and rain is not the end of the world for us. About the only thing that cancels service on our end is severe weather like lightening , tornado, ice, and the stuff that has everyone running for cover. That said, you always, always, hope for nice weather for your customers.

Nice weather it did not appear was in the cards all week. That is until today when it is forecast that the nasty stuff will all be gone by Saturday and the chance of just rain is only ten percent. Woo-Hoo! I am so incredibly delighted that it looks as if the evening will be perfect!

Now for the weird part, this has happened so many times that I am beginning to think we have a guardian angel that watches the weather for us, or.. at least our customers. Whatever the case may be, I promise you I am not complaining.  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Partners

I am thrilled to announce that we have partnered up with for some really great package deals for some VERY fun children's birthday parties! These will include both carriage and pony rides at your desired location. The folks at Whispering Horse Ranch are super friendly and a great outfit to work with and we are pleased to get such a great opportunity.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How far do we travel?

Since it seems we are constantly being asked I will share here with you a detailed explanation of how far we will travel to your event. We provide service in Arkansas state wide. The above picture was taken at a Prom in Lake Village, Arkansas which is quite a long way from us here in Rose Bud. We have serviced as far south as El-Dorado, and as far north as Fort Smith. 

Besides Arkansas we have serviced events in Southwest City, Mo, and end up in Branson on occasion. We  don't mind venturing into neighboring states on occasion. I say on occasion not so much that we are opposed to doing so more often, but in reflection of the fact that it starts becoming costly for the customer. It is not so much a question of miles and fuel as it is other things most people never even think about.

While we have a state wide maximum charge for Arkansas, once we have to travel more than 150 miles one way the logistics become much more complicated and costly for us. We are hauling live animals and that adds degree of care and concern a person in a car does not have. We have to travel carefully, taking easy turns, and slow easy stops, and that slows down the pace a great deal. It can easily add 20-30 minutes to every hour of driving. If its a "long haul" stops must me made to offer water, and to check and make sure the horse is traveling unstressed.

Often we have to leave the night before which means finding overnight stabling for our horse or horses at a facility near the event site. That means a hotel bill for the crew as well as the horse motel. Having to eat on the road is expensive too and long hauls require that you do. I factor in $10 per person, per meal, when traveling and that has proven to be a modest fairly accurate number. We also have to block out any additional bookings for that day and sometimes the night before.

So in short we are happy to be a part of your long distance or out of state event, just understand that the price for doing those jobs is usually double, sometimes triple, our minimum fees. If I have the date open and cost is not a factor don't be afraid to call and ask. This is what we do, and we love, love, love, making people's dreams come true.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Carriage Rental in Arkansas- part 3

Of course if you have decided you want a horse and carriage for your special day you would like to actually be able to have one. Carriage rental in Arkansas part three is about avoiding procrastination. Simply put...don't do it. By the very nature of this business you can only be so many places at the same time. Always a first come, first serve service, and not worth possibly losing out over waiting until the last minute.

Certain times of the year this becomes critical. Prom season, and the popular wedding months of June and September, and of course the Christmas season. Give as much advance notice as possible. Even if you do not have the deposit money right away ask to be penciled in and called if someone else calls about your date. There is nothing I hate more than having to tell someone who called back wanting a date that it is now unavailable. It is disappointing for you I know, and it honestly makes me feel bad too. 

Some people will book a whole year before their service. Theses folks almost without exception get their date and time reserved. The further out the date is, the more like an insurance policy it works. Just the opposite is true of last minute bookings. Long story short reserve your date and time as soon as you can. If there is a momentary problem with cash flow don't be afraid to discuss it with us we will do all we can to accommodate individual situations. Remember...we are on your side, and want to be a part of your special day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Carriage Rental in Arkansas- part 2

The difference between one carriage service and the next is all about the extras! and being able to work with someone who is willing to go that extra mile. i.e. Sometimes I get asked to take pictures during our carriage service. A good example is during a prom where mom and dad want lots of pictures but the prom goers are busy enjoying the ride. Another example is a child's birthday party where the adults are very busy themselves. While I am not a professional photographer, when I get asked to take pictures I usually get some really neat shots regardless.

This year in the spirit of going that extra mile I have upgraded my camera equipment. From an inexpensive point and shoot to one step below what the pro's use with a Cannon Digital DSLR costing me several thousand dollars. The crispness of the photos, the things the camera can do, will make pictures this year the best we have ever taken.

Along with custom floral's added to the carriage always included, to special surprises for birthday girls, we have now layered in yet another perk with higher quality photos available upon request! Want something special? just ask!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Carriage Rental in Arkansas

Just a few tips for customers looking for carriage rental in Arkansas. Well...anywhere for that matter. Unlike the differences between different brands of new cars ( you are sure to get a new car regardless) This same logic can not be applied to a horse and carriage service. What you see on one persons website does not mean that they all are going to live up to the same standards. See our post here on the blog "doing it right, and doing it wrong"

In addition to all that I would say my next pointer would be to make sure you actually get what you want. Unfortunately there are outfit's out there that will intentionally lead you to believe they have specific horses and/or carriage's that they in fact do not have. If you have paid a deposit that you cant get back, and your heart is set on something that they can not produce your in for a big let down.

  i.e. a common bait and switch tactic I have heard happening is for a customer to request a Cinderella style carriage only to have an outfit bring you a standard Vis-a-Vis like the one pictured above. If what you wanted was a true Cinderella style ball shaped carriage and you are sure you made that clear, welcome to bait and switch. Another example would be to request a horse drawn hearse for a funeral and get a caisson instead.

So..if your heart is set on a specific style carriage make sure without question that the company you are talking to indeed actually has it. If that slightly cheaper quote you got about the carriage you want is mysteriously always unavailable then you can reasonably deduct that it's existence is little more than a deceptive marketing ploy to get you to make a deposit so you are less likely to cancel with them when you find what you want elsewhere.

The internet is an easy place to false advertise. Some outfits will actually go so far to imply that they actually have specific type vehicles they don't have by having pictures of someone else's horses and/or carriage's on their website. Keep in mind a picture on a website does not "prove" anything. The man I bought my Cinderella from had an outfit in another country using pictures off of his site and claiming to sell the carriage he makes!

I can not repeat this enough, be sure to be specific about what you really want, and make sure they really have it. This truly seems like a crazy thing to have to warn anyone about, but I have had calls from frustrated folks telling stories about this very thing happening to them.

A little about condition. Pay attention! If the carriage has paint missing in their web pictures, chances are it will be that bad or worse with a live viewing. Some of us take immaculate care of our stuff, and some others just use it, and abuse it. While the latter may be fine for a ride around town after dark, it's probably not something you want in your wedding photos. Pictures taken by a professional photographer with today's high end cameras capture great detail. Keeping both horses and carriage's highly presentable for wedding's and special events is a lot of work, a lot of work some outfits are just not willing to partake in.

If you want to be completely sure you are getting exactly what you want, and that it meets your expectations simply ask to see the carriages and/or horses in person. Do it before you lay down any of that hard earned money. No legitimate outfit should have a problem with this request though it very well might require an appointment. Keep in mind, just like with everything, normally you get what you pay for. However.. sometimes you don't, and making sure you do is going to be totally up to you. Hopefully having these tips will make that task just a little bit easier.

Lastly, rest assured that we do indeed own each and every horse and vehicle that is presented on our website. They are always detailed between events, and they are always available for your inspection here at the farm at any time. Good luck & Happy renting! and keep watching the blog because there will be more rental tips to come!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

All our pretty horses

This is a picture of Duchess and Queen two of The Princess's Carriage horses you don't see on the website on our "Our Horses" page which only features Duke, Earl, and Traveler. As it is I have been lazy about getting the rest of our horses added to the site. I know, I know, my bad.

So... I thought for the time being I would mention them all here. Pictured here is Duchess ( the dapple grey) and Queen her pasture mate ( the black) Both are wonderful driving horses, and both are young at 5 yrs old. Not pictured are Clyde our Clydesdale who looks like one of the Budweiser horses except for not having a docked tail. I do not use docked tailed horses as they are prone to suffer without one with the bugs we have in Arkansas.Since our horses all have a lot of free time in the pasture that can be an issue for them. 

Also not pictured or mentioned yet on our site are our two newest additions Prince and Pearl. Both white Percheron's and a long standing team that also work single and ride as do all of our horses. These two are very solid, been there/done that horses and we will be using them frequently as soon as we are adjusted to them. They also have a new set of fancy spotted team harness coming in a few weeks.

 All in all there actually are seven Princess Carriage horses, and a few of them are not even white! I do hope to have all of them added to the "our horses" page of our site soon. What I need first is for them to shed some of this winter hair so I can get their best "sides" 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Cutie and the Beast

She wanted to sit in the driver's seat for a picture. We were not moving and in fact the horse had not one but two headers this Saturday for this cutie pies birthday party celebration. Ava is quite the horse girl and spent a good deal of time telling her guests interesting things about horses.  

Her reaction? " THIS IS SOOOO COOL!" Technically we are not supposed to allow a rider in the drivers seat and be honest this was the first time we bent the rule a bit. You tell me who could have resisted this little ladies request?, and on her birthday no less! Obviously the little cutie got the best of the beast in the seat next to her.