Sunday, May 13, 2012
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.