Friday, April 18, 2014

The finer points of being the finest.

The Princess's Carriage..."Arkansas Finest Horse Drawn Carriage Service"

If you were to ask our customers why that is so they would tell you,  1)We deliver professional, reliable, on time every time service,  2) that we have the very best top of the line American made custom carriages coupled with competitive prices  3) that our advertizing is always honest with a what you see is what you can really get promise  4) we are easy to work with, and have more than fair policies,  5) we always have friendly, and helpful customer service.  However, if you ask me I will have a different answer because I think the above qualities should be a given for anyone in business.

What I think think makes the big difference is in the going of that extra mile. One example is offering and using white horses for white wedding carriages. It just looks "right" and honestly I cant imagine anyone not offering it, and a quick internet search will show in in short order that many of us do. Its what the customer wants and so it is what we have. This business isnt about what makes life easy on us, its about pleasing you on your most special day. Or at least that is the way some of us look at it.

So why doesn't every carriage service? Well the picture above shows exactly why. That is one of our white horses. Or maybe I should say "was" one of our white horses! They enjoy being turned out in their pastures to eat, relax, play, and... roll, and while all horses love doing it white ones end up looking like that ^^^. .

Do I even need to say that your not going to take a brush and just knock that off and make him look good, or get away with only having to wash him from the legs down like the horse behind him? Nope, no how, no way. White horses ( which actually start out grey and lighten to white over time) have to have an all over shampoo and scrubbing from nose to tail with special horse shampoos so as to not dry out their skin. This takes about two hours to do right and have looking like the photo below. The below picture is actually of the same horse ( believe it or not) after just such a bath. Besides the intense cleaning of the horse, our horses also get a shave and a haircut to look their best. 

We also detail our carriages before every single job. They stay garaged between special events, and we work hard to keep them looking like they just rolled off the showroom floor. Which means for example in the case of our Cinderella, cleaning every single curling heart on it! That in itself is a couple of hours worth of effort, at times laying on the ground to get to the down low areas and playing what seems to be a real life game of twister.

Then there are custom florals to match your events colors or theme, harness that must be cleaned after each use, our outfits washed, starched, and pressed. Then we have to load everything. Carriage, clothes, harness, a million related items, my camera, the help, and never to forget the horse! lol. In short, its a huge undertaking and when its all over and the pony is put to bed, we are tired to say the least. Even so, its all worth it to us dear customer, because you deserve the finest, and we promise to bring you exactly that.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

All the work...

We got to talking to a friend of ours who is using us for her daughters wedding on their farm. Rita has owned a number of her own businesses and was telling us how she was tired of all the work involved and was going to retire. That got us to talking about what goes into what we do that the customer never sees.

To bring you our typical two hour carriage service a whole host of things have already happened. A trip to look over where we are doing the job in our car prior to the job is just one of many. Take for instance the three hours (one way) we spent on the road this Thursday to look at a job in Waldron we have coming up. Three there, three back, another hour for dinner on the road, scouting out the route, and stops for gas, etc. Lets put it this way. We left our house at 2pm and rolled back in the drive way ar 11pm. A long day and a lot of driving, not to mention we had spent the entire day before doing the same thing for a couple of other upcoming jobs. Thursday we luckily missed all the severe storms that were scatted around the state.

So now that we have that taken care of we will have horses to wash, and a stall or stalls to keep perfectly clean. Stalls must me mucked constantly after you give the horse a bath or you will end up having to do the bath all over again. The horses bath is an event in itself, with special shampoos and products used to bring you an immaculately clean horse, not to mention the pedicure touch up, and checking them closely all over from head to tail. Our typical draft horse washing uses about $30 worth of products each time, and takes about two hours.

Besides that before each job the harness must be cleaned, and the carriage must be cleaned, detailed, and decorated. The carriage has to be loaded and tied down inside the trailer for safe transport. Let me tell you, there is a fine art to getting that done with literally only inches of space to spare on each side. Our formal wear has to be washed, starched, ironed, and hung up each and every job. All this must be in order before we leave several hours longer than the actual driving time so that we can get to your event an hour early, factor in unexpected delays, and set up for your service.

Once we are finished with your service the already long day is by far not over for us. We have to untack the horse completely, re-load everything, drive home, unload everything, feed the horse and put him to bed, and drag our tired sore bodies to the house. One thing I can say about all the hard work it takes to bring you a Princess Carriage is that once its all over and done we are going to sleep like a rock! Of course until you start the process all over again for the next event in the book. That said, the enjoyment we get out of bringing smiles to faces, seeing new places, and making someone special feel really special makes it truly a labor of love. :)