Prince and Pearl, Duke and Baron, Queen, and Bonnie and Clyde.
All seven of our carriage horses are amazing horses. They brave things that would have the average horse badly spooked. We routinely encounter all sorts of crazy things that very few horses would ever tolerate. Heavy traffic, loud motorcycles, and honking cars is the mild stuff. We have had everything from a carriage full of teen girls screaming at the top of their lungs, to mariachi bands, bagpipes, the massive gun fire on New Year's Eve, and even fireworks. Lots more of the typical stuff as well, screaming babies, hyper children, every sort of flapping plastic, and loud event commotion, is all just part of their "norm"
Unlike the hack or street carriage horse our special event carriage horses have to perform in a different environment at each job. Someplace they have never seen before and are unfamiliar with. Most people can't fully grasp the level of training much less the immense trust that these horses have in us and us with them to be able to perform under those circumstances, and do it calmly. Good commercial carriage horses have to have a naturally adaptable personality. The reliable ones always do. A large part of their fearlessness is due to the bond they have with their drivers and footmen. It is a mutual bond that is nothing short of divine.
This brings me to share with you a little about the human side of the equation. You see, the bond flows both ways. The connection a driver has with his/her horse is equally important. Being flight animals even the best horses can get a little rattled once in awhile and that is where our equine partners trust in his person comes in. A soothing tone of voice, a command given with authority does wonders to let that equine partner know that not only is he being given direction, hes safe because he is not alone. It's hard to describe to the non-horseman, but to those who are, it's as real a thing as the morning sun. Speaking of such things among their peers the horseman simply nods in understanding.
So you can probably imagine the deep love and appreciation the horseman/woman has for their horses. We keep each other safe and out of harm's way. We lean on each other for support when things get sideways. The trust that forms between a carriage driver and his/her horse goes far deeper than just affection for a beloved pet. It is a mutual respect like no other. The love and admiration we grow to feel for our horses is immense. Carriage drivers thank God every day for their brave and wonderful horses, and cannot help but to feel forever in their debt.