Our horses are very important to us and are a part of our family. Truly, we believe that they are the heart of this service. Did you know that all of our horses are rescues? All are very friendly and love what they do. They are regularly seen by both the vet, dentist and natural hoof care podiatrist(our barefoot farrier). We feed Seminole Wellness feed for their well-being and orchard, alfalfa and coastal hay. We allow them free-choice of minerals that are set out for them in the paddock just like they would have access to out in the wild. Did you know that a horse must eat 1-2% of his body weight daily? That's about 30 lbs daily for Joy.
They are allowed to be out in their paddock 24/7 and have a run-in shelter if the weather turns ugly. The horses are allowed to roam freely to encourage more exercise and a more natural lifestyle. Did you know that in the wild, horses travel about 20 miles per day? They are built for endurance, moving and running. They are very friendly and curious animals, when trained properly. They are also very strong. A horse in harness can pull up to six times his own weight. That's 9,600 for Joy. Good thing the carriage is a little under 1,000 lbs. The hardest point of work is getting the carriage rolling and hills, of course. Once the carriage is in motion, it requires very little effort on the horse's part to keep it moving forward.
They receive the very best training through Natural Horsemanship. This training makes brave and honest horses. We want our horse to be feeling and trusting of their people. That way they are ready for anything whether it be a drum line or a dump truck going by. They are exercised regularly in traffic and on the trail exposing them to the world to make them brave and honest. Also, the regular exercise makes for a stronger, healthier and happier horse that can handle the carriage with ease. On their days off, they enjoys baths, sun bathing, grooming, play days and trail riding. Of course, they are all professional lawn mowers. Grass beware!
Now a horse is only as good as his feet are. Without those, a horse is very limited just because of how much weight they have to bear on each hoof. Lucky for us, we have got one of the best in the business taking care of our horses. Our farrier is Harold Delaney. He takes care of the horses' feet every 6-8 weeks.
Our vet is Dr. Cusick of Asbury Equine. She sees to our horses health and wellness: physicals, coggins, health certificates for traveling to those out of state events and vaccines. A horse should see the vet at least yearly. Our vet helps us look out for all sorts of things with our horses like nutrition and conditioning as well as physical health.
Did you know that horses also need to see the dentist? Horses' teeth actually grow much like our fingernails do. They naturally wear them down by chewing their food. So why do they need to see the dentist if they wear them down on their own? There are many reasons why. One would be sure that the horse is wearing his teeth in a nice balanced way. Another is to be sure that no teeth have any sharp edges that can harm the horse's mouth. The dentist also checks to be sure that the horses' mouth is healthy. A healthy mouth and balanced teeth ensures a happier horse that can chew and digest his food better. Our dentist is Jeff Klepinger, EDT.
Joy is our pretty girl. She comes from a background of doing birthday carriage rides. She's learned a lot from Sonic and Ben. She's done many more events with us beyond birthday parties including weddings and Holiday parties. She is a very sweet horse with a can-do attitude. Some believe that she is secretly a unicorn. We do not have any evidence to support or deny this. Like Big Ben, she is a Percheron draft horse and stands at 16 hands. She is a lady and prefers not to share her weight. She has a dreamy mane and tail that give her an appearance like she just stepped out of a fairy-tale. Joy says that she can out-pull the boys any day. She's got girl power on her side!
Benjamin, his fans know him as Big Ben, is a very sweet horse. He is very people-orientated, always looking for a scratch or carrot. He is a Percheron draft horse, which is a French breed basically the french equivalent of the Clydesdale here. He is about 17 hands tall, which is about five and half feet tall at the top of his shoulder. He weighs in at about 2,000lbs and he is a ton of love! He is a snowy white color. In horses, his color is actually called grey. He is very muscular and strong. He listens very well and knows voice-commands. He has only been apart of our family since 2009 but it feels like he's been in this family forever. Just a very sweet boy. He is very glamorous to see and knows just how to move so that everyone looks at him. He knows that all the ladies just love his wonderful thick mane. His mane is so thick that it is on both sides of his neck. He also loves a good roll in the dirt! It's one of his favorite things to do besides pull the carriage.
Sonic was the first member of our family. He was Nicole's friend and companion long before she met Mike. He moved down here with Nicole to Florida from New Hampshire. He is a rescue horse and the absolute best horse you could ever ask for. He is an Appaloosa x Arabian mix. His color is called Palomino. It's a very light cream color with some spots over his rump and a white mane and tail. He is a very smart horse and has shown in 4-H with Nicole throughout her youth. Nicole and Sonic learned together how to trail ride, ride western, english, dressage and especially carriage driving. That was the most exciting part and started up the whole idea for this service. Sonic comes running when he sees the carriage. It's a chance for him to really strut his stuff. Sonic is also available for pony rides and birthdays.