My name is Nicole and I am co-owner of Pinto Carriage Works, LLC, a horse drawn carriage service for special occasions, with my husband Mike. We started this company early in 2009 but truly, I think it started long before that. It started with an idea as all great companies do. Follow me into a flashback here:

I was a freshman in high school and I had gone to look at a new horse. I was young and green. Like most teenagers, I thought I knew everything that there was to know about horses and what I didn't know, I would learn easily. I'd learned about this young Appaloosa gelding, who was in a trailer park a town over from me. He was friendly but tried to buck me off the first time that I rode him. He didn't know how to stop on cue from a rider nor steer. He was afraid of leaving his small pen. All I remember is seeing him float across the ground in this ground-covering trot and thinking how beautiful he would look pulling a cart. A lot of work and love later, we discovered carriage driving together. We went everywhere and were local celebrities in the neighborhood with the neighbor's kids begging rides and following us. It was a challenge. It was unique as no one I knew did it. I loved that people always looked as we went by. That feeling of partnership with the animal and yet bringing back to the community that was something that I wanted to share.

Back to the here and now. I'd always had a dream about having a business of my own. A ranch maybe or being an instructor sharing my love of horses with others. Well, that all requires a lot of horses and land, neither of which I had. Why not incorporate the carriage driving some how? There were tours being giving in St. Augustine, FL and my neice and I had been on one. Perhaps we could do something like that but I didn't care for the idea of the horses having to work the whole week. Then it came to me. The St. Augustine companies also did special events. Why not specialize in just the events? You'd always be involved in a special memory and make it just a little more special with the horses. Mike and I did a lot of research and he positively loved the idea. He's such a sweet man standing behind me all the way. I couldn't ask for a better husband.

So, now we had to find a carriage, which we looked at many but ended up getting on off of eBay. Of all places! We drove down to Miami to get it with a rented U-Haul car hauler and and five hours later it was home. Then a harness, insurance, business registration and lots of book-reading, we were off on our journey.