I am sure that many of you have seen the billboards coming into Charleston on I-26 in regard to the carriage tours. The last one stated that there have been 23 incidents and the carriages are still not safe and to “just say neigh” to the tours. Frankly, I would like to say, “whoa.”
Do these groups want to make conditions better for the carriage horses or put the carriage companies out of business? Not safe? Abused? I do not agree.
My entire life has been spent with performance horses and it is always enjoyable to see these animals on the streets. They are in good flesh, well groomed with manes and tails combed and they are well-shod for their job.
Recently we took a ride with Palmetto Carriage Co. The stalls were immaculate without the scent of horse urine or manure and all were well bedded.
There was an automatic fly spray system running and horses had box fans mounted in front of their stalls. Fresh, clean water was available to horses in the barn as well as those waiting outside in the shade to give a tour. Stable staff had kind hands and respect for their horses. As they left the barn each horse was sprayed with a fly repellent.
All of their medical needs must be documented with the city.
As for the “neigh sayers,” I beg to differ with you. These carriage horses bespeak Charleston’s history, and the tours enhance the ambiance the Holy City exudes.