The horses of Yakima Valley Carriage Company are members of our family and we depend on the horses as much as they depend on us.
Commonly Asked Questions
1.Do the horses like their job? Yes! Horses, like most of us, thrive on a sense of purpose and routine. All of our horses are easy to catch and load in the horse trailer, knowing they are about to go to work. The horse is extremely smart and will not pull a carriage if the horse does not want to.
2. The horse’s back leg is lifted! Is he hurt? Horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. Horses have the ability to doze and enter light sleep while standing, an adaptation from life as a prey animal in the wild. Lying down makes an animal more vulnerable to predators. Horses are able to sleep standing up because a "stay apparatus" in their legs allows them to relax their muscles and doze without collapsing. When a horse is seen with a hind leg cocked, the horse is demonstrating the "stay apparatus" and has been caught sleeping on the job!
3. How many hours do the horses work? A conditioned and healthy horse can work from 6 to 8 hours
4. Why is the horse sweating? What’s wrong with him? Sweating is normal for a horse working, regardless if the horse is pulling a carriage, trail riding, or jumping. There is a serious problem if the horse is NOT sweating on a warm work day.
5. Are the horses healthy? All our horses well fed and taken care of. The horses are also on a routine schedule with a professional farrier.
6. How much do the horses weigh? Our horses range from 1000-2000 pounds each.
7. What type of horses do you use? We use Morgans, Quarter Horses, Shires and Percherons.
8. Do you ever have horses for sale? We can often help you find a driving horse if we know of one for sale.
9. What happens to the carriage horse when he is retired? Each horse's situation is unique; but, in general, once a carriage horse is retired he is either kept till he passes away by the owners or the driver, or given away to an approved home.
If you have any questions about the welfare of our horses that was not answered here do not hesitate to ask!