I read this column's headline and was so hopeful to find an insightful suggestion as to how the carriage companies can adapt to catch up to the Charleston we locals know now, perhaps to upgrade the entire approach so that visitors can truly grasp the history AND present of our great city. New routes, updated and REAL topics in the guides' oh-so-tired, empty, rehearsed speeches we all hear as the carriages amble past. (If I hear one more guide tell a group of tourists they haven't truly been to the south until they've enjoyed a moon pie and an RC cola, I'm going to go ape shit, so help me god.) But proposing guides hop in people's cars to show them around? You've got to be kidding me. The absolute last thing we need here is more cars on the streets of downtown. The carriage companies should change for the better, just as Charleston has; but they do not need to be replaced by more vehicle traffic.
What about peddle carriage tours?? http://www.savannahslowride.com/
Perhaps the horse carriages should not frequent high traffic areas ... maybe limiting their use to below Broad ??
This is a important conversation .... perhaps we can aid the carriage tour owners by providing better stabling and higher ticket prices? This could potentially compute to a better environment for the horses ...
Let's keep talking about it.
Thanks for keeping the tone calm in your article ...
I am all for change in Charleston. But, instead of giving up the horses, how about stop building on the peninsula and make downtown only for bike cabs, carriage rides, trolleys, and pedestrians? I dont know if downtown could fit another million on the streets.. getting rid of the horse and carriage tours will make room for more traffic.. and I also highly doubt that would be a good enough reason for the carriage company owners to give up their lifestyles and reputations as the horse and carriage dudes.. In Charleston if you have a title linked to history..you will do anything to die with it.
In case the writer of this article doesn't realize it, there already are driving tours of Charleston, private cars, buses, etc ... and oddly enough, more than 70% per cent of folks who choose to tour, choose a carriage, simply for the open air, intimate exeprience. As a tour guide I have given every kind of tour in Charleston (buses, prvt. car, walking and carriage) and by far, the carriage is the most rewarding. Please come take me tour and then judge.
All other feelings aside, I support the Carriage Tours. I have lived in the area since 1993 and thought I had absorbed all the History. I was of the belief that the Carriage tours were for "Tourists." Two years ago I reluctantly took a tour with visiting family, all but resolute that I would not enjoy it and that I was being dragged along. I could not have been more wrong. I learned so much about the Historic areas downtown and the History, for example how much avoiding the British tariffs had an effect on Charleston architecture. It really opened my eyes. Without these tours, so much of this History would be lost and the educational opportunities it presented would be squandered. We did see the great efforts that were in place to safeguard the welfare of the Horses. The guides had a genuine concern and a valid relationship with their horses and their welfare was tantamount.
There are children that love the sight, smell and clip clop of horses in cities like you once did. Remember yourself then and ensure that other children get access to these wonderful animals and people that care for them.
It is not just about tradition, it is about ensuring the bond between humans and horses live on through us.
Used to see a lot of guides working on my corner in New York City. Guys would drive in all the way from New Jersey just to tour my (not historic, not pretty) block in their SUVs.
Seriously, Bush League — does ANYONE drive two, four, eight hours to Charleston so they can drive around some more, staring out their own car window and looking for parking spaces? And has any MLB team had a 10 Cent Beer night since Cleveland in 1974? (BTW, our 2nd place NLE Mets still have "Bark at the Park" every spring. We bring our dogs to the game and we LOVE it because we LOVE animals.)
Where DO people like you get the idea that they should be allowed to chart the course of someone else's life and "propose alternatives" just because THEY don't like what they do? By your own admission, the incident of a horse losing a shoe was promptly attended to...and as horse owners know, is a fairly common and insignificant occurrence, on a par with a woman having one of her "press on" fingernails come off. Yet, based on that incident, among others that you obviously lack the equine knowledge to understand, YOU have decided that simply because YOU feel it is "unnecessary" for horses to live and work in Charleston, you and others of your ilk should have the legal right to destroy lives and end a loved and thriving attraction that many others obviously enjoy. It costs a lot of money to feed and care for a draft horse...that the carriage companies are doing enough business to provide top notch care (and by your own admission, the incident that has you up in arms was cared for promptly and professionally, with the horse suffering no ill effects) for the horses, owners and staff proves that yours is an outlier opinion. And..."get rid of the horses"? REALLY? Have you failed to consider that people who have chosen to spend their lives working in partnership with animals are highly unlikely to consider them as "disposable" as you obviously do? Do you simply "get rid" of your pets (if, in fact, you have any) when they become "inconvenient" for you to keep? I sincerely hope that Charleston officials will take a long hard look at Mayor Bill DeBlasio's ill advised and futile attempt to shut down the thriving NYC horse carriage business...and unless they too are willing to commit political suicide, will ignore your suggestions with the contempt they deserve. Finally...suggesting that horsemen and horsewomen with decades of equine experience should be willing to trade their careers that they love for a job as a "tour guide", something more suited to a college kid earning extra money; is so breathtakingly arrogant that I can only respond to that by suggesting that YOU trade your "career" as a writer and do the same. I'm sure tourists will be more than willing to allow you to squeeze into their cars with them and point to attractions they can peer at through the car windows. The carriage rides are about the HORSE...something you even admit you enjoyed as a child, but are willing to deny to a new generation.
ridiculous-the "shoe being ripped off" is no big deal-horses everywhere pull shoes on occasion. The horse is fine. This is not a cruel activity for horses, the work is very easy for them and the carriage business gives tem homes, places to exist in our modern world. Keep them
What a pompous, arrogant article. So your view is the only correct view? Not hardly! Some of the other comments are SPOT ON!
Wow. I really don't see how you can call yourself an animal lover and condemn a small business that caters to the horse and the horse's well being. The thought of horses being free may make you feel as though you have liberated a whole species, but in fact you have sentenced most to death. Horses are not cheap to care for properly. $300 is the cost to shoe drafts in my area - that is per horse every 6 weeks. That doesn't include feed, water, hay, vet bills, barns to house during bad weather, bedding plus the time and labor to feed, scoop stalls. Oh wait, you need trucks and trailers too to take them to the vet. But don't forget, these horses tend to be taller than average, so that means a more expensive custom trailer. Horses without jobs are dead horses. When tractors became the go to piece of farming equipment, the working breeds nearly became extinct. Do you prefer extiction?
2 years ago in Mexico, all circus animals were banned. They were sent to zoos and sanctuaries, 80% are now dead. Is that acceptable to you? Is that humane? That is what you want to happen? Then in no way are you an animal lover.
By the writer's own admission it was the carriage horses that built the much loved Charleston of today. They were the takeaway that visitors loved. I'll bet that is still true today. As such they should be cherished and celebrated and given the best possible conditions to ensure they flourish. After all, visitors do not visit great cities for the traffic.
He's sooooo smart:
SOCIAL MEDIA. The best memes that resulted from the Presidential debate.
The carriage horses are like The Arts. They kept beauty and relief in the downtown area in hard times and flourish in good times. They calm traffic. Although you may shark to park, carries reduce speed through areas with heavy foot traffic. They offer a quiet and gentle experience in a bustling successful downtown and make your city a better tourist destination. Keep what works, keep the beauty.
Was Obrions even mentioned in this article? You learned what CURE means and ya kinda heardahhhh bout it but you haven't tried it??? Go to the Walgreens on Folly Road and get yourself. Number 2 Pencil and do your homework.
In other news:
If you are a woman and support trump, you know your place.
If you are an immigrant and support trump, you know your place.
If you are a Mexican and support trump, you know your place.
If you are a Latina and support trump, you know your place.
If you are a Muslim and support trump, you know your place.
If you are LGBTQ and support trump, you know your place.
If you are obese and support trump, you know your place.
If you are disabled and support trump, you know your place.
If you are Asian and support trump, you know your place.
If you are not Christian and support trump, you know your place.
If you have been a POW and support trump, you know your place. (McCain)
If your wife was debased by trump and you support him, you know your place. (Cruz)
If you are African-American and support trump, you know your place.
If you are a bigot or White Supremacist and support trump? Well, that's fully expected!
Couldn't agree more. That chicken!!!
who exactly is "they" "
There, there. They don't want you to know their identity. You know how those people are.
"It's still plenty fun...just don't expect what you see on tv."
Life, the slogan.
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