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About horse-drawn carriages at weddings..

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  • About horse-drawn carriages at weddings..

    For future reference, I suppose!

    I love the idea of a horse-drawn carriage being involved in a wedding, but it seems like most are pulled by heavy draft horses. Does anyone know of more refined carriage horses that are used for this purpose? Gelderlanders, Dutch Harness horses, Hackneys, etc.?

    Just curious
    Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.

  • #2
    plenty in uk - ask on the driving forums drafts arnt the only horses used

    Comment


    • #3
      Good question.
      A friend has a business giving carriage rides and most of those are at weddings.
      I asked him that same question long ago.
      He has used the same pair of very small, probably pony crossed draft mares for the last many years.

      He said that draft horses are ideal for pulling slow and steady and you can, as he said, "pretty them up" very good.
      He bathes them before a drive and prepares them with all kinds of garlands and braids.
      They can pick up a very nice fast trot too.

      I think that most people at weddings just want to get from here there slow and easy and get neat pictures, more than go for a fun, fast carriage ride.

      Comment


      • #4
        A lot of drafts are VERY patient at standing for hours on end too. A critical REQUIREMENT for weddings and horses.
        Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

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        • #5
          My primary concern for hiring a carriage for a wedding would be "bomb-proof horses", and as a general rule the heavy draft breeds and crosses are slow, steady, and patient.
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          • #6
            Someone I know uses Friesians to draw wedding and funeral carriages. Very handsome!
            "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

            http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

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            • #7
              I drive a Gelderlander for fun and competitions...not for rent. He'd be wonderful pulling a carriage for a wedding...a lot of breeds wouldn't be safe or sensible where the nature of the venue is lots of people, waiting..waiting & more waiting.
              "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, I'm envisioning the animated fine harness horses I've seen (Morgans and Saddlbreds) pulling the bride & groom around on the big day.

                If you didn't end up in the hospital, I think you'd end up with a wedding video that could win you $10,000.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My daughter is getting married in 2011 and she has already made arrangements with our barn owner for the horse drawn carriage. He always used his Belgian mares, but they are getting old and he just gelded his 17.3 hh stallion this year. He is a magnificent beast and he is already so good! Patient and calm. He just need to get in shape!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Florida

                    My daughter got married in Florida this lovely little horse was Welsh/TB/Percheron and was wonderful all day, loved all the attention and was a real champ for the camera
                    http://i977.photobucket.com/albums/a...1/tutwayne.jpg
                    Last edited by blaeberry001; Nov. 28, 2009, 10:04 PM. Reason: forgot link
                    If you wish to see what man made take a drive. If you wish to see what god created saddle up your horse.

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                    • #11
                      I have assisted a friend of carriage horses at many a wedding and other ceremony - he uses Belgian Drafts and they are WONDERFUL....

                      They look very clean and "gussied up" for the wedding. They stand for hours. They adore little kids coming at them from all directions to "pet the horsie". Most at weddings have NO clue about horses and just love how pretty the horses are... they don't judge based on breed or size (we could learn a lot from them).

                      Alarms (fire, police, EMS) don't disturb them. People driving by, hanging out car windows yelling, don't startle them. Cars pulling up too close don't bother them, either (we've done a number of downtown weddings - can you tell???).

                      Not once has any of these guys reacted in a way that would concern the passengers/spectators - much less anything that would concern the driver or myself.

                      Not once have I ever heard a disparaging remark about their size - just awe!
                      Originally posted by SmartAlex

                      Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Also - carriages tend to be fairly heavy and require a substantial horse to STOP the carriage (its like towing a trailer - its not just about the ability of the engine to pull but also the ability of the truck to stop the total weight!).

                        Speaking as someone who has had to manuever the carriage on/off the trailer (with assistance) - and "it ain't easy"!
                        Originally posted by SmartAlex

                        Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oldenmare View Post
                          I have assisted a friend of carriage horses at many a wedding and other ceremony - he uses Belgian Drafts and they are WONDERFUL....

                          They look very clean and "gussied up" for the wedding. They stand for hours. They adore little kids coming at them from all directions to "pet the horsie". Most at weddings have NO clue about horses and just love how pretty the horses are... they don't judge based on breed or size (we could learn a lot from them).

                          Alarms (fire, police, EMS) don't disturb them. People driving by, hanging out car windows yelling, don't startle them. Cars pulling up too close don't bother them, either (we've done a number of downtown weddings - can you tell???).

                          Not once has any of these guys reacted in a way that would concern the passengers/spectators - much less anything that would concern the driver or myself.

                          Not once have I ever heard a disparaging remark about their size - just awe!
                          I have to agree with Oldenmare. I drove horse drawn carriages for years, both on the street in town for historical tours, cab rides and sleigh rides and of course lots of weddings. We used Belgiums for their temperament. They really are gentle giants. Ready to stand for hours for photos, or pick up a sprightly trot through town. They braved traffic, and bag pipes, and were super gentle with all the tourists and kids.
                          I used them for my own wedding. One of the other drivers drove me to the ceremony, while I drove my new DH and I to the hotel for the night. I will try to scan pictures in and post them.
                          I do understand where you are coming from with a fabulous 4 inhand of coach horses, but I have to say the drafts are quite spectacular. (If you ever get a chance to see a budwieser hitch up close you will know what I mean.)
                          "Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."

                          http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=eca0d15457

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                          • #14
                            In fact the horses most suited for weddings are the traditional light harness horse coaching breeds and types. Carriages that were traditionally used for weddings were always the likes of Landau, Victoria or Brougham and they were specifically designed for those breeds and types.

                            Oh and special occasion weddings is one of the things I do with mine.

                            I don't own a single cold blood agricultural breed at all. If I did for sure I wouldn't be doing weddings with it!

                            If you post on the driving threads you've likely to get a lot more information and facts.
                            Last edited by Thomas_1; Nov. 29, 2009, 12:49 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
                              In fact the horses most suited for weddings are the traditional light harness horse coaching breeds and types.

                              Oh and weddings is one of the things I do with mine.

                              I don't own a single cold blood agricultural breed at all. If I did for sure I wouldn't be doing weddings with it!

                              If you post on the driving threads you've likely to get a lot more information and facts.
                              Thomas, I disagree with you on the fact that drafts aren't suited for weddings, quite the opposite as I would prefer a draft than a light horse for a wedding any day. And I don't know why you have such an attitude about them to say you sure wouldn't be doing weddings with them, well, bully for you.

                              I did a friends wedding with my show cart and my dapple grey Percheron mare and she was perfect. Her leg action was wonderful, she held her head high, you could tell she was proud to be there and we groomed her as we would of if we were attending an A rated show. A friend braided flowers into the crest of her mane, tail was up and in a typical Percheron knot and our friends couldn't of been more pleased. They especially loved the small set of bells we had on her driving harness saddle.

                              Just because YOU don't prefer the draft breed doesn't mean they can't do the job. They aren't all just for working, that type and typical attitude rubs me the wrong way as I have a mare who can do everything. And believe me, when both my mares are show ready, when our rosettes and ribbons, which are hunter green, white with silver accents, are braided into their mane and tails, they ARE head turners as they are an impressive site. So don't be so quick to discount them.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SmokenMirrors View Post
                                Thomas, I disagree with you on the fact that drafts aren't suited for weddings,
                                Oh for goodness sakes try reading for comprehension or as a minimum just so you actually see what was said.

                                quite the opposite as I would prefer a draft than a light horse for a wedding any day.
                                Well bully for you and no doubt you think they can be grand prix dressage horses and you highly recommend shetland ponies for national hunt racing!

                                And I don't know why you have such an attitude about them to say you sure wouldn't be doing weddings with them, well, bully for you.
                                Nothing to do with attitude more to do with understanding what horses are bred for what purpose.

                                I've had cart horses and I frequently get breeds of the agricultural cold blood type to put to harness. I like them but I sure as heck wouldn't do a wedding with them.

                                What that has to do with you or why it should rattle your cage is beyond my understanding but don't bother explaining because to be frank, I'm just not interested.

                                I did a friends wedding with my show cart and my dapple grey Percheron mare and she was perfect. Her leg action was wonderful, she held her head high, you could tell she was proud to be there and we groomed her as we would of if we were attending an A rated show. A friend braided flowers into the crest of her mane, tail was up and in a typical Percheron knot and our friends couldn't of been more pleased. They especially loved the small set of bells we had on her driving harness saddle.
                                Well so what!

                                Just because YOU don't prefer the draft breed doesn't mean they can't do the job. They aren't all just for working, that type and typical attitude rubs me the wrong way as I have a mare who can do everything.
                                Yeh right! No doubt this is yet another one of those majikal cold bloods that can event, do dressage and make a great light harness horse and then come May will go on to win the Grand National!

                                And believe me, when both my mares are show ready, when our rosettes and ribbons, which are hunter green, white with silver accents, are braided into their mane and tails, they ARE head turners as they are an impressive site. So don't be so quick to discount them.
                                I think you'll find that it's spelt SIGHT!
                                Last edited by Thomas_1; Nov. 29, 2009, 12:46 PM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Thomas, who [peed] in your cherrio's this morning? [edit]

                                  Reading comprehension, you said this: I don't own a single cold blood agricultural breed at all. If I did for sure I wouldn't be doing weddings with it! Tell me what you actually meant then if it was that you wouldn't be using them for weddings. That is bloody well clear what you meant. So perhaps you need to explain what you meant before jumping down my throat, as you do the same thing you accuse me of.

                                  And what they are bred for...why can't a draft be used to pull a Vis-A-Vis or a nice carriage for a wedding? Oh that's right, your probably in the mind set like many other old timers that drafts are to be behind the lines in a field pulling a plow or other farm implement, not fine driving.

                                  No, my drafts can't do dressage or grand prix or jump, they aren't built or bred for that, but some have gone on to be upper level dressage horses and they have done well jumping and showing in hunter/jumper or any other under saddle events. It is the owner who must decide what that animal can or can't do and then nurture and train and go from there. Many drafts are good for carriage work because of their laid back personality and steadiness, one can trust they will not do something stupid when faced with noise, small children, stupid people in vehicles, or the plethora of other SIGHTS and sounds that are involved when one is in a public setting. It irritates me because your attitude that they can't be used, when it is the opposite. And remember, how you breed drafts in Europe is vastly different than how we breed over in the United States, then again, you being the know it all world traveler should of taken this into consideration and known this already.

                                  Were even, I did not use the correct word in my explanation and you did not know the difference between TEAM and PAIR and had to be corrected in a past post.
                                  Last edited by Moderator 1; Nov. 29, 2009, 01:17 PM. Reason: inappropriate

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My friend used to do weddings with...

                                    a lovely mother and son pair of polish arabs. She had beautiful formal carriages she put them to. They would stand all day and were gentle and patient with all the wedding guests that wanted to pet the horses. Wonderful horses and not unique -- she had driven arabs for many years and had trained quite a few.

                                    I had a morgan from her that I drove for years as a single in organized drives through city and country and crowds, dogs, galloping hunt horses, never phased her. Once even participated in a drive downtown on a Friday night stopping at art galleries and nightclubs. I later got the son from the above arab pair when the mother retired, and paired him with the morgan. I did two weddings with them for friends. In one that was held in a meadow I actually drove the bride and groom up to the alter!

                                    So light harness horses can do beautifully but it is true you don't see them as much doing commercial work around here. I think my friend now drives drafts or draft crosses, primarily because many times folks want carriages for events (not weddings) that require a big wagon that carries a large number of people.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Phew Thomas, you've got to get over yourself:

                                      You snarked: "I think you'll find that it's spelt SIGHT!"

                                      Well, in your posting you bragged: "Oh and weddings is one of the things I do with mine." try, "...weddings ARE one of the things..." I realize grammar can be a challenge.

                                      It's so pleasant to read breed snobbishness.."I don't own a single cold blood agricultural breed at all. If I did for sure I wouldn't be doing weddings with it!"

                                      Glad your horses are so "Majikal" you would never deign to own an "agricultural breed". Ever see the Shires in London pulling beer wagons? My Gelderlander you'd qualify as an agricultural breed since the Dutch used them in agriculture...and coaching too! One of the best coaching horses out there in fact.

                                      "Well bully for you and no doubt you think they can be grand prix dressage horses and you highly recommend shetland ponies for national hunt racing!"

                                      You've gotta' read for comprehension and leave your emotional quirks off the forum. I never saw any extreme claim of GP dressage with drafts...or their fitness for such competitions.

                                      So what lighter horses were traditionally used with for fancier carriages? We're not talking a gig or cocking cart, we're talking the typical US-made wedding vis-a-vis, slow moving and heavy. Not the classic light and dressy carriage for Rotten Row.
                                      "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I really appreciate everyone's input, it's been so informative. I don't mean to be disparaging towards draft horses at all. They clean up mighty nice. But so many breeds were made to be coach horses! I suppose it is true that at one's wedding, you are going for a little turn, rather than trying to cover distance.
                                        Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.

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