Because of their cooperative nature, they have made a significant contribution to man’s historical development. Today, the horse in harness is regaining respect and admiration in a recreational role. Horse-drawn carriages recreate a time when life was to be savoured slowly, recreating a very special relationship between man and nature. When treated with care and respect, the horse willingly provides his great strength for man’s purposes. Man, in turn, tends to the health and comfort of his partner in work. Therein, lies the dignity of labour.
Our horses are Belgian, Percheron and Clydesdale draft horses. They were bred as working horses and they thrive on work, just like humans that take pride in their work. A draft horse can easily pull a wheeled vehicle that is six (6) times its own weight. However most carriage horses are used at less than that capacity. Our horses are used at about 25% of that capacity. Our draft horses weight between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds and a typical loaded carriage with 4 passengers is less than 2,500 pounds. They enjoy consistency and if that’s provided, they are happy. They enjoy the attention of the public and staff. Really they probably get more attention than the average privately owned horse! Our animals are prized members of the Killarney Horse & Carriage Tours Team and are cared for exclusively in Killarney.
On retirement, the horses sometimes stay with us. We also find loving homes for our horses. Some are donated to the therapeutic riding association to be ridden by the physically challenged. Many other people have our horses as companions where the horses are living out their days with friends.
The horses usually feed 4 times a day and eat a combination of hay and nutrition pellets with plenty of water. We have a vet that looks after their health needs and a local farrier that ensures that they always have comfortable rubber-encased steel shoes to wear.
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