I love my job. It is exhausting and doesn't pay terribly well, (at least on a regular basis) but it is entertaining, and more importantly, involves horses. I have decided that I needed to post 10 items that annoy me on a daily basis when working on the Box Seat (that's where I sit!) so that the people I know and love can avoid becoming fodder for other carriage driver's evening stories.
1. No carriage horse working today likes to be petted. They are not like our spoiled back yard pets. They have 100-500 people daily in their faces trying to talk to them, pet them, stare into their eyes, and otherwise harass them beyond the point of insanity. If you care about them leave them alone. If you must pet them, scratch them. Especially on the edges of the saddle or collar. If you don't know what these are just avoid the action all together.
2. In regard to the above comments, just because you are a "horse person" doesn't mean you know anything about the carriage horse you are looking at, and it sure doesn't entitle you to harassing my horse after I have told you specifically NOT to. Once again I refer to #1.
3. No the flash will not bother her. You hanging off of her head will. So will the small child running through her legs.
4. Please, please, please don't run at the horse. Just because she doesn't bolt across the street into the path of the oncoming bus and taking out the pedicab and skateboarder passing by doesn't mean she didn't think about it. Pay attention to this one especially if you are dressed as a Zombie. Horses really don't find this amusing. Skateboarders fall into this category.
5. Babies don't care about horses. Many of them can not even see them as their distance vision has not yet developed. Holding them closer to the horse doesn't improve this. Neither does parking the stroller under their feet/noses. While I believe in the thinning of the gene pool, our liability insurer cringes thinking about the inevitable outcome of this ridiculously stupid action on your part. By the way I, as the carriage driver, am not yelling at you to be an @ss. I am trying to keep your infant whole.
6. No my horse is not a statue. What on earth made you even think such a ridiculous thing?
7. No you can not have a free ride. While it often seems like it, this is not a hobby. It is a job. I don't sit up here in all weather, every weekend, dealing with ridiculously stupid people for the heck of it. I do have a family who never sees me, and other things that I could be doing. Not only that but you are looking at a rig that minus the handsome driver costs upwards of $15,000. The monthly maintenance is upwards of $400. Get your head out of your rear end and leave me alone. I could be talking to someone who could keep me employed.
8. No my horse is not a Clydesdale. Nor is it a: Morgan, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, Tennessee Walker, or an Arab. She is a Belgian. The white one over there is a Percheron. And despite what the girl over there said not all Clydesdales are boys. I recommend visiting Barnes and Noble and looking over any generic book on horses. Check out the chapter on Draft horse breeds. There are 100 or so.
9. No my horse is not sad. She is sleeping. If you are really concerned take a ride. She'd love that. It is one of the few times people are not trying to pet her face. Not only that but she likes to eat. A lot. Your dollars support her, not me. See #7 for more details.
10. No she is not a slave. You obviously know nothing about horses if you can possibly think that my overweight, out-of-shape 160# could possibly force her #1800 extremely well toned mass to do anything she didn't want to. As a matter of fact come on a ride and experience just how little she pays any attention to anything I want. She can take out vehicles. She enjoys her job. If she didn't she'd leave. Seriously. No the carriage is not heavy for her. I move it around myself when we aren't working. If anyone is a slave I am. We go in when SHE is tired, not me. When we go into the barn SHE gets a full body rub down, a blanket, feed and water. I get two hours of cleaning, caring, and driving her limo. Only then am I released to care for myself. Sometimes I even get to go to the bathroom and see my family. Oh, and like I mentioned before, the money goes to her, not me. Seriously. Her shoes cost $250 every other month. I bought shoes two years ago that cost $12 and I still wear them. And she eats far better and more regularly than I do. So do the homeless people.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed my little Carriage Driver tirade. Someday I will relay some of the more memorable stories from the Box Seat. Some are my own, many are from other drivers. (especially Katey. She attracts the freaks.) All are enjoyable!