Imagine this: 5-hour workdays, multiple relaxation breaks, 133 vacation days, daily meals, as well as room, board and transportation provided.
That sounds like a pretty awesome job, right? Our animals at Palmetto Carriage Works think so too.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let us give you the whole job description first.
While we know most people in Charleston only see our animals as they are working, that doesn’t mean that’s all they do. We are big believers in work-life balance, which is why our animals get an average of 19 weeks* of vacation time. (That’s a whole lot more than the six week minimum required by the City of Charleston!) Our animals spend their vacation time on John’s Island at the Doyle family farm, with plenty of room to roam and run.
The animals benefit from both the time and space they get in our green pastures at the Doyle family farm. You may be surprised to know that when an issue arises with one of our animals, it is most often due to their time at the farm. That’s because at the farm they get more time alone in the open field as opposed to the constant monitoring they receive in the controlled conditions of the Big Red Barn.
The Doyle family farm is about 20 miles away from downtown Charleston, and we transport our animals by truck and trailer to get to work. Each trailer has enough room for 10 animals! Once they make it to the Big Red Barn, our animals work an average of five hours* a day. The City of Charleston requires that no animals should work for more than eight hours, but we like to keep the days shorter for our animals at Palmetto Carriage Works. During each shift, we give them plenty of rest, making sure each animal gets a 15-minute break at minimum for a drink and some time by our misting fans.
Often times, during downtime at the Big Red Barn, our animals can be found asleep standing up, with one hind foot cocked in our spacious stalls. If they feel like it, they can even lay down to rest their legs.
Though a lot of people have questions about how much and how hard our animals work, we make sure that we give them plenty of rest to make sure that they are never overworked. It’s in our best interest here at Palmetto Carriage Works to make sure that our horses and mules are well-rested. Giving them extensive vacation time and regular breaks guarantees that they are healthy and ready to go when it is time to work. By ensuring they don’t work too hard or too much, we’re providing these animals with a positive life full of love and care.
*Based on 2016 Work Study.