One of the questions we get asked a lot at Palmetto Carriage Works is “How do your animals handle such heavy loads?” The answer: easily.
Not only are our horses and mules incredibly strong, but we always make sure our loads are never too heavy. But just to clear up any misinformation out there about how our carriage horses and mules are treated (and how hard they work), we’re here to set the record straight.
Our top priority at Palmetto Carriage Works is the well being of our horses and mules – so of course we don’t want them pulling a load that is too heavy! To make sure this doesn’t happen, we use mule teams or single draft horses on our larger carriages and single mules or horses on our smaller carriages.
To give you an idea of just how much weight our animals can pull, a regular horse can easily pull a wheeled vehicle that is six times his own weight. Since the average weight of a draft horse is about 1,400-2,000 pounds, that means that one of our larger horses could easily pull up to 12,000 pounds. That’s a whole lot of cargo!
Even though our horses and mules have the ability to pull such heavy loads without breaking a sweat, we definitely don’t ask them to do that. Our animals never pull more than 3x their weight, a rule stated by the City of Charleston that we are happy to follow. In keeping with this rule, it ensures that our animals aren’t struggling to make it through the Charleston streets. For them it’s just another walk around the neighborhood – especially compared to the work they were doing before coming to Palmetto Carriage Works. Since most of our horses and mules come from farms where they were full-time working animals, they were working in deep footing and plow fields on a regular basis.
Now that they are cared for at Palmetto Carriage Works, we make sure that they are treated well, they don’t work too hard and that they get frequent breaks for water and snacks, resulting in a barn full of happy horses and mules!