We are so excited to announce our newest additions to the PCW family! King and Ace are 13 year old horses from Mississippi. They previously worked on a farm and did tasks like pulling a cultivator, raking hay, and even participated in a few Christmas parades. King and Ace are excited for their new journey in Charleston and have been training with our staff. We take the safety of our horses, employees, and customers very seriously. That is why our new horses train for 2 weeks before they are allowed to drive customers. King and Ace have been doing excellent in their training and we are confident that they are ready to take on the streets of Charleston with customers in tow. Come out to the Big Red Barn to see them in action and give them a warm welcome!
We are so excited to announce one of our newest additions to the Palmetto Carriage Works family! One of our mini horses recently gave birth to a colt (which is a baby boy horse!). His cute stubby legs andminiature features have already melted all of our hearts! Our new furry friend along with some of our other mini horses will be down at
the Big Red Barn on July 1st and we’ve been told they’re very excited to meet new friends!
We just have one problem, this baby doesn’t have a name yet! And what better people to help us name him than you! That’s right! Come visit the mini horses at the Big Red Barn on July 1st and help us pick a name for one of these 4 legged cuties. We will be open to name ideas July 1st and 2nd. Whoever submits the winning name online will win a
free private carriage ride (pulled by one of our draft horses or mule teams).
Mini horses AND free carriage rides!? It doesn’t get better than this folks! So come join us in welcoming our favorite new family members on July 1st and bring your creative hats! You won’t want to to miss it!
And don’t forget to submit your name for our new mini colt below!
Recently one of our favorite horses, Loretta, retired to Blue Star Equiculture in Palmer, MA.
Loretta joined our team roughly 12 or 13 years ago, and ever since then, she has been the backbone of our fleet here at Palmetto Carriage Works. She hauled 10’s of thousands of tourists in Charleston throughout her career. She was an extremely successful carriage horse. Injury free, healthy, great temperament, loved people and attention, and I believe genuinely loved her job. She had the love and admiration of all her fellow employees — both the 2 and 4-legged. The last couple of years she even carried visitors at The Billy Graham Library Festival of Lights over Christmas.
The decision to send Lorreta to Blue star was an expensive one, but a good one. She was diagnosed with anhydrosis, a condition that prevents her from sweating. We were able to control it somewhat with drugs, but eventually the heat became too much for her, and it became apparent she needed to get out of this climate.
We have been friends with the director of Blue Star Equiculture for years and really like their program and the love and attention they give the animals at the facility. It’s a sanctuary that has other carriage animals from Philly and New York and we knew it would be a great place for Loretta to be able to retire in peace.
Here are some pictures from Loretta’s trip from The Big Red Barn in Charleston to her new home in Massachusetts.
Happy Retirement Loretta! We will miss you!
The carriage industry loves and cares for our horses like family. We live and work together every day, side-by-side. The health and wellbeing of our family, employees, horses, and especially our guests is a priority above all else.
We have seen a dramatic increase in activists attempting to disrupt or assault our animals in the last few weeks. There have been countless cases of verbal attacks on carriage drivers. We’ve had people make attempts to physically touch the horses while verbally attacking our guests. Our employees have been physically assaulted. We’ve gone to court for protection orders. We have had people lay down in front of the horses and now this latest instance we have an individual in a dinosaur costume harassing the horses, causing a reaction and injuring one of our drivers.
In all these instances, our employees have acted first in the best interest of the animals and our guests. The activists have not. We have seen the attacks get more and more brazen and we fear that the result will be the death of one of our family – a horse, an employee or a guest.
These attacks follow the increasingly irresponsible rhetoric coming from organizations that have one goal – to do whatever it takes to shut down horse carriages in Charleston. Facts don’t matter, reason doesn’t matter. The rhetoric we are hearing today is directly causing the increase in human attacks on our horses and people.
This is Charleston, the most polite city in America. We must come together as a community and say enough is enough before it is too late before we have a more serious incident occur.
At Palmetto Carriage Works, we take the safety and welfare of our animals very seriously. This includes daily meetings to ensure the animals’ safety and also the safety of our employees and guests.
We talked to General Manager, Tommy Doyle and Manager, Mary Allis Edwards to learn more.
You may have heard in the news that the Charleston Animal Society is pushing for a study of the Charleston carriage industry.
One thing is clear — the study currently being proposed by Charleston Animal Society (CAS) is not based on scientific fact at all. It’s about achieving a predetermined outcome long-desired by CAS — that is to end the carriage industry in Charleston. That is why we propose they do a study on their own horses. The outcome of a study conducted by the Charleston Animal Society would clearly be biased. That same bias is already written and evidenced in their public statements and activities.
Meanwhile, Palmetto Carriage Works and other tour operators have, for decades, actively partnered with City officials to set standards for carriage tour operation dealing with temperature, weight limits, etc. These standards are some of the most rigorous in the entire nation. And you know what? The standards work. Palmetto Carriage Works has kept meticulous records of the health and wellbeing of our animals to prove it. There already exists years worth of data clearly demonstrating that our horses are well-cared for. This data is open for any and all to review.
The animals at Palmetto Carriage Works have a work schedule that would make some humans envious. If they’re too hot, the teams are given a rest and water. If the temperature remains too hot, the horses and mules take the rest of the day off and enjoy some down time at the Big Red Barn downtown. Additionally, they receive at least six weeks of vacation on Palmetto’s Johns Island farm, six-hour work days, multiple breaks, room and board and good parking in downtown Charleston.
We’ll continue to work with Mayor Tecklenberg, Charleston City Council and the City Tourism Commission to ensure this iconic industry maintains its history of operating in accordance with the some of the nation’s highest standards.
With that said, there is no study or scenario in which the Charleston Animal Society and animal-rights activists will accept carriages as a positive business with healthy and happy horses that are well taken care of. They are not neutral actors but activists dedicated to ending horse-drawn carriages in Charleston.
Starting on Thursday, May 4th and through the end of the month, Palmetto Carriage Works will offer free carriage tours to Charleston area first responders, military personnel and their spouse and children. The start of this offer corresponds with celebration of International Firefighters’ Day on May 4th and will conclude shortly after Memorial Day at the end of May.
“We wanted an opportunity to give back to the members of our community who give so much of their lives in service of others,” company spokesperson Victoria Moore said. “This is just a small token of our appreciation for all the work and sacrifice they make each and every day.”
To receive a free carriage ride, first responders and military personnel will need to either call 843-723- 8145 or stop by the Big Red Barn to make the reservation, showing their badge or ID in person. This offer is limited to one free carriage tour during the month of May for the first responder or military member, their spouse and their children.
“Palmetto Carriage Works, at its core, is all about care – caring for our animals, our employees, our guests and our community,” General Manager Tommy Doyle said. “We’re excited to show our care in another tangible way to these amazing men, women and their families who serve our local communities and our nation.”
I almost made the mistake of not hiring Myron when he first applied at Palmetto Carriage. He was one of a number of potential guides — more than I needed at the time, and since he already had one job, I passed on him. Thank goodness my needs changed quickly and Myron joined our team.
That was the beginning of the longest career of anyone who has ever given carriage tours in Charleston. That was in 1984, and for the next 33 years Myron Pstrak has been helping Palmetto Carriage show Charleston to the world.
Raised as a navy brat, he lived all over the world which gave him an uncanny ability to connect with his customers, often surprising them with intimate details about their own hometown. A couple from England once took Myron’s tour then shared his birthday dinner two weeks later in their English village. His vast knowledge of Charleston history coupled with his world travels made him the consummate tour guide; I marveled at this combination of knowledge and his infectious excitement in sharing it. Myron ignited a passion for our city in thousands of people.
Even more astounding is the fact that Myron also worked full time on the night shift at the MUSC lab. All night at the hospital, all day at the carriage company, eat, sleep and do it again. Never have I encountered anyone who worked harder, longer, or at a consistently higher level than Myron; and he did this for over 30 years!
Myron is a remarkable man in many respects and his retirement, although well deserved, is a personal loss for all of us at Palmetto. Yet to feel the loss are the dozens of people who regularly call and request Myron as their guide. The growth in popularity our community has experienced has exactly coincided with the career of Myron Pstrak. While Myron isn’t totally responsible for this, I can guarantee you that he has been a major force in translating the allure of our city into a passion that’s now shared by millions.
My hope as both his boss and friend is that his retirement be as successful as his career.
Charleston Carriage Work’s horse, Big John, has been in the media quite a bit lately after tripping during a tour. Some claimed that this was a heat-related incident which is simply not true. In this video, Dr. Sally Banner-Brown discusses a similar incident that occurred with carriage horse Blondie in 2015. WATCH to LEARN MORE.
Today Charleston City Paper announced that Palmetto Carriage Works was voted BEST TOUR COMPANY 2017 in Charleston! We are honored to have so many loyal fans that took the time to vote for us!
As the oldest mule horse carriage company in Charleston, we have always been passionate about keeping iconic Charleston history and culture alive. Some of this means sharing historic Charleston with visitors for the first time, but also means doing our part to support our local community.
“Sharing this tradition with locals is really important to us.” says Tom Doyle, owner at Palmetto Carriage Works. “Charlestonians are a part of what makes this city such a great place and we are excited that they recognize us as one of their favorite ways to tour their city.”
Thank you Charleston for showing your support for us and for the mule and horse carriage community!