Noosa Horse and Carriage Experience
A Noosa Horse and Carriage Experience – goes together like… adventure!
I will never forget the feeling of climbing into a racing gig for the first time and positively screaming around the racetrack. That feeling of flying behind a horse has never left me.
That was a lifetime ago, back when I was working with Standardbreds, a breed used mostly for harness racing. This was on Leaf’s Gully farm, a stud farm in NSW that belonged to a family friend. A couple of summer holidays was enough to give me a taste for it, and after leaving school I spent six happy months working there.
Racing isn’t my where my heart is, yet there is something about being behind a horse in harness, and it has always been something I wanted to get back into.
As we all know, life has a habit of getting in the way and even though the idea was parked, it never truly went away. And it started to nudge me when the kids were little.
The great thing about anything horse drawn is that it is fantastic for kids. It gets them used to being around horses, to they way they move and smell. How they interact. Their delicious, squishy noses. And gives them a taste of what it can be like to be on a horse. They are also wonderful for people with disabilities, people who may not otherwise be able to get onto a horse but want to experience the freedom, speed and sheer joy of being around horses.
With this in mind I spent a lot of time breaking one of my ponies, Pepper, to harness a couple of years ago, specifically so that I could drive him around with my kids in a small cart. Pepper is such a brilliant pony, surprisingly fast and strong, yet what I really wanted was to drive a full sized horse again.
It always makes me smile how sometimes the stars simply align… the thought was barely in my head when a Bell Crown Sulky popped up for sale on my Noosa Horses Facebook page. Impossible to resist!
I bought it and parked it up, realising that a cart is all well and good but I would now need a horse for it. Despite starting to break one of my riding horses into a harness, I found that I was too impatient. An off-the-cuff purchase was how the beautiful Sophie, an off-track Standardbred, came to join our family.
Now I had the rig. I had the horse. And I had a bright idea. I was going to drive Sophie and her sulky around town, commercially. I wanted people to experience something truly singular, to get a taste of something unique.
With that goal in mind, I spent six more months of working with Sophie. This was followed by a crash course courtesy of some horse-drawn operators down Melbourne way. Through them I learned that one horse and two wheels wasn’t going to be a good idea.
The Melbourne trip gave me the chance to drive pairs through the middle of a city. Eye opening. And wow, I was hooked! I simply had to have my own pair!
Enter Billy and Larry. And my most expensive toy, a royal blue landau carriage. It is definitely a head turner, the Maserati of the horse world. There is nothing in the world like rolling down Hastings Street, with heads craned and all eyes on you. Just smile and practice the Royal wave!
When we do pony rides at home I usually get Sophie and the sulky out so the mums and dads can join in the fun. It is also a good way for people with mobility or other disabilities to share the joy.
Billy, Larry and the carriage are available for all occasions, weddings, parties, joyrides and special events.
We are running evening tours all summer long, through Noosaville.
Practise your royal wave, you’ll need it for the crowds.
Running Tours this Summer…