Q: Where can I find a carriage tour?
Photo Copyright of Clea G. Hall
please call us for business hours; the wagonette will be located at the carriage stand at the corner of 5th ave and Congress Street. This is situated between the hotel congress and Maynard's market.
Tours & Jingle bell rides service the el presidio district, Armory park, Barrio Historico, 4th avenue and Downtown.
For a special location or service just give us a call!
Q: How can I purchase a tour ticket or reserve the wagonette or wedding carriage?
Tour tickets are available for purchase here online and on site at the carriage stand.
We accept credit and debit cards, checks, paypal, and cash of course!
For Special accommodations and reservations please call us directly.
Q: What are Sentinel Carriage's hours of operation?
we are available by reservation only because we are constantly bringing our horses and carriages to special events and parties.
please call us to schedule a tour. Carriage service is temperature and weather permitting, which gives us and the horses a break in the summer.
Q: Other than guided tours, what else can the wagonette and horses be hired for?
We are available for all kinds of events, and love getting creative, here are some of the occasions we have served in the past....
anniversaries & engagements
daddy daughter ball
private parties & Block parties
neighborhood and community events
business promotion *
Holiday parties & events ** * We love it when Santa rides with us to bring presents!
* Our carriage is called a "versatile wagonette" and it is just that! We can take off the roof and seats to
load up the wagonette with Kegs of beer or other products for brewery advertisement and haulage.
Q: What kind of horses are they?
Two of our horses are Clydesdales horses, a breed of heavy draft horse developed in the early nineteenth century in the
Clydesdale (now know as lanarkshire) district of Scotland. Draft horses were originally developed for use in warfare to carry armor-clad knights into battle in western europe.
Scottish farmers began using some of the larger English and Flemish Draft Stallions on their smaller local mares and began producing what is know as the clydesdale. These horses were bred to meet the agricultural needs of the local farmers, but also the demands of the coal feilds and heavy haulage in the city of Glassgow. Due to the horses' fine reputation, use of the breed spread throughout Scotlan and northern England.
In the late nineteenth century the breed flourished and exports began, taking the horses all over the globe. However, the after WWII, with the increased availability of mechanization, Clydesdales and all working horses across the united states faced a decline.
The Clydesdale breed saw resurgence in popularity in the last part of the twentieth century. Although replaced by the tractor on most farms, this beloved horse still works in agriculture and forestry where tractors are unable or unwanted.
the versatility of the breed is evidenced by the increasing number of equine activities for which it is used. Popular with carriage services, the clydesdale is well suited for the job and always attracts public admiration. Street parades are not complete without the high stepping hooves of a Clydesdale hitch passing by. Under saddle, the clydesdale excels in many pursuits including dressage, hunter jumper, as a trail horse, and for therapeutic riding.
~Excerpts from Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A.
We also employ a Percheron horse, named Nel, who is a very popular wedding choice. Here is a little information about her heritage....
As with any ancient race, the origin of the Percheron breed is shrouded in myth, for the foundations of the breed precede extensive documentation, and certainly pedigrees, by several centuries.
The breed derives its name from the place that served as its cradle. Le Perche is an old province about 53 by 66 miles located some 50 miles southwest of Paris. It bordered Normandy on the northeast and the Beauce country, known as the granary of France, on the east. It is a gently rolling, well-watered and fertile place with a benign climate, pre-eminently suited to the raising of livestock. It was, thus, ideally situated to capitalize on trade
opportunities as they arose following the middle ages and well into the modern era.
When the day of the war horse (thanks to gun powder) was over, this color and that substance with style, was made to order to provide France with horses to pull heavy stage coaches.What was needed was a horse that could trot from 7 to 10 miles per hour and the endurance to do it day in and day out. The light colored greys and whites were preferred because of their visibility at night. With three turnpikes from Paris to the coastal ports of Normandy running through Le Perche, the French did not have to look very far to find the right kind to pull the heavy mail and passenger coaches for the kings of France. They were called Diligence horses, as the stage coaches were called diligences. They were more than a heavy coach horse with extravagant style, they were more like drafters. So let's just use the French word and call them Diligence Horses.
When rail replaced the diligences, other roles called on this equine race. Cities were growing rapidly and omnibuses were the public transport of the day. Thousands of omnibus horses were called for in Paris and other French cities. The job called for a little heavier horse, the breeders of the Le Perche altered their local breed enough to do the job. At the same time horses (faster and stronger) were replacing oxen in agriculture. The nearby Beauce, the granary of France, needed a bigger horse for agriculture. As trade and commerce grew, so did the need for horses of heavy draft to move large loads from docks and railheads. They needed an even larger horse than did the farmer. Again, the breeders of Le Perche complied.
From the war horse (heavy saddler) to diligence horse (heavy coacher or light draft) to the true horse of heavy draft, the breeders of Le Perche sculpted away on their beloved indigenous breed for hundreds of years, altering the animal to meet the demands of the times and to entice the buyer.
~Excerpts from The Percheron Horse Association of America.
Q: Do the horses have to stop traffic lights?
Yes, though the horses do not have the discretion to abide by traffic laws on their own, the driver does. In fact, horse drawn vehicles are required to abide by the same laws as motorized traffic.
Q: Where do the horses live?
The horses live on a residential horse property here in town. They are not confined to stalls, and share the paddock with a light riding horse. There is plenty of shade provided by large trees and room to move about.
Q: Can I buy your horse? Yes we have actually been asked that! And why not? Our horses are impeccable in every way! However, no one could buy our horses. Patton and Casey & Nel are our pets and our friends. We do not deal horses as other "ranch/carriage" companies do.
Q: What do the horses eat and drink?
Our horses eat hay, they also get a little supper of soaked beet pulp pellets and supplements and enjoy licking their mineral block.
Q: How much do the horses weigh?
The clydesdales individually weigh about 1,500 lbs.
Q: How much weight can a horse pull?
A draft horse can pull a dead weight along the ground (draft) equal to 1/10 their body weight for 8 hours a day. For short distances, they can pull ten to fifteen times as much. The wagonette will only draft at about 125 pounds on flat ground, in fact one person is able to move it around on a flat surface pretty easily.
Q: What will the horses do when they retire?
That will be a long time from now considering they are only 4 & 5, but they will live with the owner their life long.
Q: How can we tell the horses like their job?
Horses, just like humans will show signs that they either enjoy work or don't. Signs that people show that they do or do not enjoy their job will be a pleasant attitude and fairness to co-workers or possibly irritability towards others and poor performance or visible signs of discomfort.
Most horses enjoy working because it helps to keep them in shape and gives them mental stimulation, though oftentimes when business is slow we may catch the horses daydreaming or even napping! Draft horses are especially suited to pulling or "draft" work, which makes their job easy on them. Visit out horses while we work to see a relaxed draft horse in action.
They also enjoy all the affection they get from customers and passerby alike.