We at SouthurnRose Buggy Tours would like to address the issue of the hot summer days and carriage horses. We would like everyone to know that our carriage horses are not “beast of burden” but are part of our family.
When the horses are working, each horse is individually monitored no matter the weather conditions. During a hot summer day their temperature is taken rectally at the beginning of the day, the start of the tour, and after each tour. Their respiration is taken at the same time as their temperature. The beginning of the day temperature, and respiration rates are base vital signs. Our company policy is to record these temperatures and respiration rates on the carriage as well as calling them into management. If an individual horse goes up by 3 degrees then we do not allow them to go out on tour until their temperature drops to their normal rate. If their respiration go up, they are not allowed to go out until they have dropped to within a safe range. The carriage ordinances have Standard Operating Procedures, which provide guidelines for caring for working draft horses during heat conditions. Whether a horse is hot or not they are hosed off after each tour, given water and rest before they go out on their next tour. If a horse is hot, he is constantly monitored, and cooled by his driver as well as additional workers/ management until he is in a safe range. With our company, horses that do not sweat as well as we would like, or do not run within a normal temperature and respiration range in hot weather do not work during the summer months. If a horse is even close to being out of the safe range we will not put him back out on tour. He may remain at the waterfront enjoying the breeze off the bay until we decide to take our horses home.
The City of Beaufort has a Tour Vehicle Coordinator who among other carriage related duties monitors the heat conditions. The city has a global wet bulb machine, which is like the machine used on military bases to determine when heat conditions are at an unsafe level. If the conditions are at an unsafe level, a level determined by a veterinarian at the time the carriage ordinances were first written, then we are informed that no tours may proceed until the heat conditions subside. Tours that are already in process may continue until they are finished. This machine calculates the global temperature, which is the dry temperature, mixed with the humidity as well as other weather factors, clouds, breezes, heat radiating off pavement, buildings, ect. The machine calculates all of these numbers into a formula and provides a number not a degree at which we must shut down. The ordinance allows for the companies to remain in town and reopen if the heat conditions subside. The machine is monitored the entire time that the horses are in the City.
We would like to thank the Tour Vehicle Coordinator as well as the entire Beaufort Police Department, which help us to know when it is not safe to put a carriage on the street due to heat conditions.
We would like to take this time to thank the citizens of Beaufort for being concerned about our horses but rest assured that we know each individual horse’s condition and are attending to their every need.
We would also like everyone to understand that when they see a ‘sweaty’ horse on a hot day that is a ‘good’ thing as the horse’s body is cooling itself. It is true that our horses are a bit ‘spoiled’ as they receive anything they need and every thing they like including Carrots, Potato chips, Gatorade, Apples, and even Popsicles on hot days.
We ask the citizens of Beaufort, to respect us as we operate our tours and not to voice their concerns to carriage drivers on tour but rather voice all concerns to either the Tour Vehicle Coordinator at (843) 322-7912 or company management. For Southurn Rose Buggy Tours call Rose or Peter White at (843) 524-2900. I hope that this helps everyone to understand how the horses are cared for under heat conditions. If anyone has any further questions, please feel free to call us at the above number.
We are located at 1002 B Baystreet Beaufort, South Carolina. We are on the corner of Charles Street and Bay Street. We are lovingly referred to as “The Blue Building”.