Savannah carriage horses battling summer heat

Updated: May. 31, 2019 at 9:22 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Despite trying to handle one of their busiest seasons, Savannah horse drawn carriage companies are also trying to handle the heat.

As tourism heats up in the Hostess City, one of the biggest pulls is to tour the historic squares by carriage, but now, carriage companies are spending extra hours and resources to keep their horses cool and safe. Some company owners are suspending tours even before the city does.

Per city ordinance, all carriage tours must suspend after temps hit 95 degrees or higher. City code compliance suspended carriage operations for most of this week, especially in the afternoons. Even without enforcement from the city, companies are cancelling all tours if their horses can’t handle it.

“We self-regulate because we made an agreement with the city to abide by ordinances. That’s a part of our contract to do business in this beautiful city and to share our experience and our way of seeing the city, so it’s having integrity. We are abiding by our agreement and we are caring for our horses," said Cara Marshall, Owner, Carriage Tours of Savannah.

At Carriage Tours of Savannah, Cara Marshall showed us how they take care of their 19 horses. She says it starts with a lot of prep and shifting their hours to avoid rough heat during the day. Their biggest priority is refueling the horses with water and electrolytes constantly. They also take some cool baths, putting cool water on their pressure spots, chest, and belly.

“In anticipation of the heat wave, we posted on our website that we would likely be closing down during the middle part of the day, and we encouraged our customers to book reservations first thing in the morning or later in the evening when things start to cool down," Marshall said.

Companies are anticipating more mild temps next week.

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