A few Saturdays ago, the three of us headed to Dollywood to see it all decked out for Christmas. It was a sunny and warm (in the ’60s) and we live only about an hour or so away. One of my favorite parts about Dollywood was a visit to the carriage maker. The park has real craftsmen on staff doing things (mostly) the old-fashioned way. It’s part theme park attraction and part craft preservation. I’ve never before seen someone build a carriage. What struck me the most is how reasonably priced the carriages were. You can get yourself a fancy brand new one or two-horse carriage, complete with a hydraulic brake system for around $2,500. Now that’s a lot of money but you get a hand-built horse carriage made from high-quality parts that can be used for pleasure riding, parades, weddings…whatever. If we find ourselves with $2,500 too much one year, I’d love to buy one of these. I can’t even imagine one of our spirited horses pulling a carriage but I’m sure they’d be fine with training. Of course, Moonshine and Valentine probably couldn’t be paired due to their size differences so I guess we’d need a one-horse carriage. Mikki wants a doctor’s carriage like the one in the picture above. I think it would be fun to have a wagon that seats four. And I could probably justify spending that much money by saying we’d use it to make money giving rides at parades, fairs, and other events. It would be an investment! Riiiiight.
Here’s a picture of an unpainted carriage up close:
And here’s a picture of the carriage shop inside:
Do any of you have a carriage for your horse(s)?
2019 Update: unfortunately, the Dollywood carriage/wagon shop seems to have closed down some time between 2017 and 2019. I’m going to miss watching them build these!