This is a question we get asked for almost every booking, and quite rightly so. One thing we have absolutely no control over is the weather. The ideal carriage ride has beautiful sunny weather, mild breeze, no chance of rain and low 20’s temperatures. Unfortunately reality is, every day is not like that!! Today I want to explain a bit about our weather policy to help you decide how and when to book with us.
Obviously our reaction to the weather situation does depend significantly on the ‘type’ of booking you have with us. If you have a wedding or a funeral- these things go ahead regardless. Our involvement in them in the event of undesirable weather, is in discussions with you. We watch the forecast closely, and if necessary discuss possible alternatives, which I’ll go through later.
If it is a wine tour, pleasure ride, no frills ride or the like, we will try to reschedule, but if this in not possible we will refund. Our aim is to give you, the customer, the most enjoyable, memorable experience possible, that you want to rave about to all of your friends. If we aren’t able to reschedule, we will consider which carriage is most suitable for the conditions.
First and foremost in our mind is safety. In the event of severe weather with warnings issued, we will not go out for pleasure rides. We are also likely to offer a full refund for weddings or funerals. This is very rare. We do work in the rain, a consideration though is metal horse shoes on a wet bitumen road can be incredibly slippery. If there is rain, we may need to find an alternative route to avoid any hills, to avoid our horses slipping (kind of like a 2wd car on a slippery dirt road).
Wind is not as much of an issue. We operate in wind, our horses are fine with it, but as a pleasure ride, it may not be enjoyable for the passengers, so if there is the option to reschedule, we will offer it.
Different times of year offer different challenges. When booking for summer, one must be prepared for it to be too hot to operate. For a wedding or funeral we will operate until 38 degrees. Over this temperature it is not safe to transport our horse in the float. If it is over 34 and the If the job involves a reasonable length walk, we will look at possibilities of shortening the distance, perhaps so we meet you at a hidden location near the gate of your venue, so we can wait in the shade, and you can travel in the a/c of a car, then make the grand entrance, get photos over and done with then get the horses back to the shade.
For a pleasure ride, we do not go out over 34, with the exception of twilight or evening rides. It is not fair on the horses, and it is not enjoyable for our passengers. Twilight or evening rides can go ahead, and in fairness are fantastic if the day has been hot, as it makes for a brilliant balmy evening.
We have options
We have options when it comes to carriages. Our ‘wine wagon has a full length roof, so is the more desirable if there is drizzly rain, or it is a warmer day with lots of sunshine. However if it is blustery and cold, the sides are open, so it can be very very cold and windswept in those conditions the Victoria is the preference, as it has a half roof, and the rear seat has closed in sides, so it is quite snug and warm.
As we are always striving to improve, we plan to make side curtains for wine wagon, to make it much more user friendly adverse weather. These will be removable, but also roll up so we can have them in case we get caught out. Of course this takes time, so I’m not putting a date on when they will be ready.
In a nutshell, we will do everything we can, to be accomodating if the weather isn’t ideal. We do not want to be out in bad weather either, so please don’t be put off of booking, by worrying about the weather.