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Safely Touring Southern Cities by Carriage: Navigating Summer Heat for Carriage Horses

Safely Touring Southern Cities by Carriage: Navigating Summer Heat for Carriage Horses

In popular summer vacation spots like Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, horse-drawn carriage rides are a delightful way for tourists to explore the cities. However, the scorching summer heat can pose risks to the well-being of the carriage horses. This article explores how tour operators in Savannah are preparing for high temperatures and taking measures to protect the horses while ensuring an enjoyable experience for visitors.

Summer Heatwave and Horse Tours in Savannah, Georgia:
As temperatures soar to the upper 90s, with feels like temps surpassing 100 degrees, carriage tour operators in Savannah are gearing up to protect their horses from the sweltering heat. Responsible companies, such as Carriage Tours of Savannah, prioritize the safety and comfort of their equine companions and have laid out specific guidelines to navigate the high temperatures.

Prioritizing Horse Well-being:
Cara Marshall, the owner of Carriage Tours of Savannah, emphasized the importance of ensuring the horses’ well-being during the extreme heat. Her company has established a standard practice of not conducting tours when the air temperature reaches 95 degrees or higher. Instead, they choose to call it a day to prevent any potential risks to the horses’ health.

Considering Humidity and ‘Real Feel’:
Apart from the air temperature, humidity plays a significant role in determining the actual discomfort a horse might experience. Marshall takes into account the ‘real feel’ temperature when making decisions about tour schedules. The company runs its last tours around noon, just before temperatures typically reach their peak, which is often in the late afternoon. To accommodate visitors and avoid cancellations, tours are offered in the cooler evenings when temperatures drop.

Adapting for Horse Safety:
When temperatures exceed 85 degrees and tours must proceed, Carriage Tours of Savannah implements a range of safety protocols to safeguard the horses’ health. Regular temperature checks are performed, and a horse’s normal at-risk temperature ranges from 99 to 101.5 degrees. To help the horses stay comfortable, they are provided with ample cool water throughout the day, and a refreshing hose spray between rides aids in heat dissipation.

Allowing Flexibility for Guests:
Understanding the significance of rescheduling to avoid potential risks, the company advises guests to book tours early in the morning or late in the evening. By doing so, visitors can enjoy the carriage ride experience without worrying about cancellations due to extreme heat. In case a tour is canceled, guests are offered the option to reschedule or receive a full fare refund.

The Horse’s Remarkable Cooling Mechanism:
Despite the challenging weather conditions, horses possess remarkable natural cooling abilities. Cara Marshall explains that horses circulate their blood to major organs and bring hot blood to the body’s surface. Through this process, the heat dissipates, much like a car’s coolant system. Additionally, a horse’s breathing pattern changes when it works harder to cool itself, with larger, more flared nostrils being a telltale sign.

City Ordinance for Horse Safety:
Savannah’s city authorities take the safety of carriage horses seriously and have put in place a carriage ordinance to ensure the well-being of horses giving tours within the city limits. This proactive approach by the city aims to maintain a balance between tourism and animal welfare.

Summer heatwaves can pose challenges for horse-drawn carriage tours in southern cities like Savannah. However, responsible tour operators, such as Carriage Tours of Savannah, prioritize the health and comfort of their horses. By adhering to strict temperature guidelines, providing cool water, and scheduling tours to avoid peak heat, they offer visitors an enjoyable experience while safeguarding their equine companions. As tourists explore the historic streets, they can rest assured that the city of Savannah’s carriage ordinance is in place to ensure the safety of these magnificent animals.

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