Horse Carriage Costs

Horse carriages are often seen in cities as tourist attractions. They evoke nostalgic memories of past times. These quaint images do not reflect the reality of horses’ lives. They are exposed to noise, pollution, heavy traffic, hard asphalt, long workdays and constant heavy loads. There is also a lack of pasture access. These are all directly harmful to horses’ welfare.

It is cruel to make horses pull heavy loads, such as carriages. Horses are made to work in all weather conditions, avoid traffic and pound the pavement all day. Horses can develop respiratory problems due to the exhaust fumes they inhale. They also may have leg problems as a result of walking on hard surfaces.

Costs typical

  • A carriage rental that involves travel, lasts more than two hours, or requires a special carriage usually costs $600-$1,500. Low Country Carriage charges $2 per mile for travel and $50 for every additional hour. A two-and-a half hour rental would be $600 if it was located 25 miles from the farm.
  • Costs for horse and carriage rentals vary depending on how long the carriage is required, what type of carriage it is, and how far the horses and carriage have to travel to get there. For a one-hour ride, rates can be as low as $250
  • A carriage rental locally for two hours usually costs between $250-$800.

What’s wrong with carriage rides?


It is difficult and time-consuming to train a horse to pull the carriage, which weighs in at 1,000 pounds. There is no guarantee the horse will be able to do the job. Carriage drivers don’t have the resources, time or money to train horses to pull a carriage. They buy horses that are used to pulling carriages.


Horses who pull carriages along city streets are often “breakdowns” from harness racing tracks. Standardbreds can be trained to race by being tied to the back of a faster truck. Carriage horse operators call these horses “street savvy”. However, standardbreds tend to be smaller and lighter than traditional “draft” horses and aren’t used to carrying heavy loads.


Horses’ overall health is dependent on their hooves being well cared for. Even if the hooves are properly shod and not pounding on concrete, long hours of pounding can cause damage to them. To prevent injury and improve circulation, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that horses are kept on soft surfaces at all times.


Particularly in densely populated urban areas, carriage horses spend a lot of time breathing in exhaust fumes from the cars in front of them. Horses can also be found walking for hours through a maze of road salt and oil.


A carriage ride can be difficult even for horses that are healthy. Many cities only have minimal regulations for working conditions for carriage horses. These regulations are seldom enforced. The city’s laws are not perfect, but carriage horse operators are well aware of all loopholes.


Horses can be sensitive and skittish. Horses that have become spooked or run wild have caused serious injuries to people and animals, and even death.

What You Can Do

Contact your local legislators if you live in a place where carriage rides are still permitted to be banned. Many cities, including Biloxi, Mississippi, Camden, New Jersey, Key West, Palm Beach and Pompano Beach and Treasure Island in Florida, have already banned horse-drawn carriages.

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