The “I” in the word responsible should be important to anyone operating a commercial horse drawn carriage operation servicing the public. There are many facets to being responsible besides the obvious ones and yet I am constantly shocked at the number of times I see exactly the opposite. This is, in fact, the reason the B.E.S.T. program was formed. The need for some self-policing within the industry was glaringly obvious. While it’s one thing to embrace the diversity in the industry due to varied climates, city streets, and type of service offered it is never something to celebrate when you see poor practices, lax safety, or downright risky acts going on as normal.
The “I” in responsible is for you to do your part to not only be responsible but to think responsibly. Unfortunately, the “I” is way too often used as a handy excuse. Using “I” in conjunction with “My” to claim that potentially dangerous practices are “ok” due to the person’s: experience, horses training, years of doing it, etc. “I can do this risky thing because MY horse(s) are ok with it” We here at B.E.S.T. pledge to avoid engaging in questionable practices regardless of an ability to do so.
The truth and bottom line is, we are all dealing with essentially the same thing which is a 1000-2000lb flight animal and the unaware and unknowing public. This is our constant that never changes no matter the city, no matter how broke the horse, no matter how experienced the driver. We here at B.E.S.T. acknowledge that and behave in accordance with that reality. We understand that just because you can, does not always mean you should.
So we here at B.E.S.T. are offering blueprints. These blueprints will be available to towns and cities with carriage service, they will be available to insurance providers, and they will be available to our members. We will be showing people who otherwise would have no clue what a properly harnessed horse should look like, what a healthy horse should look like, what time proven safety protocol is and the benefits of encompassing them into the carriage operations on their streets. The information is illustrated with examples and is simple enough for a sixth grader to understand. Our aim is for the non-horseman to know what he/she is looking at and whether or not it is acceptable.
There will also be more detailed stuff. What a clean well-groomed horse looks like vs a dirty horse sporting a stained coat. What a horse’s hooves look like that are well kept vs busted up neglected hooves. When a town should require horses wear some type of hoof protection and when it’s “ok” to work barefoot. Videos on what a lame horse moves like. The animal rights agenda, what they do, and the headache they can be. How they can be held mostly at bay by upholding good standards. We will be actively working to educate all that have a vested interest in knowing what the finer points are of horse-drawn carriage service.
Our mission is to raise the bar, to set the conscientious apart from the reckless, and in doing so protect the future of our industry. By the constant evidence presented to us, this is sorely needed. Our fear is if we do not partake it to police ourselves that our future will face even more forced regulations if we are allowed to exist at all. Even if we are not actively pushed out ( which is already happening some places) The sad reality is once we are unable to secure insurance our entire industry will become extinct.
B.E.S.T. operators pledge to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem! We sincerely hope you find yourself wanting to be a part of B.E.S.T. and as one of our members embrace the “I” in responsible. Until next time, happy driving and may all your customers be pleasant ones!