What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Base tours are $45 per carriage. We add a $5 to $10 if we have to pick you up off the base route; for example at Bass Pro, Toby Keith's, Red Prime, or any block west of Robinson. Hourly rates are from $100 to $150 for simple one load long strolls. Weddings and other events that are downtown or Bricktown are $200 to $300 depending on the time of year. Parades are $250 Weddings and other events away from downtown where we have to haul horse and carriage to are $300 for the first two hours and $100 for each additional. If you make an appointed ride and you are quoted a price you will be expected to be punctual as we will charge $20 additional for each 15 minutes you are late; for instance if we have quoted you a $50 ride to be picked up at your hotel at 6:00 pm and you dont come out until 6:30 then you will owe an additonal $40 for the 30 minute wait.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
As a middle school teacher I needed more income so I sought a part time job. I began by working for an established carriage company. I had a lifetime of horse experience so it was a logical choice. I enjoyed working for the other company until I was asked to drive a horse that was extremely lame and hurting and I refused. After that I was treated with such disrespect so rather than be a part of their abusive practices I formed my own company and went out on my own.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Our most common job is a base tour beginning in Bricktown. We tour the best places in Bricktown and a lot of downtown OKC. It is about 1/3 further than most other companies base tour. It includes all the best sites in Bricktown and shows you the best historic sites in lower OKC downtown. It shows some very interesting architecture as well. We commonly pick you up from your parking area or from where you are having dinner downtown. This tour takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
We provided a horse and carriage for Mr. Mike Shelton, State Representative in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Dont be fooled by gimmick prices posted on the street. Often companies that do that are not very concerned with anything accept the bottom dollar. We charge more than some companies but because of that can take much better care of our horses. It takes a lot to feed the horses like we do and to keep them properly shod (shoes on) at all times. Top quality care does not come cheap.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
That we have a lot of overhead expense. We dont just go outside one day and decide to take a leisurely stroll with our horse in Bricktown and give away rides. We have significant expense and work tied up into the business. We have a lot of feed expense for the horses, farrier fees, fuel to haul the horses to the city, liability business insurance, and warehouse storage fees to keep the carriages to name just a few of our expenses. The initial purchase of a carriage is seldom less than $4000 and that is for a used one. New ones are much more expensive. So we have a lot of overhead and that is why we must charge enough to cover those expenses.