At Davister's Carriage Rides, we provide horse-drawn wagon and carriage services in Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin across almost any terrain. Sometimes we follow a trail through the heart of the rural countryside, and other times we become just as much a part of the local traffic as the cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles.
Although our teams of horses and drivers are trained to navigate many different kinds of routes, there are still a few courtesies that we like to recognize as reminders for the public when they encounter us on the road.
Tips for Drivers When Sharing the Road with Horse Carriages and Horse-Drawn Wagons
Carriage and wagon drivers have the safety of their passengers and their horses literally in their hands. So when they are at the reins, they are just as obligated to be in accordance with the rules of the road as any other type of vehicle.
However, their job also relies on a little extra attentiveness, civility, and patience from the other drivers around them. Here are a few ways you can safely share the road with us:
1. Follow at a safe distance
While most people prefer to quickly get around horse-drawn carriages and wagons when they find themselves behind one, the right opportunity is not always immediately available. Until a chance to safely pass presents itself, the best practice is to leave as much of a cushion as possible.
Horses can become nervous easily if they sense an unfamiliar presence directly behind them. This could result in an unexpected maneuver or an abrupt stop, even while waiting at an intersection. So for the protection of the passengers, the horses, and all of the vehicles involved, it is important for motorists to maintain sufficient space when they approach horse-drawn transportation on the road.
2. Enter the passing lane with a wide margin
When you are finally able to make a pass, establish a safe and reasonable distance of three or more feet between your vehicle and the horse carriage. This lessens the likelihood of the horse becoming spooked and ultimately swaying into the passing lane.
Sometimes encountering horses on the road can be exciting, especially if you have children in the car. We invite you to wave to us and even roll down your window for a friendly exchange. However, please refrain from any horn honking or engine revving. A horse's response when startled can be sudden and unpredictable, even for the most experienced carriage driver.
3. Return to your lane with a wide margin
Just as you account for enough room to get around a horse carriage, it is also important to make a safe return back into your lane once you have completed the pass. However, horses travel at varying speeds, sometimes even faster than many people realize. For this reason, avoid cutting back into your lane until you are sure you have established sufficient space between the rear of your vehicle and the horse(s).
4. Adjust your speed accordingly
Whether you are approaching or passing a horse carriage or horse-drawn wagon, we appreciate it when drivers adjust their speed to account for the animal. Our horses are fully prepared to share the road with cars that do not slow down; however, a vehicle traveling at a slower speed allows for more reaction time if something unexpected were to occur.
5. Dim your headlights
Motorists are required by law to dim their high beams when they are within visible range of an oncoming vehicle. Consequently, drivers of horse-drawn transportation hope for the same consideration when you cross paths with them in the dusk or evening hours. Bright, direct light can momentarily blind the horses as well as the person operating the reins.
Your Premier Horse Carriage Service in Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin
Our family business has been serving Green Bay and the surrounding Northeast Wisconsin communities with quality horse-drawn transportation since 1985. One of the things that we love most about this specific geographic location is the respect that people in cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles demonstrate when sharing the road with our teams of horses and their drivers. From busy downtown streets to the outskirts of county highways and roads, Davister's Carriage Rides promises a safe, fun, and unique horse-drawn transportation experience. Contact us to learn more about how we can help turn your next event into a celebration to remember!