Business owner puts her heart into Valentine’s Day carriage rides (video)
To take a ride
Carol Higgason offers carriage rides for weddings, birthdays and community events. To schedule carriage rides, call her at (970) 330-0140. For more information, go to http://www.heartsandtails.com.
Saturday evening, Carol Higgason applied a final coat of red glitter to the hooves of her horses, Jake and Dolly. The glitter was one of many steps to prep the horses for the annual Hearts and Tails Carriage Co. rides through downtown Greeley, Colo., for Valentine’s Day.
Higgason is the owner of the business, and she said she loves to work with horses. She owns 12. She considers them to be like family. This year, she started preparing for the rides one month ago. Besides getting the horses ready, the carriages had to be decorated. One carriage was styled red and white and decorated with roses. The other was styled like a fairy tale pumpkin carriage.
For Higgason, who has operated the business for 10 years, the rides are a scenic opportunity to spend time with a loved one. This year, she booked all but one slot, which meant about 20 couples came to downtown Greeley for a 20-minute ride.
With the clack of glittered horses hooves, the carriage looped through downtown and brought riders back to 9th Avenue and 9th Street. At the end of the carriage ride, candy and flowers awaited each rider. Over the years, Higgason has seen many familiar faces come back to enjoy the rides again. She said she has a notion about why people make the rides a tradition.
“It is romantic, and it takes people back to a simple, easier life. My business is happy and special,” Higgason said.
Higgason said she didn’t expect she would one day have a horse-drawn carriage business. In fact, she was sort of thrown into it.
It happened at a friend’s wedding, where she waited with the bride and groom for the driver of a carriage to show up.
But the driver never did. Her friends knew that Higgason always had horses as a child and asked her to try her hand at steering the carriage. Higgason was skeptical at first, but her friends were insistent, and she gave in.
Not many people can boast of driving a horse-drawn carriage on a whim, and most probably wouldn’t agree to do so.
But for Higgason that first ride was enough to make her want to turn it into a business. She named her operation Hearts and Tails Carriage Co. after her daughter’s favorite horse, Heart.
As the sun set on Saturday evening, Annie and Russ Johnson waited on the corner with their daughters, Addi, 5, and Ella, 3. The girls both love horses and Carol, who they know through their horse lessons.
The family first tried the carriage ride last year and that’s when they decided it should be a family tradition on Valentine’s Day.
“We really love Hearts and Tails,” Annie said. “It’s a fun family time, the girls love to ask Carol questions about the horses.”
When the Cinderella-style carriage pulled up to the curb, the kids were quick to climb aboard. Addi jumped up front to help Carol steer.
For Jeremy and Carrie Jordan, who have been together for 22 years, the carriage rides also are a tradition. This year, they got to leave the kids at home.
“It is such a fun experience,” Carrie said. “Carol always does an amazing job.” ❖
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