Yesterday’s couple, Leigh Anne and Jamie chose to be escorted down Park Ave and back in a carriage drawn by one of the seven beautiful horses of the Downtown Horse and Carriage family. I grew up around horses and get excited every time we have a request for a horse and carriage for whisking away the newlyweds. It’s beautiful every single time and I get to make new equine acquaintances.
Allow me to introduce Nitro, a dashing seven year old Percheron that joined Downtown Horse and Carriage only about a month ago, making him the newest member of the family. Originally shown successfully as a halter horse, Nitro made the long trip down to Florida from Cleveland, Ohio and has since settled into a routine of team driving carriages for all kinds of local events. Yesterday, however, he got to leave the barn and make his solo debut.
When he first arrived and unloaded from the trailer, he was a little nervous, lipping about and talking like Mr. Ed (no doubt wondering where his barn mates were and why his teammate wasn’t in the trailer with him). Being 17.2 hands tall and massive, trainers Joseph Mangano and Jessica Rich teamed up to handle his first solo outing, tacking him up and calmly talking to him like pros all the while. All their gear and trailers are handmade, brilliantly polished, and of Amish origin, bringing gorgeous detail to the whole ensemble. After snapping a few shots of Nitro getting all gussied up, I went back to the Chapel to await his arrival. I was not disappointed!
With a little help from Joe and the driving expertise of Jessica, Nitro navigated the streets of downtown Winter Park with his head held high, elegantly pulling our bride and groom past a mid-morning crowd of waves and congratulations. (A horse and carriage always gains much attention.) And then, of course, there was Steve and I jogging alongside off and on snapping photos on behalf of Winter Park Photography of the lucky couple and Nitro strutting his stuff.
After safely returning our couple back to the Winter Park Wedding Chapel, we all gave Nitro a pat for a job well done. For a first solo pull, he did splendidly and will definitely be joining us for more weddings in the future. I look forward to meeting more of the Downtown Horse and Carriage crew!