Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dream Horse Carriage - Our Story

Tania Lawson  currently resides in Jackson, New Jersey and runs her company Dream Horse Carriages from her home with the help of the internet and this is her story.

As a little girl  growing up on Long Island I always loved horses and ponies. Every time I saw one in a field, I whinnied to them and usually they came running to be petted and to get a treat. As my mother was against my infatuation with horses it took some time before I could fulfill my fantasy of having a horse of my own. Mother wanted me to be a concert pianist or at least a music teacher and an accident could hurt my hands. So I had to bide my time.

In my twenties when I was finished with school and was making my own money I started taking riding lessons so I could trail ride with my friends. After that whenever I saw someone struggling with a rental horse I taught them the basics. I couldn't stand to see a horse abused with an inexperienced rider bouncing and hanging on the reins for balance. I was able to purchase my first horse who was almost pure white. He was a percheron draft horse crossed with a quarter horse. Then the fun began. We still use Percheron horses to this date as they were bred to pull carriages and used to carry knights in full armor into battle. These horses are now just gentle giants.

After I moved to New Jersey, I started giving lessons in riding horses especially to those who were scared to ride because of a previous riding accident. No one else seemed to have the patience to work with these people and I was quite successful. Then I started a small pony ride business to augment my income and my passion for horses.

Later after I  took a romantic carriage tour of the historic area around Independence Hall  in Philadelphia I found what I really wanted to do. Only I took it one step further. Insisting on providing the nicest carriages and the white horses that everyone dreams of.  We are still known for our white horses.

I learned to use a computer with help from a local Librarian and with the help of my computer programmer sister I learned to build my own web pages. My ex husband wouldn't let me use his computer and told me that I would never make a successful business. Famous last words.

I started out small with the basic carriages call Vis a Vis which translates to face to face as seen in Central Park. But everyone else had these carriages and the competition was fierce. The others didn't give the fine service  my company did but clients don't often see beyond the price.  

So I designed and had built a  Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage  in hopes that the competition would be left behind. The carriage was built in the mid west by an Amish family business.  This carriage was light enough to be pulled by one white horse, small enough to fit in my standard carriage trailer and easy to transport so the rental price would be more affordable for my clients. It was an instant hit. We got so busy that I purchased  another Cinderella Carriage owned by a now defunct carriage company.  My partner and I had this carriage reconditioned.  Now I had 2 Cinderella Carriages available. But there were many weekends that both theses carriages were booked. So when shortly after this I  hooked up with another company who works with me to provide a third Cinderella Carriage we can now serve New Jersey, Metro New York and Long Island areas.  I still have our Vis a Vis carriages as some clients still prefer the more traditional carriage. I also have horse drawn wagons for the more rustic events such as parades and holiday events.

Because I had these beautiful white horses I was asked to start doing Indian/South Asian wedding Baraats, Vidais and Ghoris. This part of the business has flourished through word of mouth in this tight knit ethnic community. These white horses are decorated from head to tail in traditional Indian costumes of predominately reds, creams and golds. The horses actually wear masks made of the same fabric. The wedding guests play little hand drums and dance around the horse when the groom is brought to the wedding ceremony. Some grooms prefer not to ride on the horse but to sit in a carriage behind the decorated horse. These horses are quite large and can be intimidating when you are sitting that high.

Social Networking and lots of hard work have paid off in making my company a respected and profitable carriage rental and planning service. I work with my clients to find the best way to utilize the horse and carriage whether coming from the house to the church or from the church to the reception or a stop at a local park for pictures. I love to work with my clients to make their special event A Dream Come True.

website:                  http://www.carriagerentals.com
Twitter:                    http://www.twitter.com/Happy_Tales
Face Book:             http://www.facebook.com/DreamHorseCarriages
Blog:                       http://DreamHorseCarriage.blogspot.com
E-Mail:                    CarriageRides@att.net
Video                      http://youtu.be/YyOCk42SWPc

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