Each Tally-Ho horse is chosen for its calm demeanor, friendliness, trust of people, and enjoyment of new situations. These traits contribute to making them ideal candidates to safely guide passengers through the streets of Victoria. Many of our horses have been doing their ‘jobs’ for years: they are highly experienced and enjoy their work.
The horses live with their humans on Hidden Acres Farm. They are an integral part of the family and their health and well being are always the highest priority.
The Tally-Ho horses live with their human family at Hidden Acres Farm, which is located about 25 minutes from downtown Victoria. The farm is aptly named as it provides a small, private oasis for the horses to relax when they are not working.
The horses are trucked from the farm to downtown Victoria for their work days. In peak season there are two shifts of horses working per day, and up to six carriages per shift. After each shift, the horses are immediately returned to Hidden Acres Farm.
When horses retire from their carriage work, they remain at Hidden Acres Farm with the family of owners and employees who love them. We have a number of horses in our herd that are no longer working and are kept strictly as pets.
Bud has earned the nickname of “bull dog” as he is extremely hard working and very enthusiastic about his job. If we had a gold star for the horse that has shown the most improvement under our Natural Horsemanship program, it would be Bud who is beginning to soften and gain responsiveness to lighter requests from his humans.
Clydesdale gelding born 2005; half-brother to Jerry. Clay is another one of our horses that enjoys being ridden and makes a comfortable riding horse too! When Clay is at work he is all business and loves consistency. One of Clay’s unique physical characteristics is his blue eyes, which are rare in Clydesdales.
Belgian mare born 2000; mother to Samson. Delilah came to Tally-Ho in February 2016. She’s a great example of a true ‘work horse’ in both her stout appearance and in her keen work ethic. In fact we’re continuing to work with Delilah to develop a slower pace – it’s Victoria… we take it slow and relaxed here! Delilah has a very sweet personality and when she’s not giving 120 percent at work downtown, she loves to be part of whatever the humans are doing around the farm every day.
Belgian gelding born 1987. Huey is the kingpin of the herd: tough as nails and steady in his convictions. While he’s been officially retired for a few years, Huey still loves his job! He seems to get a bit depressed when he doesn’t have anything to do, so we will periodically send him into town on a slow day and let him to do a couple of short tours (oh, he’s a happy boy on these days!); and he also trains new staff to drive at Hidden Acres Farm.
Belgian gelding born 2008. We welcomed Ike to the Tally-Ho family in February 2016. He’s the youngest of our working horses, but wow has he shown great potential. We continue to develop Ike’s capacity for accepting new sights and sounds and are excited to watch him progress and succeed at his new job!
Clydesdale gelding born 2005; half-brother to Clay. Despite his relatively young age, Jerry manages all new adventures like a pro. He has no idea of how big and strong he is: in 2014, at the local fair, we planned to show Jerry in log skid, but when we hooked him to the dead-weight logs that the other draft horses were pulling, Jerry leaned into the weight and it didn’t budge. Those logs weighed way more than the carriage on wheels that he is used to – they were too heavy :0) ! But, in testament to his kindness, at the same fair Jerry didn’t take a mis-step when Kennadie (who was 9 at the time) showed him in a halter class.
Clydesdale gelding born 2000. Kashe absolutely loves his job at Tally-Ho! He’s first to the gate each morning with hope that it’s a work day. He’s a busy boy and is often the instigator behind play time in the paddocks. Despite his playfulness, at work Kashe is all business and is quickly becoming our ‘new Archie’ (a bomb-proof carriage horse).
Clydesdale gelding born 2004. Roy is known for being one of the most beautiful horses we have as his conformation is near perfect for a Clydesdale. Roy is one of our first horses to start Natural Horsemanship with his human partner, Brianna, and enjoys going for trail rides through the park close to our farm.
Belgian gelding born 2004; son of Delilah. Samson came to Tally-Ho in February 2016. While we’ve affectionately nicknamed him “Baby Boy” due to his attachment to his mom, Delilah. We’ve been so thrilled with how brave he’s been to learn to work as a single carriage horse. Samson’s primary driver, Christine, developed a close, trust based relationship with him that enabled him to develop his confidence and willingness. We couldn’t be more proud of both he and Christine for exemplifying what a great horse-human partnership looks like!
Clydesdale gelding born 2002. Sarge has fans from around the world who come to visit him each year and feed him carrots. He is very sweet natured and extremely intelligent. Unlike most of our horses, Sarge loves to be clean! He is a stunning example of the Clydesdale breed and can be seen in many of our promotional materials.
Clydesdale gelding born 2007. Spot is the biggest horse in the herd, but his kind eyes and sweet demeanor make you forget how truly huge he is. He loves play-time with his buddies at home. Spot came to Tally-Ho in August 2015 and is further developing his skills under our Natural Horsemanship program with his partner, Kate, and is expected to be working downtown in the summer of 2016.
Clydesdale gelding born 2000. Thor has a keen sense of loyalty and very much picks his people. If he picks you, he will trust you implicitly and you will be rewarded with a wonderful partner. In addition to carriage work, Thor loves to get out on the trails for some riding time!
Percheron gelding born 1999. King has been a welcome addition to the Tally-Ho family! He had been providing horse-drawn sleigh rides in Whistler, BC, for eleven years prior to coming to Tally-Ho in October 2016. King is super sweet with kind eyes and a soft demeanor and we’re really looking forward to getting to know him better. Over the next few months we will be working with King to ready him for the types of sights and sounds he will experience in downtown Victoria. Look for him greeting our local residents and tourists in the Spring of 2017!
Percheron gelding born 1998. We’re excited to welcome Apollo to the Tally-Ho family! He had been providing horse-drawn sleigh rides in Whistler, BC, for eleven years prior to coming to Tally-Ho in October 2016. Apollo is a little shy as he gets to know us, but he’s starting to think we’re pretty good, kind people. He’s shown already that he is a lovely, soft-mouthed horse to drive (which we love!). Over the last few months we have been working with Apollo to ready him for the types of sights and sounds he will experience in downtown Victoria. He officially started his new career in December 2016 and clearly loves it!
Percheron gelding born 1998. We are thrilled to welcome Ace to the Tally-Ho family! Ace had been providing horse-drawn sleigh rides in Whistler, BC, for eleven years prior to coming to Tally-Ho in October 2016. Ace is very friendly – always at the gate looking for human attention; and has been a very kind citizen to his new paddock mates. Over the next few months we will be working with Ace to ready him for the types of sights and sounds he will experience in downtown Victoria. Look for him greeting our local residents and tourists in the Spring of 2017!
Horses and humans are better together then they could ever be apart. We learn lessons from horses that are very rarely found elsewhere. They are a gift to us, and we have a major responsibility to give an equally big gift back to them: with the right approach our horses can become calmer, braver, smarter and more athletic on a daily basis, which makes them more comfortable in all of their surroundings.
Horsemanship is the art of developing our equine partnerships so that the rewards from the connection are equal to both humans and horses. It considers the horse’s point of view first, and then we know the best way to present our idea. When are able to communicate within their world, we are able to build deeper, more meaningful and trusting relationships. The better our horsemanship is, the more correct and right we can be for our horses.
In 2016, Tally-Ho Carriage Tours partnered with Glenn Stewart, a leading expert in natural horsemanship, to develop and operationalize a horsemanship program that will deepen our equine connections. Glenn is a former Champion of the Cowboy Up Challenge at the Calgary Stampede and was chosen as one of the Canadian representatives in the 2012 Road to the Horse, the World Championship of Colt Starting in Murfreesboro, TN. He was also nominated as one of Western Horse Review’s Horseman of the Year.
“Horsemanship is what keeps you and the horse safe and gives both parties enjoyment. The more you understand the horse and work with their natural tendencies the more extraordinary the results can be. It is natural if you cause and allow learning to happen rather than make. Considering the horse's point of view first and then the best way to present your idea can all be learnt. If you get it right, everything else will be too! If you understand what is important to them, have the ability to read each as an individual and know the why, the how and the when to responding, the possibilities for what horse and human can achieve in a partnership are limitless.”
The adventure has begun! Follow our blogs for updates.
The Tally-Ho herd is provided a specially-formulated haylage crop as their main feed source, plus each horse receives supplementary grains based on his/her individual needs.
In total the herd will eat approximately 400 round bales plus over 36,000 pounds of supplements per year. Feeding these 1,800 pound giants is a large part of our operating expenses!
Tally-Ho works closely with a team of equine specialists to ensure the health of our herd.
Our veterinarian oversees the health of the herd, including monitoring each horse’s body condition; working with our farriers to ensure optimal hoof care; providing routine treatments such as shots, de-worming and teeth floating; and addressing any periodic health concerns.
In consultation with local feed and nutritional experts, Tally-Ho has developed a feed program specific to each individual horse’s needs and requirements. A horse’s age, physical condition, and amount of work or exercise will determine the type and quantity of supplemental feeds he receives each day.
We work with both an equine chiropractor and a massage therapist to ensure optimal joint and muscle health. The horses absolutely love these treatments and are often half asleep by the time they are completed!
Tally-Ho also works closely with the City of Victoria and the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) to ensure Victoria’s carriage horse industry is recognized as a leader in ensuring the overall health and vitality of the City’s working horses. We have contributed to the development of the following Regulations:
- Limiting working hours for all horses
- Requiring mandatory veterinary oversight
- Restricting operating areas in the downtown core
- Ensuring horses have shelter from the elements, access to clean water and appropriate forage at all times
- Requiring all operators to be licensed and subject to third-party inspection
In the wild, horses wear down their hooves naturally by walking on rocks, trees, vegetation, etc. Domesticated horses have their hooves trimmed and protective horseshoes mounted by professional farriers who are specialists in equine hoof care.
Tally-Ho’s team of certified farriers are at the farm weekly to provide pedicures to the herd. Their job is multi-faceted, ranging from acting as veterinarians by watching for changes in hoof health; individualizing each horse’s foot care and treatments; and creating special shoes to provide the right support (like orthotics for horses). The end result is that our horses are balanced in their gaits, which is a major contributor to long-term joint health.
Gypsy is very smart and a stunning example of the breed, with the blue merle coloring extending to one of her eyes (one is blue and the other brown). She is chief in charge of order on the farm and we are constantly amazed at her patience with her ‘little’ sister Jax!
Jax is a social butterfly, greeting anyone and everyone with joyful abandonment and a lollygagging tongue. At two years old she’s just starting to come out of her gangly teenager phase and is developing her Leonberger mane and thick ruff. When full grown she will reach approximately 120 lbs. If you haven’t experienced Leonberger hugs, they really are the best (except maybe after a day of romping in horse paddocks!).
This designer kitty is a hilarious mix of stunning beauty with deadly instincts. When not lounging in his pink build-a-bear bed (with fur trim), he is outside surveying the property to ensure we are not overrun by rats, mice, lizards or birds.
Briar has such a sweet personality and quickly picks up new tricks and ground exercises. He excels at jumping and loves trail rides in the park behind the farm.
Jazz is the ruling “princess of the paddocks”. She is true to her training and is always ensuring that we are clear and effective in our communications with our equine partners.