Palmetto Carriage Works Blog

Life in Retirement: Loretta’s New Chapter

Have you ever wondered about a carriage horse’s retirement? Here’s the perfect example. Loretta was a company-wide favorite horse and worked with us for many years. We’ve gotten permission to share this lovely update from her new owners in Maine, who are enjoying her tremendously. We are incredibly proud of our animals and the impact they have even after they leave the Big Red Barn. Learn about Loretta’s new chapter and enjoy the beautiful photos they’ve shared along with us:

I wanted to reach out to you personally and let you know how Loretta is doing in frigid Maine.  It’s been a quick 1.5 years and she has accomplished so much during her short time here. First, thank you for raising such a well-rounded horse! Within a few weeks of her being here, she turned Duke back into a horse. He had a sad history of neglect and was riddled with arthritis and health issues. He now runs through their pasture chasing her about like he’s a teenager again, and more importantly, he knows he is a horse again!

The dynamic duo are truly gentle giants and are loving all of the attention they are receiving from volunteers and individuals involved in the equine therapy program that they are trying to get up and running at our barn. Our barn owner’s husband is a Vietnam Vet suffering from PTSD and at the hesitant request of the therapy group leader, they decided to start having meetings at the barn. The barn slowly became a safe space for all those involved, and now it has been opened up to individuals with all types of disabilities as well. Non-profit status requires so much time and paperwork, but we will get there!

But in the meantime, Duke and Loretta, because of their size and calm demeanor, are often the first horses used when trying to get individuals acclimated to being around horses, grooming horses, caring for horses, and riding horses!

Loretta has proven herself time and time again and really loves the attention she gets, especially from children yielding snacks!  

It may not be guiding a carriage around warm and sunny Charleston, but she really seems to enjoy the interaction with kids, and she loved pulling the sled and snow tubes! This spring she will be starting her next big chapter in her book – helping me to tame a 3 year old paint mare who we recently rescued from a rough situation.

Loretta has proven that she has the patience and personality to help me earn the trust of other horses, and is able to convey messages that I can’t seem to do.  She really is amazing!

Although I am sure that you guys miss her dearly, know that she is up in Maine doing incredible things and touching the lives of so many people! Here are a few pictures of the queen in all of her glory, and some of her with her new Maine crew! Oh, and to honor her southern heritage, her stall sign has her “full” name, Our Southern Belle, Loretta. We may not be “show” people, but we still think she has the best name!







If you want to get to know more of our animals, come by our barn on Guignard St. in Downtown Charleston. We’re open every day!