Moreland couple will return to festival with carriages

September 15, 2003|EMILY TOADVINE

If any of Ronnie and Pat Lamb's passengers for their horse and carriage rides feel like Cinderella, it's no wonder. The Moreland couple say they're having a ball.

The Lambs add to the regalness by dressing in tuxedos. A black horse named Prince pulls a white carriage with red, velvet seats. Their hobby requires a lot of effort, but the Lambs don't mind.

"Even though it's hard work and sweat, we have a great time because it's a family affair," says Pat Lamb.

The Lambs are assisted by their grown sons, Jason and Justin, and Pat Lamb's sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Darell Shannon, and Ronnie Lamb's sister and brother-in-law, Sherry and Dale Taylor.

They will return to this year's Historic Constitution Square Festival for a third year. A 15- to 20-minute ride on Main, Third and Broadway and back to Main Street will cost $5 per person or $2 for children under 6.


In addition to the Constitution Square festival, the carriage also has pulled bands in the parade for The Great American Brass Band Festival. It has squired couples to a Danville High School prom and added flair to several area weddings.

Their carriage carried the grand marshal for a Civil War band festival at Campbellsville in July.

"When we do things like that, we meet so many nice people," Pat Lamb says.

Rain has been a problem this summer

The Lambs hope for good weather for the festival Friday through Sept. 21. Rain has plagued their business most of this summer.

"This year, every wedding we've had scheduled has been canceled because of rain," says Ronnie Lamb.

Pat Lamb explains that their limousine carriage could cause problems for the bridal gown.

"If a wedding dress sat in that and got wet, it's very likely it would get stained."

Preparing for an event requires six hours.

"If a wedding is at 1 o'clock, we start the night before," says Ronnie Lamb, noting that the harness is cleaned, the horse is washed and the trucks and trailers are cleaned.

Pat Lamb puts the finishing touches on the horse.

"I sit underneath him and polish his feet," she says of the black shoe polish she applies to the hooves.

Most people might avoid that job with a 2,200-pound horse that stands 16 hands high, but Ronnie Lamb says work horses have personalities that allows it.

"I love the big horses. They're such a gentle breed," he says.

When they are involved with the weekend-long festival, the Lambs say they are very conscious of how their horses are treated. They keep a bucket of water handy, because people think the horses need it, but the horses probably will not drink.

"Normally work horses are watered twice a day. They don't get as tired and thirsty as people think. They were bred to work," Ronnie Lamb says.

The carriages the Lambs use are modern and equipped to help the horses. The carriages have hydraulic brakes and ball-bearing wheels.

Carriage ride business began after move to farm

Pat Lamb says she and her husband began the carriage-ride business - Doe Valley Farm and Carriage Service - after moving to their Moreland farm. They moved into the house they built on Dec. 18, 2000, and learned two days later that Ronnie Lamb was losing his job of 28 years with Kentucky Utilities. Buying a team of horses became part of that whirlwind of change.

"We went to Indiana to a horse sale and bought a team with Prince being one," says Pat Lamb, who notes that now they have 10 horses.

The next step was to buy a carriage from Mike Zirnheld, who also owns draft horses. Since then, they bought the limousine carriage that they plan to bring to Constitution Square.

Pat Lamb came to love horses after her sister married into a family of horse-lovers when Lamb was about 13. The Shannons knew a lot about horses.

"His mom and dad and he taught me how to ride," Pat Lamb says.

Her brother-in-law began working at Shakertown and started restoring and building carriages. He began to work with large, work horses, such as Percheron and Belgians.

The Lambs plan to sell some of their horses. They have a couple that are 3/4 Morgan and 1/4 Percheron that they describe as the "perfect team" for pulling a wagon.

"Our first crop will be our colts," says Ronnie Lamb, who also used his electric knowledge to go into business for himself. He installs electrical wiring in houses as part of Ron's Residential.

Pat Lamb, who retired from her job at Centre College's alumni house, assists with the electrical business.

They plan to have Amish friends break the horses for them, but admit that they become attached to the horses.

"We have a hard time letting go. We're very particular about who gets them," Pat Lamb says.

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