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May. 22, 2022 | Sunday
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Sentineal Carriages offers farm tour
Fred Sentineal pets Tom the horse at his farm on Line 1 Road. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

Sentineal Carriages, a Niagara-on-the-Lake company providing carriage rides, are hosting farm tours this Sunday, Sept. 8, to provide more information about their farm operation and debunk myths surrounding carriage horses.

Fred and Laura Sentineal, who’ve been running the business for more than 30 years, will host the tours at their farm on 1055 Line 1 Road. 

The interactive tours will run every hour, from noon to about 5:30 p.m. With a small group of ten to 12 people, the owners hope the tour will give people a chance to ask as many questions as possible.

People are advised to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

“I think it’s going to be a fun afternoon,” Laura said. “I really hope people enjoy it.”

From history and pasture management to horse health and safety, the tours will cover six stations at the farm, starting at the office, where six different people, including the Sentineals and some carriage drivers, will talk about the farm life and carriage company operation.

“We really want to be transparent, there’s nothing going on here that we’re not a 100 per cent proud of. And we’re very proud of how we do things,” Laura said.

“Horses are part of our family,” Fred added. “It’s been difficult for us to hear accusations from the (animal rights) activists.”

Fred said one of the popular misconceptions, spread by the protesters, is that most people think the carriage horse is exhausted when they see it resting in downtown.

“It’s untrue. The horse is so well-settled, it will go to sleep in the corner. We’ve done our job, the horse’s realized it has no fear of even a big bus coming by and it’ll not be worried,” he said. “It’s frustrating that they (protesters) take it and turn it into something else to promote their agenda and mislead the public.”

If people see a horse at the corner with its head down and asleep, it means the horse is happy, comfortable and relaxed, Laura added.

Another claim, which protesters make, is that retired horses are sent off for slaughter, Laura said noting their company has never done it nor will they ever do it.

“We have too much respect for our horses,” Laura told The Lake Report. “Once retired, they live the rest of their lives here or we have a group of trusted friends with horses where one of our retired horses might see them as a companion animal for another horse.”

But the Sentineals said they’re lucky and appreciative for the constant community support.

There will be videos and photos posted online for people who can’t make it to the tours.

Some openings are still left for 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. slots. Anyone interested in a tour can contact Sentineal Carriages at (905) 468-4943.