Enchanted Carriages offers enjoyable ride

Monday, April 20, 2009

With high school proms right around the corner and the weather turning warm, it's the perfect time for a leisurely ride around downtown Greencastle. You can do just that by taking a carriage ride with Robert Ross, owner of Enchanted Carriages.

Ross, who used to be a coach driver for an Indianapolis carriage company, has a long family history with carriage driving. His great-grandfather and grandfather hauled waste out of the city of Chicago during the Depression using a horse and cart.

Shortly after moving to Greencastle several years ago, he came across a buckboard for sale and bought it. But he didn't own a horse to pull it. Then he found Taz, a beautiful white mare and knew he was ready to start his own carriage business.

Next, Ross purchased an elegant carriage, found a place to board his horses and began marketing his buggy rides. Because he is a small business, he is able to accommodate special requests such as longer rides and different routes.

Last year in early May he was escorting couples to the Greencastle High School prom by carriage. He takes wedding parties on customized routes and, weather permitting, he can be seen touring folks around downtown Greencastle and the DePauw Campus every weekend.

The carriage rides take place as long as it isn't over 90 degrees. The horses can't tolerate the heat even with the water supply on the east side of the courthouse.

A half-hour carriage ride includes a trip through downtown Greencastle and a tour of the DePauw campus. He also takes people other places if they don't want to see the campus.

One of the favorite tours is a one-and-a-half hour tour out to the Dunbar Covered Bridge.

The carriage is available most weekends, with the exception of some festivals and special events that Ross attends with his horses.

It's best to call ahead for reservations, especially from November to New Year's Eve. They also book early for weddings and special events.

Among those special events is bringing Santa Claus by carriage to several Indianapolis shopping malls. He also works for Christmas in the Park in Danville and at many Mansfield special events.

Ross and his drivers try to accommodate special requests. If asked, they will even wear tuxedos for weddings. Any time he is parked at one of his two locations, on the east side of the courthouse or in front of the Walden Inn, he will take walkup requests.

For prices or to make a reservation call Enchanted Carriages at 653-9003.

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