Romance: the word conjures up thoughts of the tall, strong, graceful, sensitive, beautiful, faithful, quiet, nostalgic and adventuresome…you get the picture. What creature embodies these romantic characteristics? A horse of course! Yes, a horse embodies all the characteristics of romance, so why not start off the path to wedlock with a marriage proposal using a horse?
A Marriage Proposal Using a Horse
A horse drawn carriage is the perfect fit for a proposal – or marriage. As a carriage driver in San Luis Obispo, I was part of many romantic horse-involved beginnings. Allow me to share the story of the first marriage proposal using a horse carriage, that I was a part of. Then keep reading for another proposal from atop a mighty steed. Riding a horse in a marriage proposal can be just as magical!
It was Halloween night and the kids were out in the San Luis Obispo neighborhoods running from house to house getting all the candy their bags could hold. Brian and his girlfriend, Lisa, got into the carriage. The ride had been specially arranged by Brian. I picked them up in front of the Mission Museum.
“So is this a special occasion?” I inquired.
“Yes!” replied Brian, as they settled into the carriage sitting side-by-side. Brian had his arm around a “sort-of smiling” Lisa.
There was no explanation to follow, which I found strange, yet off we went for an hour ride. As we passed by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, I turned around to tell Brian and Lisa about it. All I saw was the back of Brian’s head and back. Oh my, I thought, I won’t bother them now. Shasta and I rolled along. Trick-or-treating children were making kissing noises as we passed by. Gosh, I thought to myself, where can I go where there won’t be any kids to interrupt this couple?
As we continued to roll along, I heard a faint crying sound coming from the back of the carriage. Oh heavens, I thought, maybe he asked her to marry him at dinner and she doesn’t want to, but is fighting the hurt she is causing him. Oh the poor girl… these trick-or-treaters aren’t making it any easier.
“So, is this hard on the horse?” I was surprised by this sudden question coming from the carriage seats.
“Well, no. . .” I began to explain, as I examined their faces for a clue as to what had been going on. Brian had his arm around Lisa and things looked okay. Shasta kept plodding along and we were about 30 minutes into the ride.
“Can you take us back now?” asked Brian
“Sure, but we’ve only been out for half an hour?” I expressed.
“That’s okay. I’ll still pay for a full hour,” answered Brian. Oh boy, He wants out now! I thought to myself. This can’t be good! I turned Shasta around to head us back through town. We crossed the west end of Higuera Street and there were still many people out.
“Hey Sally!” Lisa called out from the carriage, “I’m getting married!” she exclaimed as she stuck her left hand in the air.
A Horse and a Beach make for the Perfect Proposal Setting
Many moons ago my horse, Prince, was involved in a marriage proposal. My friend Rob asked if he could borrow my white horse Prince to ask his girlfriend Miriam to marry him. He had a beach setting in mind. So, my friend Ruth and I hauled Prince out to Montana de Oro and got him settled on the sand-spit beach with Rob on top. Rob had asked Miriam to start walking down the beach and told her he would meet her along the way.
Ruth and I just stood back praying that Prince wouldn’t bolt or do anything mighty (we both knew he was capable of mischief). Prince was a gentleman and got Rob to Miriam. Once he dismounted and popped the question he hand-walked Prince back to us. As I took the reins we asked, “Did she say yes?”
“She’ll let me know later tonight,” was Rob’s reply. We took their photo and were left anticipating more to the story.
Later that night Miriam wrote her reply on the bottom of a cup. When Rob finished the drink he saw her answer, “YES”.
Rob and Miriam have been married for 29 years and have two grown children. It all started with a marriage proposal using a horse . . .
Now that you have heard two stories using a horse in a marriage proposal let’s finish off these romantic thoughts with this little marriage song, mentioning a horse carriage, Daisy Bell, composed by Harry Dacre in 1892.
If you, or anyone that you know, has popped the question or said “I do” in a setting where horses were involved, we want to hear all about it! Tell us your story and maybe you’ll see it in print!
Excerpt from a soon to be published book: Carriage Capers – Adventures of a Horse Carriage Driver in San Luis Obispo by Sharon J. Jantzen