CASHTON — Lynn Hemmersbach grew up showing Percherons, something her family has had success at over the years. In 2006, the family decided to take their horses into another avenue and started Cinderella Carriage LLC.
“My dad suggested buying a carriage and doing events to support the costs of horse showing,” Hemmersbach said.
Together with her dad, sister and close family friends, Hemmersbach started a horse-drawn carriage business, which includes a unique style of ride along with the more traditional style carriages.
“We started with one carriage and now have six different carriages. We have the area’s only ‘Cinderella’ pumpkin carriage,” she said.
Cinderella Carriage is available for all types of events including weddings, parades, quinceañeras and birthdays.
“We travel anywhere for events. Currently, we have been in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan,” Hemmersbach said.
Hemmersbach said it takes a lot of preparation to get the horses ready for the variety of events they are a part of.
“We treat the horses like athletes and drive them three or four nights a week for conditioning,” she said. “We also work with them to get them used to different event sights and sounds. We live on a busy highway and drive them to town and around the area.”
All of the horses used are black Percheron geldings that have also been successful in the show ring for the family.
One event that the family has grown to look forward to each year is the La Crosse Rotary Lights, something they have done since 2008. Hemmersbach estimated that they give more than 1,000 rides through the lights each year. Rides average about 15 minutes each, but can be as long as 35 minutes depending on the night. It costs $20 per couple or $30 per family.
“A portion of each ride is donated to the Rotary lights,” Hemmersbach said.
Hemmersbach said she has many fond memories from the business, but her favorite memory was granting a young girl’s wish from Make-A-Wish.
Although the business comes with many happy memories, Hemmersbach said it is a challenge keeping up with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation regulations and requirements. It also is expensive to haul the horses to the different places and the insurance costs associated with their service. Despite the challenges, she said it is still something she enjoys and hopes to see it continue in the future.
“The business continues to grow. Maybe someday my sons will help and eventually take over, although they are only 3 months and 21 months right now,” Hemmersbach said.