From Amish Villages to St. Augustine

Sarah Hill, an Ocala native, has been a St. Augustine horse carriage driver for the past eight years. She enjoys time spent with her 12-year-old horse, Victoria, who arrived only 9-months ago.

These horses are from the Amish territories of Indiana. They are work horses for many years and then sold once they start aging. They come from a part of our country where cars and electronics do not exist, to a city full of bustling tourists and trolley bells.

“One thing the horses are really afraid of is kids on skateboards. They act as if they have never seen anyone move in that way, I don’t think many Amish kids skateboard!” Sarah says, laughing.

When asked if weight bothers the horse, Sarah explains, “This girl is 1,000 pounds, this carriage is nothing compared to the weight she is capable of moving. People ask me all of the time if it hurts her, I tell them, if it did, she wouldn’t move. Horses are like any other pet, sometimes they are stubborn; they make their own decisions.” 

There has been controversy over this local tourist attraction. It stems from the brutal heat waves that affect this part of Florida in the summer months. Horses are seen walking slowly, bringing sweaty tourists to their destinations, in temperatures as high as 100 degrees.

“A horses body temperature is 102. They can tolerate the heat much more than us. They have no idea the difference between an air conditioned room and the outdoors. They are always outside; it’s all they know,” she explains.

One can only really wonder the affect of a changed life such as this; from the quiet, rolling hills of Amish territory to one of the busiest tourist destinations in the nation. According to Sarah, if they are moving and working, they are content.

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One thought on “From Amish Villages to St. Augustine

  1. Your photos should help us recognize that modeling in our culture exploits women. It is a business not an art. The human body is beautiful and should not be made to look a certain way when a women or man must starve, experience poor health, nutritional deprevation, low self esteem and all for $$$$. Sarah you can photograph women and men who are a more accurate representation of us all.

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