The Paul Company owns about 60 horses that are used on a rotating basis. The law stipulates that a hackney horse may work a maximum of 18 days a month. They live either on our farm in Simmering, from where they go to work in the city centre, or on our farm in Meidling, from where they are used at Schönbrunn.
Every 3 months, the horses are allowed to spend 14 days on holiday at our horse holiday farm in Lower Austria. The horses for Schönbrunn work 7 months a year and then get 5 months holiday. On your holiday farm they have large green pastures and lots of space. Longer than 14 days of holiday is not possible in regular operation, because otherwise they lose muscles and could no longer be used as well. Just like humans, they break down if they don’t exercise, and if they lose their rhythm, they are less able to perform their tasks. However, like humans, they need a task in life. Fiaker horses have one and are happy animals.
The horses are trained by ourselves. A hackney carriage horse not only has to learn to walk in step, but also to behave calmly in traffic. It has to get used to the cars and must not get nervous if someone honks, accelerates strongly or takes other unexpected actions. To this end, they are first accustomed to the carriage, to the horses with which they are harnessed, and then to the traffic. Training a horse takes between 5 months and a year. However, they are not used as carriage horses until the end of their 4th year at the earliest, usually in their 5th year. We love our horses and have a personal relationship with each one. We invest a lot of money in their welfare, which goes far beyond the legal requirements.
But our treatment of the animals has also meant that we can actually use a higher proportion of the horses we buy. Because we give them time to get used to their task and allow them plenty of regeneration, we manage to use 80 percent of the horses we buy for this purpose. This is far above the industry average of about 50 percent. Nevertheless, the Fiaker-Ferienhof remains an expensive investment in the welfare of the animals, which does not make sense from a purely economic point of view.
Fiaker horses are allowed to work four days a week – they must have three days off (Animal Welfare Act). In addition, all our horses are given a regular paddock walk and holidays at our horse farm, thus ensuring a balance between work and free time. They must have three days off (Animal Welfare Act). In addition, all our horses are given regular access to the paddock and holidays at our horse farm, which ensures a good balance between work and leisure time
But our handling of the animals has also meant that we can actually use a higher proportion of our purchased horses. Because we give them time to get used to their task and allow them plenty of regeneration, we manage to use 80 percent of the horses we purchase for this purpose. This is far above the industry average of about 50 percent. Nevertheless, the hackney carriage holiday farm remains an expensive investment in the welfare of the animals, which does not make sense from a purely economic point of view.
Silvia Paul Fiakerbetriebs GmbH
Albrechtskreithgasse 28/Top 23+24
1160 Wien Österreich
Telefon +43 (0)1 235 00 45
Firmenbuch: FN 251119 V