A ride on a “Douglas Horse Tram”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/193765-review-douglas-bay-horse-tramway is one of the highlights of a trip to the Isle of Man. It has been carrying visitors along the promenade for nearly 150 years.
The star of the show are the trammers, who live in the stables at the base of Summer Hill when they are not working. Each horse does two round trips before returning to the stables and have one day off a week.
The stables are open 8-4 while the trams are running. In the winter months, the horses spend their time out in the field. Visitors are always welcome and can walk in and see the horses, but are asked to let a member of staff know. Visits are free too! Stable tours are run occasionally during the season.
The horses all have a name and their own stable. There collar, harness and bridle hang in the hallway. On the door is information about each horse – how old they are and any foibles. They are all very different characters and Philip who dislikes cold water and has to be sluiced down with warm water when he returns from duty, is a perennial favourite with visitors.
There are also boards listing the diet of all of the horses. This includes spent hops and barley from Bushy’s Brewery and are mixed in with oats to provide a high protein diet. Another board lists any ailments.
The smithy is at the back of the stables and is very much a working forge. The horses are shoed at the start of the season and need reshoeing every four weeks while working.
The horses are very nosy and always pleased to see visitors. They also love polos – but check before feeding them. They also like chopped raw carrot which is probably better for their teeth…..
There is more information “here.”:http://www.douglashorsetramway.im/tramway-stables.htm