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Photo essay: Giddy up

Pulled by "Harry," a Percheron, Tara Carlson of Superior takes two couples from South Dakota on a carriage ride in Canal Park recently. "I love working with horses," said Carlson. "It's my favorite part of the day." Carlson works weekends for Top Hat Carriage in Canal Park. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com1 / 5
Tara Carlson purses her lips and makes a kissing sound to get her horse moving and the carriage on its way. "The first time I was on a horse, I was 3 weeks old," Carlson said. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com2 / 5
Gary and Denise Van Zee of New Holland, S.D., enjoy views of Lake Superior and activities on the Lakewalk on a carriage ride with Tara Carlson as their driver on a recent afternoon. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com3 / 5
Before the carriage ride begins, Tara Carlson, answers questions and explains where the carriage will be traveling for her customers Sunday afternoon. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com4 / 5
Avery Geis, 4, of Atwater, Minn., pets "Harry," one of the carriage horses. She's held by her mother, Stephanie. Even if they don't necessarily go for a ride, kids can't resist petting the horses. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com5 / 5

I'm allergic to horses, so I'm not sure why I wanted to photograph a story about a woman's love for horses. But I was drawn to the things that epitomize summer in Canal Park, including the carriage rides. Tara Carlson of Superior is one of the drivers. She's been riding horses since she was 3 weeks old, speaks their language and braids their hair. Whether horse or human, you'd be happy to make her acquaintance. Carriage rides continue through Halloween as long as the weather allows.