Thoughts on the humour in this video?

I'll say up front that I am all for banning the carriage horses in NY, so anything different that gets a bit of attention is alright by me.

"New York City streets make for a tough life for carriage horses. They simply don't belong here, visit to sign our petition! NYCLASS is..."

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Comment by Barbara F. on September 29, 2011 at 4:41pm

Allan,  I'm not comparing the carriage horses to segregation. Simply underlining the point that what is legal is not necessarily right.


Moving on...


It's not just about the housing, it's about the working conditions and the ethical choice to have these horses pull carriages through the Manhattan streets.

In this case, I am letting my conscience be my guide. What I've witnessed has compelled me to speak out. Imagine what kind of person I would be if I felt this way and said nothing.


For someone else, if it doesn't bother them, that's their own view. For me, it's beyond what I consider humane and there isn't a reason in the world for those horses to be pulling carriages through the streets of Manhattan. 


Jackie, what horrid conditions you describe for the carriage horses in SC! Also, you're quite right about the ban of horses in Central Park, and about the increased regulations making it too expensive for the carriage businesses.


Gee,  I remember years ago when the public stables were open. My sister, who lives there, used to go riding. She loved it.

Comment by Jackie Cochran on September 29, 2011 at 1:08pm

Hi Barbara, basically I agree with you about conditions.  There is no way that cities, ancient, medieval, 19th century, or nowadays are a good, healthy environment for horses.

In Charlotte, NC, someone tried to set up a carriage horse business.  I think they faced too many obstacles, this is a good thing, the Charlotte NC area is a center of Nascar and most drivers seem to think they are on the motor-sport race tracks (including some Nascar drivers going through neighborhoods over 130 kilometers per hour and others who have on occasion 'bumped' slow cars on the interstate highways.) 

In Charleston SC the carriage horses have been there probably as long or longer as NYC.  4 foot wide stalls, no provisions for shade or, as far as I've seen, no street side watering troughs.  As far as basic horsemanship is concerned I DO NOT LIKE 4 feet wide standing stalls.  These are inhumane, standing stalls need to be at least 8 to 9 feet wide so horses can lie down, and box stalls are better, of course, as long as the horses have a good area outside the stall to roll.  Enforcing proper stall size would be a pretty quick way to end carriage horse businesses in any city.

As for vehicle fumes, for decades I have thought that cities like NYC need to ban all private cars to make these wonderful cities more liveable.  That is not going to happen soon.  Too bad for all living creatures.

I predict that if more and more regulations about the stabling and proper working conditions (including weather and air pollution levels) get imposed on the carriage ride operators that it will become too expensive to run a business like this and there will no longer be any carriage horses there.  A really quick way would be to ban horses in Central Park, just like the horseback riders lost the riding trails in Central Park to bicyclists, ATV riders, joggers, etc., etc..  That ended all private riding horses in Manhattan.  






Comment by E. Allan Buck on September 29, 2011 at 12:21pm

Excuse me.....comparing segregation to the carriage horses is absolute silly.

The carriage industry is not a government program, it is a business operated by individuals.

The government is the regulator.....and in NYC is responsible for the housing of the horses............


Comment by Barbara F. on September 29, 2011 at 12:05pm
Allan, forget PETA.  I'm not talking about them at all.  I'm talking about what I have witnessed.  The government is not always right.  Do you remember segregation?  It had to go.
Comment by E. Allan Buck on September 29, 2011 at 11:59am

Not sarcasm Barbara.  Its reality.  

PETA, an organization hell bent on using misleading misrepresentations, is behind the NY ban carriage horses and that presents a harsh reality for ALL horsepeople throughout America.

Where is the scientific evidence to validate the claim of PETA regarding fumes..........egads the people in NY breath them......

The carriage businesses in NY operate under the govermental control of the city....RIGHT?  So the facilities provided by the city are the problem............egad, just provide better facilities.  And do not say it cannot be done, for there is sufficent land in Central Park to build a good home for the carriage horses and the police horses.

Horses have worked in extreme cold and extreme heat since man began using them.  So now PETA decides that working horses  in the city are abused......   How about the working horses that are still active in America....PETA's bull will have a detrimental affect upon their usage.

Comment by Barbara F. on September 29, 2011 at 11:41am

Hey, why the sarcasm, Allan?

If you want to discuss harsh bits, etc., I'm happy to have that separate discussion.

Other wrongs don't make the NY carriage horse industry any less wrong, or change my response to what I have witnessed.

One issue at a time.

Comment by E. Allan Buck on September 29, 2011 at 11:05am

So let us ban the use of horses for anything, including all forms of riding and competitions.

The extreme pressures applied ot bits by riders is abuse

Bouncing hard at trot on the back of the horse is abuse

Overbending and overflexing is abuse

Shoes can be abuse

Egads, where does it end.................get a reality check, instead of banning how about enforcing some positive changes

Comment by Barbara F. on September 29, 2011 at 10:24am

Hi Jackie, the heat is just one thing.


Freezing cold, horrific fumes, the danger of cars swerving in an out (the driving in that city is ridiculous!).

Horses positioning themselves with front feet on the higher sidewalks to relieve the pressure on their feet (backs too?), horses unable to scratch, get to a fly, turn their head or move - for hours on end. No grass or hay all day, just concentrated feed at intervals, no free access to water. And for what?

I 100% agree that a number of the things on your list need addressing and improving - another interesting discussion, I'm sure. :)

I think there so much controversy and anger over the NY carriage horses that they'll be banned sooner rather than later, and that ban will set a precedent for other big cities.

As Bob Dylan said, "The times they are a changing". IMO, the carriage horses are an anachronism that should be, pardon the expression, put out to pasture.


p.s. I can't comment on the horses in NC because I haven't been there to see for myself. Is anyone making noise about banning them in NC? I have no idea.

Comment by Jackie Cochran on September 29, 2011 at 9:36am

Hi Barbara,

I would support a complete ban on horses being forced to stand outside in the sun when it is brutaly hot, ANYWHERE, NYC, any other big city, horse shows (entertainment), horse races (entertainment), and the working Amish buggy horses, Amish draft horses and mules, police horses, riding school horses, logging horses, etc..  Of course this may wreak havoc on showing and training schedules, probably the reason that such a common sense proposal has not gotten through on the entertainment side.  And what about the other working horses, Amish buggy horses and draft horses and mules, police horses, riding school horses, logging horses, and working ranch horses.  There are also common sense solutions to some of the problems (not all), broad brimmed hats on the horses, equine sun glasses, portable sun shades over the whole horses, making sure that there is clean water available (hey, dogs drink it too.)

And yes, you are right, we humans can do better.  We should do better.  We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. 

I guess when I see NYC carriage horses I compare them to Charleston S.C. carriage horses I've seen work in even more brutal heat and humidity.  I don't like to see either set of horses out in bad conditions, but Charleston SC is always brutal heat and even more brutal humidity in the summer, plus at least in Central Park NYC there is some shade.


I think the demarcation line is that dogs don't sweat like humans and horses do.

Comment by Barbara F. on September 28, 2011 at 10:00pm

Hi Jackie,


Agreed about the horses in third world countries. I try to support Spana and the Brooke, as they do such great work around the world to alleviate the suffering of these horses, mules and donkeys.


The difference, of course, is that unfortunately, the owners are often in horrific situations themselves and are completely uneducated in terms of what an equine needs in terms of feeding and care. The organizations that I mentioned above operate clinics, and just as importantly, they do a lot of education.


In NY, the carriages are just there for entertainment. What's the point of keeping these horses in harnesses all day in the blistering heat? What for? Surely we, as humans, can do better.

p.s. I often wonder what people would say if, instead of horses, there were large dogs shackled in harnesses all day in the same circumstances, just to pull around carriages of kids.

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