On one hot summer day a few years ago, my husband and I were driving along the West Side Highway in New York City. There was this dinky corner garage with horses standing outside in the sun, looking exhausted, dehydrated and rundown. That’s when I realized that it was one of few city stables that held horses that pull carriages around the city, and that’s where they go when a hard day ends.
It may seem all wonderful and romantic, especially when you see these carriages in Central Park, waiting for tourists to mount a ride around the city for a small expense. But this practice is outdated. Afterall, we have cars now, and it is no longer a necessity to subject such an animal to urban streets.
Carriage horses endure loud noise, car fumes, traffic dodging, hard pavement pounding for most of their lives. The busyness and polluted environment of city streets are extremely stressful for horses. They haul heavy carriages all day, and it has been reported that they receive very little care and good nutrition. Over the past few years, a rising number of horse-and-car related accidents for both animals and humans. Horses could suffer respiratory ailments and even drop dead on the streets from heat strokes in the summer. At the end of of a hard day, they retire to sad little stables (more like garages)–and before they could recover, before the sun rises, another hard day begins again. When they get old and become useless to the business, they do not necessarily retire to green pastures, they get sent to the slaughterhouse.
This practice is dangerous to both horses and humans. Accidents are waiting to happen, and if you are unlucky, you could be the victim of horses gone wild, taxis crashing into pedestrian walkways, etc. Please spread the word to your friends and family who are visiting cities planning on horse-drawn rides. Sign the petition today and let our government know that this is cruel. (The U.S. does not have any strict provisions in the protection of horses). Major cities like Paris, London, and even our own cities like Key West have already banned carriage rides. Let’s help make New York a more humane place to visit.