Sunday, December 21, 2008

The sufferings of carriage horses in the winter

The issue of horse-drawn carriages — in New York City as well as in other areas — has been on my radar since I first heard about the documentary Blinders.

Two days ago an activist in NYC videotaped the horses working during a snowstorm. I was horrified to see them covered in snow and trotting on slippery streets, while the drivers bundled up and carried umbrellas:



Maybe I just spoil my horse, since I blanket him any time it's under 15 degrees, and won't work him if the ground is too slippery with mud or snow... But don't the things in this video seem a little like the other extreme?

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2 Comments:

At December 26, 2008 at 12:43 PM, Blogger Cheryl said...

Oh, wow! I'd never seen videos of those poor horses before! Very eye-opening! I didn't realize, too, that they are out in traffic with cars and taxis! Aren't there regulations that cover carriage horses? And, how can they go out in a snowstorm? That has got to be unsafe, not only for them, but the cars around them????

 
At December 27, 2008 at 5:17 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Cheryl,

I know, isn't it awful? I only became interested in this issue in the last 6 months or so; before I ran across some of these types of exposes, it never occurred to me either how awful the practice is for horses.

There are regulations mandating that carriage horses can't be out when the temperature is 18 degrees or lower, or during weather that makes the roads slippery. However, judging by what I have read these regulations are not very well enforced -- whether because they are difficult to enforce, or because those in charge of enforcing it don't care, I don't know.

 

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