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Why You Should Think Twice Before Taking A Ride In A Horse-Drawn Carriage.

March 23, 2011

When you think about the classic romantic journeys to take in New York, riding in a horse-drawn carriage is top on the list. It brings a sense of nostalgia and whimsy. Your driver wearing a top hat while being led by a stunning horse as you take a tour of Central Park cuddling up to your loved one. Dreamy isn’t it? Now that the moment of ignorant bliss is over, would you still think the horse carriage ride is so perfect if you knew the horse pulling the carriage was being abused? The activist group, New Yorker’s for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets, also knows as NY-CLASS,  have been openly protesting the use of horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. NY-Class, who currently have over 30,000 supporters, allege that these urban horses are forced into inhumane conditions with years of hard labor and small living conditions. Take a look at this excerpt from their website, :

       “They (the horses) routinely work at least 9 hours a day, pulling a vehicle that weighs hundreds of pounds, on hard pavement, while breathing exhaust from cars, buses and taxis. At the end of the day horses return to their tiny stalls in stables housed in former tenement buildings on the far West side of the city. The cramped space doesn’t allow these enormous animals to lie down. Once a horse hits the streets of Manhattan, its life expectancy is cut in half. After a few years of work, injuries and illness usually force the horses into retirement, not to a farm or pasture but to auctions in Pennsylvania where they can be sold to kill-buyers, (and) transported and slaughtered for meat.”

 I came across an article in Yahoo! News which quoted many horse carriage drivers as saying that their “industry is regulated, the horses work no more than 9 hours a day, they don’t work if its hotter than 90 degrees.” As a New Yorker I can tell you the latter part of that statement is a straight lie. Anytime I am in the city in the summer time, whether it be 80 or 100 degrees, those horses are always there. The drivers claim the members of NY-CLASS are threatening their livelihood. What about the livelihood of the horses you are beating down on daily basis? Who defends their quality of life? It doesn’t take a genius to see these animals are being mistreated. Just look at them, so many eating oats not out of buckets but from the street. Have you ever noticed that some of them have a sunken back look? That happens when a horse is used for labor beyond the years it should be.

NY-CLASS is being supported mainly by PETA and Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito who is suggesting replacing horse-drawn carriages with electric 1920s era replica cars. How cool is that? They even have advertisements from Glee star, Lea Michele, pleading for more people to “help put horse-drawn carriages out to pasture.”  In addition to giving these wonderful animals the quality of life they deserve, banning horse-drawn carriages will improve the sanitation conditions around Central Park. If you’ve walked by, you know what I’m talking about. Don’t worry this won’t impact economic benefits for New York City, according to the NY-CLASS website, “The horse carriage industry is a cash only business which does not use meters. Carriage drivers routinely charge rates above what they are legally entitled to (while) the City annually spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to monitor the horses (for contagious disease) and repair roadways damaged by the carriages.” Seems like the city is better off without them, besides I think tourists will be just as attracted to riding in cool vintage electric cars than being a part of the cycle of abuse to an innocent animal. I know I wouldn’t want that stigma on me, would you?

Here at GAI ( we would love to hear your thoughts. Wish there was some way you could help contribute financially to help the horses? Let us help you find out by handling your 2010 tax return. Remember, you can even write off charitable contributions. So give us a call at 212-978-6830 or stop by for a visit. We are open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturdays 8am-5pm.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 3:32 pm

    This was a great piece..I am tweeting it also….I live in NY and I have never been on a horse drawn carriage…it troubles me every time I see someone in them…I want to call out…”Don’t do it!” I TOTALLY dig the idea of the vintage cars..not just because it was spare these poor horses but also because vintage cars are cool….

    One thing I wanted to mention…when talking about the damage to the streets and such..I can’t even begin to imagine how much damage these poor horses suffer when THEY hit a pothole…I am sure they are not looking out for them and wouldn’t even know what to do if they saw one…I know as a female NY’r accustomed to wearing heels and attempting to dodge holes…even I have succumbed to some of these holes….even in sneakers….ugh! Poor horses.

    • March 23, 2011 3:45 pm

      I write blogs on a daily basis, but this one was tough to write. It saddened me to think of the abuse these animals go through right in our own backyard. Excellent point on the potholes by the way! I change routes when I wear heels so I can only imagine how terrifying it must be for the horses. Thanks for reading and I appreciate you tweeting the blog!! FYI- the dog in your picture is adorable, looks like he or she could work at my office!!

      • March 23, 2011 9:52 pm

        Oh the one in my avatar? With the glasses? That is my canine soulmate, Morby…unfortunately she is no longer with me…but she would have been more than happy to help you out : )

  2. Natalie Del Valle permalink
    March 24, 2011 1:10 pm

    awwww she’s adorable…she must be in doggy heaven with my four legged love Duke.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    August 13, 2011 11:57 pm

    I couldnt care less

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