Now that you have won the primary, I invite you to re-think your stance on the NYC carriage horses.
I have lived and worked in and around NYC – I have taken carriage rides and I have actually been inside the stables – something the animal rights activists cannot claim. (As an aside, did you know that one of the founders of a group opposing the NYC carriage horses, WAR (Win Animal Rights), was founded by a convicted animal abuser? (www.tinyurl.com/92rlo2x) And that PETA not only kills 97 percent of the animals it takes in, even the ones it admits are adoptable, but supports horse slaughter? (www.tinyurl.com/83tef56)
The NYC carriage horses are well-cared for – as a matter of fact, there has never been a carriage horse driver cited for mistreatment, cruelty, or abuse of a carriage horse. And contrary to what you have read, it is not for lack of trying. The ASPCA, which is charged with overseeing these horses, is in favor of a ban (the ASPCA’s oversight is being phased out). Now, don’t you think they would bend over backwards to find fault if they could? As a matter of fact, a former ASPCA inspector accused them of just that: www.tinyurl.com/dx6kown
In addition, there have been three carriage horses that have died as a result of collisions with traffic in the past 30 (that’s THIRTY) years: Chester (1985), Tony (1990) and Spotty (2006). There have been roughly a half dozen other carriage horses who have died while at work in the past 30 (that’s THIRTY) years – most notably Charlie who died of unknown causes in October 2011, (www.tinyurl.com/cwplyk2) Smoothie in 2007 (from head trauma and shock after spooking into a tree due to a snare drum), Juliet in 2007 (colic), Jackie in 1999 (electrocution thanks to ConEd and stray voltage).
I am in no way minimizing the death of any horse, but this is a remarkable record. There is no other riding discipline that can come close – NONE.
The carriages are not “hard” for the horses to pull – aside from the fact that most of the carriage horses are drafts and draft-crosses, horses bred to pull – the wheels have, imagine this!, roller bearings. I’ve seen the stable hands move them around with one hand. Trust me, even fully loaded, they are not hard for a horse to pull. As an example, you can see a video of a carriage being pulled by a man here: www.tinyurl.com/978fb2p
Contrary to the lies being told by the anti-carriage crowd the stables are clean, open, airy, and well-ventilated, stalls are well-bedded and big enough for the horses to turn around and lie down, the horses can all see each other, they have plenty of hay, custom mix grain, automatic waterers, sprinklers in case of, God forbid, a fire, misters and fans. Plus 24/7/365 stable hands. Regular vet and farrier visits. And yes, I most certainly would board my horse in their stables.
Also contrary to the claims of the anti-horse crowd the horses do not suffer from respiratory problems. As I said, the stables are very well-ventilated and contrary to popular belief the air in NYC is actually quite clean. According to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report (stateoftheair.org), New York County, NY (i.e., Manhattan) has better air quality than Lancaster County, PA (Amish country) or Hunterdon County, NJ, where Steve Nislick kept his eventing horses.
I hope you will accept the invitation to tour the stables. And then take a carriage ride. You’ll find what real horsemen know – these are well-loved and well-cared for animals.