EXCLUSIVE: New York City carriage horses are stress-free even after long day of trotting, academic says http://nydn.us/1aISinO
You’re probably more stressed than a New York City carriage horse, according to a new study.
A California academic who specializes in equine medicine conducted an intensive study of stress levels on Big Apple carriage horses and found them completely angst-free — even after a long day trotting in Central Park.
Joe Bertone, who teaches at Western University of Health Sciences, said he became intrigued with the carriage-horse debate after visiting New York several years ago.
“Vets I know and respected were telling me (the horses) were having a pretty darn good life, but I wanted to put some science behind it,” he said.
In a study sponsored by the horse-carriage industry, which provided a $5,000 grant, he and his team analyzed the levels of cortisol — a hormone produced during stress in humans and animals — in 13 carriage horses at the Clinton Park Stables on W. 52nd St. over a three-day period in August.
The animals were examined four times a day — mostly by taking saliva samples and checking their body temps — including right before they left for work and right after they got home.
“I couldn’t find more content animals,” said Bertone, who is board-certified in internal medicine for large animals, with a specialty in horses. “They were very relaxed.”