Vaporback Writer

I had a realization this week that horses have reached a critical place in their relationship with humans, at least here in the United States. They have arrived at a place where, no matter what their circumstances, there are animal “activists” who will be outraged about their conditions. As each activist group successfully moves horses out of one category and into another, another group waits in the wings prepared to voice outrage and insist they know better.

Horses no longer have a role in our country where they can be safe from the meddling outrage of their self-appointed advocates–because the advocates themselves have not–and will not–reach any sort of consensus (and isn’t it interesting that they consider it a forgone conclusion that they should have the right to make decisions on the lives of other people and their animals?). Consensus, after all, is not a goal of the animal rights…

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Cheesecake and Clydesdales

Not everyone is up to the task of being a draft horse owner. These massive beasts have special needs and quirks that require a unique kind of human who’s equipped to handle them. They’re not right for everyone, but here’s a checklist to help you determine if you’ve got what it takes.

  1. Do you have the balance to use anything and everything as a stool?

milk crateJust grooming these monsters can be an uphill climb if you’re vertically challenged. Whether you’re clipping a bridle path, braiding a forelock, giving them wormer or even just trying to brush the dust off their rump, make sure there’s something you can stand on nearby. My stool of choice is the good ole milk crate. Don’t leave home without it!

  1. Are your stalls and alleyways extra wide?

Every heard that country song by the Willis Brothers, Give Me 40 Acres (and I’ll turn this rig…

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How one Victorian novel turned the carriage horse into the poster child for animal abuse more than a century ago–and why it’s time to move on.

Vaporback Writer

Beautiful JoeI acquired an antique book recently—one of life’s small joys. Although I had never heard of  Beautiful Joe, I discovered that it was a best-seller in its day. Originally published in 1893 by Canadian author Marshall Saunders, Beautiful Joe was, in fact, the first book to ever sell more than a million copies in Canada. It was the story of an unloved puppy born in the run-down stable of the horse who pulled the morning milk wagon through their small hometown. The cruel milkman who owns the stable abuses his animals, eventually killing all of Joe’s littermates (described in horrific detail) before turning his evil attentions on poor Joe. In a drunken rage, the milkman pins Joe, calls for a hatchet, and hacks off the helpless puppy’s ears and tail. The disfigured, desperate puppy is then rescued by the children of a neighboring family. Because his appearance is so…

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EXCLUSIVE: New York City carriage horses are stress-free even after long day of trotting, academic says

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.

Daily News Save Our Horses Campaign.

Daily News Save Our Horses Campaign.

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.”

WARNING! The blog you are about to read is on a VERY controversial issue. The views that I am expressing are MY own personal views. My PERSONAL opinion is neither right nor wrong. It is simply how I see this issue based on MY experiences. It is subject to change over time and with new information. I am NOT an expert. I am NOT involved with either organization. So before you read further and have a conniption – keep in mind to THINK FOR YOURSELF. I am sharing what I have learned with you to form or solidify your OWN opinion about this issue. The following is a true documented account.

“Cruelty! You should be ashamed of yourself! You are supporting animal cruelty! Ugly- Ugly! You’re so ugly right now!” They shouted at me. “Ugly man in the dress! Listen to us! These animals pulling your carriage eat food covered in…

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Blue Star Equiculture Blog

An Open Letter to Those with Available Homes for the NYC Carriage Horses

SPECIFICALLY: Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Allie Feldman, Steve Nislick, NYCLASS, Elizabeth Forel, PeTA, Donny Moss, P!nk, Alec Baldwin, Lia Michelle, Jillian Michaels, Win Animal Rights (WAR) and any others claiming to have available homes for the Famous NYC Carriage Horses!

Please HELP!

My name is Pamela Rickenbach and I am the Director of Blue Star Equiculture, and I am requesting your help. Before I explain what I need help with, let me give you some background on our work.At Blue Star Equiculture, we provide a retirement home for urban working horses and help educate our community on their behalf. We aim to help enlighten and inspire our communities to reconnect a vital part of their shared history with horses and to participate in caring for our country’s horses in need. We have developed several programs that are helping shape creative, loving and…

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An Open Letter to Those with Available Homes for the NYC Carriage Horses

via Open Letter to Those with Available Homes for the NYC Carriage Horses.

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