DISCUSS: Un-Romancing The Horse And Carriage

*Aleksandr Petrovsky & Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex And The City”

Right off the bat, you all know I’m definitely not the stereotype of a girl when it comes to most things…this also includes the topic of romance. I’ve never fantasized about my wedding, I don’t swoon over flowers and I’d find it super uncomfortable if a guy asked me to ride a horse and carriage. Despite really not preferring those actions, I can appreciate the thought…I’m not entirely a dude.

The horse and carriage topic makes me uncomfortable for reasons other than my inability to stomach a cheesy romantic moment.

If you live in New York or have visited, you are probably aware of those horse carriages lining Central Park. In the blistering Summer heat or the numbing Winter cold, they’re out there. Dressed like they’ve just trotted out of a silly romance novel with feathers and trinkets adorning them, wooing tourists and serving as memorable moments for couples in love.

At quick glance, most people might just be in awe of seeing these beautiful creatures strangely placed in such an overwhelming metropolis like New York. But, if you really look at it you might notice how sad these horses are and how absurdly dangerous it not only looks, but actually is. They’re trotting on the concrete next to bumper to bumper traffic, and sometimes right in the thick of it. Not only is it dangerous for them, but for the people around them.

*A Horse and Carriage in Traffic (Images via New York Times)

*A Horse and Car Accident (Images via HuffingtonPost.Com)

The more I researched this topic the more I found horrible statistics of cruelty, accidents, and deaths. I can’t even get into the animal cruelty, it’s just sick. I know I’m getting all Lisa Simpson here, but abusing anyone who is helpless to your power is sick (human or not).  These beautiful creatures are not housed in barns or anything else that would actually make sense. NO – they’re housed in old tenement buildings where they’re forced up stairs (yes, stairs) and into small areas where they are unable to lay down or move. Even Jon Stewart once referred to the area where they keep them as “The sad-eyed horse carriage district” and believe me, it’s sad.

According to NYCLASS.ORG:

“They 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. Unaccustomed to the urban environment, horses can be “spooked” easily and cause accidents that inflict great damage on vehicles, drivers and most often, the horses themselves. There were six accidents in the Summer and Fall months of 2011 alone”

Yes, spooked and anything can spook them – flashing lights, loud noises, masses of people. Sounds like all the elements of a city, right? Like, exactly where they should not be. Oh and get this. When they can’t work anymore  they’re auctioned off and inhumanely slaughtered into horse meat and sold in Mexico and Canada. It sounds like a sick horror movie, right?

*A Horse and Car Accident (Images via In Defense Of Animals)

I found this trailer for the documentary “BLINDERS” that discusses this entire nightmare of an issue in depth. Please watch it:

*An electrocuted horse (Images via BlindersTheMovie.Com)



More Facts About Horse Drawn Carriages In New York:

1. New York City Has The Highest Horse-Drawn Carriage Accident Rate In The Country:

There are cases from horses getting spooked and running into traffic to cabs plowing into the animals, all of which leave injured or dead victims.

2. Public Safety:

Not only is it an issue for the horses, but for the humans surrounding them.

3. Traffic Congestion:

No explanation needed. As if New York needs more traffic!

4. Poor Sanitation:

Most times the Carriage Drivers don’t clean up after the horses, which is a terrible experience to walk by – but, also creates concern for disease which could transfer from animals to humans.

5. Lack Of Economic Benefits for New York City:

The Horse Carriage business is cash only and not meter regulated, which means – that money does not benefit New York City.

Not only that, but  New York City has to pay to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to monitor the horses and repair damages left by the carriages.



Some could argue that “there are more important things to fight for” and sure that is true. In that case, I’d suggest those people fight for those causes that are important to them and educate people as I am or as these organizations do. No need to argue what is more important, just do something…anything. Others could argue that these horses, without a job, would end up as horse meat faster. While that could be true, why have them live a terrible life with the same inevitable end? If horse carriages are so important, why not do it right? Build stables and contain them in environments natural to them? If not, why should they and innocent people suffer from the mistake of having them in environments that are unfit for them?

I know this DISCUSS Post was a bit more of me informing and stating my own opinion, rather than fairly giving both sides. I feel very strongly about this and wanted to say it. I think Horse Carriages are inhumane and outdated, I also think it’s a major safety concern for the people around them. You are more than welcome to have your opinion. You may disagree with me and you may not care, thats cool too. That is the beauty of this country (and my blog, I don’t censor). I just thought it would be important (as I always do) to share my finds.









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