Another Carriage Horse Collapses in New York City

By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear.

It should be of no surprise that three carriage horses collapsed on the streets of New York City in the last month. Two are dead, one survived. Bringing horses into a populated, noisy, high-trafficked city is an unnatural environment for them. Forcing them to work 10 hours a day in all weather climates in our urban, human environment is completely inhumane.

On October 28, a horse got spooked and ran right into traffic. If his carriage hadn’t been empty, it’s possible that people would have been killed. A more recent incident involved a horse that just collapsed while working. Another horse named Smoothie became startled when she heard loud drumming. She immediately ran off. But when her carriage got stuck between two poles, she kept running and collapsed and died.

Mayor Bloomberg has been a long time supporter of the tourist driven carriage rides. In his words, “they probably wouldn’t be alive if they didn’t have a job”. In all due respect Mr. Mayor, we aren’t talking about guide dogs who are treated as family members. We are talking about overworked, horses that we treat as slaves.

I create sound therapy for dogs that includes a prevention and treatment program for noise phobias. While I haven’t yet created  one for horses, even if I did, I still wouldn’t want them to live in the conditions that they are subjected to on city streets. I know that I go into sensory overload when I’m in a city environment for many hours, and I am able to orient sounds and know whether they are safe or not. A horse doesn’t have that capability. The screeching sound of traffic or a sudden loud noise can be terrifying for them.

How many more horses need to collapse before the carriage horse rides are banned? Will a person need to be killed first? Please sign the petition to Mayor Bloomberg to help end this inhumane treatment of horses in New York City. And thank you for expressing your opinion in a comment and by voting in the poll below.

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110 comments

Justingaberial J.
Past Member 6 years ago

Fastidious blog you’ve got here. I’ve ever been seeing you just about many blogs recently.
empire

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Despina V.
Despina Vekris7 years ago

Enough is enough

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Walter G.
Walter G7 years ago

When I arrived on Luzon Island Philippines, 34 years ago, two wheeled carriages with the driver forward of the passenger called “Kalisas” were common transportation, package delivery, getaway vehicles from crimes, mail delivery, and acted as taxis. Because they delayed traffic, they pretty much died out in the countryside, but can still be seen at children’s parties and hanging around a big church in Quapo, Manila in case tourists want a ride. Today we occasionally see what appears to be a racing sulky, a stripped down version of the Kalisa, with a young horse hitched up, being trained for traffic behavior. In general, “maniliano” drivers are usually older men, really retired, pursuing their favorite way of life. I have never seen a horse mistreated, but the heat makes them foam at the mouth. In the late 1970s, at 2AM I saw a Kalisa hurriedly pull away from a bar across from my house, followed by the occupants yelling about a thief. The driver had sabotaged the cars’ ignitions so no pursuit was possible, taken money, watches, and booze at gun-point, and the hoof-beats faded in the distance.

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Karen W.
Karen W7 years ago

Your mayor should have put a stop to this long ago!!! I had much respect for him. The horses' owners are obviiously guilty of animal cruelty as well!! These poor intelligent animals, just like thousands if not more animals, who are subjected to abuse,cruelty and death because of human greed. If horse owners, in general, really need this income then there must be discussion and ways to keep the horses safe and protected, ie. areas of NYC, like parks and protected areas. Not having been to NYC in years, it is hard for me to analyze where and how,but absolutely not in high-traffic, polluted areas, which we all know are many in NYC. This should be a no-brainer!!

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Joy Mcronald
Joy McRonald7 years ago

That's so sad, ban them, there is no need to have the horses on the roads with all the cars/trucks, all people think about is $$$$$ not the animal...

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Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege7 years ago

How many horses have to collapse before Mr Mayor understands their predicament? It breaks my heart to see the pictures of those horses: they really look tired harassed, overworked... Poor horses. They make you feel ashamed to belong to the race of their persecutors.

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lindy eduarte
Linda Eduarte7 years ago

OH MY GOD. HOW MANY HORSES HAVE TO COLLAPSE AND DIE BEFORE NYC GETS A
GRIP. CMON, NEW YORK....I ALWAYS LOVED NYC. I LIVE IN MIAMI BUT WAS BORN AND RAISED IN BROOKLYN...NOW I AM ASHAMED OF NYC FOR KEEPING THE CARRIAGE HORSES GOING. DOES NO ONE CARE ABOUT THEM AND HOW THEY FELL? COME ON, MAYOR...I LIKED YOU BUT AM QUICKLY CHANGING MY MIND. IT IS UP TO YOU..STOP THE DAMN CARRIAGE HORSES BEFORE THEY ALL DIE, DAMN IT.

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SARAH K.
SARAH K7 years ago

The exploitation of these animals is truly terrible. The people of NYC owe these magnificent creatures a lot and should give a great deal of thought to assess their welfare.

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TQ M.
Tana D7 years ago

Very sad, I feel so bad for those poor horses. NYC is not the right environment for horses and they shouldn't be worked to the point of extreme exhaustion and death. I've never been on a carriage ride and I would never want to with how these horses are treated.

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Ernie Miller
william Miller7 years ago

thanks so sad

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