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BOTH SIDES: Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Tours Safe, Humane Or Mistreatment?

August 25, 2007 | Horses / Animal Rights / Horse Carriages

Excerpted from:

The Hartford Courant

Courant Staff Writer

...."Recently, the state Office of Policy and Management gave Wethersfield a $25,000 grant to provide horse-drawn carriages in the town's historic district, slated to begin this fall. The project has been billed as a way to accentuate the rich heritage of Connecticut's "most ancient town." A more progressive perspective, however, would suggest that buggy rides are an exploitative and dangerous tradition that should be left in the history books.

...To expect horses to serve as vehicles in any traffic is unreasonable. The health and safety dangers inherent in the animal-drawn vehicle business have sparked a growing momentum for bans in many cities across the world, including Key West and Palm Beach, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Camden, N.J.; Toronto; Beijing; Paris; and London. Even when confined to light or pedestrian traffic, as in the Wethersfield plan, horses and traffic can be a deadly mix.

...There are more enlightened ways to herald and preserve Wethersfield's heritage than returning to the days when horses were forced to pull people through the streets."

Priscilla Feral, president of Darien-based Friends of Animals

read full article...


I see it as cruelty. I know some cities "monitor" these carriage rides, but still, to ask a horse to go into loud, busy traffic and pull a cart around is just too much. These animals that live in the big cities have no life but pulling carriages and going home to a stall. What they wouldn't give to be able to roll and gallop in a green pasture. I wouldn't pay my money to force a beautiful horse to do this type work. The only one benefiting from this are the carriage owners ...

I thought that the use of buggy rides in Central Park was a nice idea until I realized from newspaper articles how exposed they were to injury by automobiles, pollution, long hours of labor, and, in some cases, poor care by their owners and caretakers. Our role in the management of any animal is to see that they are taken care of as if they were a member of our family. I believe it is what the Bible calls stewardship. I now view the use of carriage horses in a busy city to be a poor use of such a wonderful animal and I hope they will be banned in many more cities until such a practice is wiped out.

Horse drawn carriages are a way to make a quick buck, but are certainly no more than cruelty. To make a pregnant mare stand around in all kinds of weather merely for human pleasure goes beyond compassion; especially when the mare gives birth with traffic zooming around her on a busy street, as happened in Kansas City, MO. These horses are usually old and should be put in a lovely green pasture, not pulling a stupid carriage on a slab of concrete.

Well said Daniel P. Jones. Thank you. Dawn Spencer

I sometimes wonder what the difference between a typical 'horse lover' and, say, a 'car lover' are. Both make sure their property is 'cared for', 'clean', 'well fed/fueled' and 'safely housed'. Both insist that they need be driven, and enjoy being driven.. Enough with the 'horse lovers', how about some *respect* for other animals, and spending a bit of time thinking about *their* interests, instead of fulfilling our own?

For those who say horses like to walk or haul or greyhounds or mushing dogs like to run, that may indeed be true. But that is not the issue. The issue is that we are deciding when they will run or walk or haul, for how long, in what conditions, when they are permitted to stop, and how and when their lives will end. That is subjugation, pure and simple (defined as: "to bring under complete control or subjection; conquer; master).

Horse-drawn carriages are nothing but cruel. All horses that pull carriages are overworked and are doing nothing that is natural to them.

Safety is a definite factor but I've been to Wethersfield and The Historical area can be controlled. The fact that this country slaughters so many horses reflects the lack of respect and ignorance of their value. They are beautiful, wonderful animals but very few people today get to see them and fewer still get to be close to them, especially children. I think there is an "appreciation" factor here and this project will be carefully watched. It is not a city like NY with 1000's of vehicles. FoA comments: Exploitation of an animal is never a show of "appreciation." In the case of horses, appreciation for them can be shown by freeing them and ending their slavery to humans.

I just moved from Jacksonville, Florida 10 weeks ago. I used to go to St. Augustine all the time, & they have carriage rides! I always felt bad for the horses in the summer with all that heat & humidity!

I Agree with Al. I am a big animal lover. My family fosters animals from our local shelter. To get to the point. If horses were just breed to live on a farm, and just stend there and do nothing, how many horses would we have in this world? They are animals not people. If they are well cared for, as the article says, But out! I know you'll have an answefor this, but I just had to speak my mind. Why don't you people put you efforts into something that helps PEOPLE?


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