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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

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I could not agree with you more! I will always boycott riding horse-drawn carriages. And any other form of "entertainment" using animals.

I have just returned from Ottawa, Can., and they have a lot of traffic but they are able to have horse drawn carriages, which adds to their heritage. All that is needed is over seeing of the care and well being of the horses.

These are not the only cities that have rides like this. In Nashville ,Tenn. there is Broadway in the center of the city. It has been really hot some days there [103 F] at times and the traffic in the city is active. There are at least 3 or 4 carriges that go through that traffic to give tourest a ride around the city. I think this is very cruel. Thank you

I am in total agreement [with Friends of Animals]. Why must the pride and enjoyment of a cultural history include subjugation of another species?

There is no romance in horses pulling carriages--now or in the past. Many people abused their horses horribly, forcing them to pull heavy loads until they were worn out and sent to the knacker's yard. How about returning to the past when men and women alike worked from dawn till dusk to eke out a living-except the privileged few who had servants to toil for them? If they want to bring back horse-drawn carriages, I suggest they shun all electricity and labor-saving devices , and grow their own food, mill their flour, grow their crops, make their clothes from flour sacks, and fall into bed at sunset exhausted. I could go on but I think I've made my point.

I live in Wethersfield and they were very sneaky about doing this. I also recently send an editorial to the Wethersfield Post about students raising money for Heifer international and in one response was accused of attacking Heifer. I didn't do this, I presented rational arguments. People don't care how many rational arguments there are, they only hear what they want to believe. They want to bring horses back? Right, then they should recreate human slaves as well. Let me know what i can do.

We have horse-drawn carriage rides here in Victoria, British Columbia and I take part in the FoA demonstrations to get them banned. It's amazing how often people will say, "But these horses are well taken care of." Like that makes a difference when what we're talking about is their subjugation. Some people say, "Well, if they weren't doing this, they'd have no purpose in life." As if contributing to human society is the only thing which gives someone value.

I don't think they should have carriage rides its cruel and dangerous. I was in Nassau Bahamas in May and they had horse carriage rides I left the scene in tears as these horses where dehydrated and looked sick. Why do we need animals to perform to draw tourists to certain areas surely we have more creative people to think of something other than an animal that can't speak our language.

Every time I go to New Orleans and see the horse-drawn carriages in the French Quarter I cringe!

Julianne brings up the valuable point that even if the horses are purportedly well cared for in a certain area, it's the acceptance of exploiting them that gets seen around the world. So it's a problematic precedent, no matter how it's carried out. Even in the best of situations, what happens when they wear out? It's not difficult to imagine where the end of the ownership cycle of a corporate-titled horse ultimately leads.


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