Like Horses? Don't Ride NYC Carriages

The next time you visit the Big Apple, you might want to steer clear of those romantic carriage rides through Central Park if you’re an animal lover. According to WCBS TV, “A New York City report says the horses that take passengers on carriage rides in Central Park and around Manhattan work without enough water, shade or veterinary exams.” The report, the first of its kind by the city, was prompted after a carriage horse collapsed and died last summer in front of onlookers.

New York City Comptroller William Thompson said the horses never received any veterinary examinations between July 2005 and March 2007, and that the carriages were only inspected twice a year instead of the required three.

The director of operations at one of the stables countered, “”Our horses have a better health care plan than most people,” as he pushed a horse into a furnace. We’re kidding. But he did say that.

Audit: Bad Work Conditions For NYC Carriage Horses [WCBS TV (text and video options)]
(Photo: Getty)


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  1. timmus says:

    “Our horses have a better health care plan than most people.”
    In the U.S., that’s not saying much.

  2. Hoss says:

    I’ve never seen a carriage hoss that’s enjoyed his profession. This is not a NYC problem only.

  3. Bay State Darren says:

    Based on the size of NYC rats, if these guys kill/have taken away their horsies, there’s at least a replacement readily availible that most wouldn’t that particular animal’s ass about the treatment of. (The ride would still as romantic, I suppose. Right?)

  4. faust1200 says:

    Theres nothing like watching an animal defecate 20 an times an hour to get me in the mood.

  5. overbysara says:

    I recently rode in a carriage in new orleans. the tour guide was so mean to the horse… I couldn’t WAIT to get off. plus he kept plugging restaurants that he was obviously paid to mention. french quarter is such a tacky tourist trap.

  6. in Savannah, GA, they put out big tubs of water on the sides of the squares… that way while the tour guide is pointing out the sights and the annoyed motorists zooming past, the horse can enjoy a drink.

  7. mac-phisto says:

    c’mon! that horse was diabetic & would’ve been fine if it wasn’t fed circus peanuts.

  8. NickRB says:

    You know, I find it hard to believe that the owners of these horses don’t take the appropriate steps to protect their animals. I mean a horse isn’t a $100 convenience you pick up at Warlmart. It’s an animal costing thousands of dollars to buy thousands to feed and care for and thousands to train. By the time a horse goes to work the owner has thousands upon thousands of dollars invested in this animal. They need the animal to perform years and years of service, before they are retired. I don’t doubt that some drivers may abuse their animals, but would bet the vast majority treat their animals well.

  9. MalcoveMagnesia says:

    A carriage ride in Central Park costs $65 – $75 for 30 – 40 minutes. You’d think for that price the owners could afford to put some water troughs for the horses around.

  10. TVarmy says:

    @timmus: So, you want socialized horse care? You commie ;-)

    Of course, I am for universal health care. I just can’t drop a mildly good pun.

    And that is disgusting. Those horses should be checked up way more often. Is there a limit to how long a horse can be doing the carriage rides? I mean, a cab driver has to sell his or her car every 5 years to prevent it from getting old and dangerous. Shouldn’t a horse be sold to keep it from being overworked at an old age?

  11. lestat730 says:

    Quite simply… there are not supposed to be horses in the city. It is completely unnatural.

  12. jessecoug says:

    @NICKRB: You don’t live in NYC, do you? First of all, if the horses are near retirement age, they will push them and push them to get the same amount of money out of them as if they were younger. Second of all, this has been an ongoing issue for years with many many a complaint being lodged both to the drives and the media.

    In fact, the ASPCA was FOUNDED in 1866 primarily due to the shitty treatment of these animals ([]).

    Granted, that was before we had regular use of cars and pedal-taxis, which, by the way, can take you around the park without abusing an animal and gives a decent wage to an actual PERSON.

  13. Hexum2600 says:

    @mac-phisto: Actually, it would have been fine if they hadn’t put cheese on the sandwich after he repeatedly told them he was allergic to cheese.

    And if he had been intellegent enough to look at what he was eating since he had such a strong allergy.

    Wait, are we still talking about the horse?

  14. Elizabeth-NYC says:

    The recent Comptroller’s Audit of oversight of the carriage horse industry brought to light what we have been saying for years – that this is a cruel and inhumane industry, the horses live in squalid, exploitative conditions and no one cares. This was first reported in the NY Times and later around the country via the AP.

    So what happens now – when I was at the park yesterday – it was business as usual and the horses were standing on CPS on the burning asphalt; no shade; still thirsty – and some standing in their own urine and feces. Life goes on – or not.

    Please write to Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. The power is in her hands. Ask her to use her influence to sponsor legislation to ban the carriage horse industry in NYC and go the way of other more progressive cities such as London, Paris and Toronto where the industry has been banned for years. Use this link to leave her a message. []

    Elizabeth Forel / Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages –