Not as Fun as It Looks
A Word from the Carriage Horses of New York City
For this weeks article I will answer an email:
Hey Laura! I’m a big fan of yours, and I love the work you do to make people aware of animal consciousness. So I was wondering if you could please do a segment on the carriage horses in N.Y.C. In the past two months, one horse dropped dead in the streets and two others collapsed from what seems to be exhaustion. I have been protesting the carriage horse industry since I became aware of the many abuses that go on in it, but many people still fail to see that these horses are unhappy and are not being taken care of. Since the holidays are coming and this is the busiest (and most tiring) time of year for them, could you please contact them to ask how they feel and what they would like people to know? —CJ
New York City Carriage Horse #1 says, “When I was learning how to be a carriage horse, I enjoyed it because my people really cared about me. I’m not with those people anymore. I hate what I do. They have cut down on our feed and we are hungry. Our stables are dirty, and I walk long hours a day. My body is in a lot of pain. My stomach and teeth hurt. My mouth is sore from the bit. I feel like my life has no happiness. Though, I love the people on the street that pet me. The people who protest our job bring me hope. My owner despises them. None of the money he earns goes back to us. None of it. I wish more people could see my sorrow. With so many people on the street, no one has the ability to help us. This does not make sense to me.”
New York City Carriage Horse #2 says, “I am strong and I have the stamina to keep going all day and night. I’m younger than most and feel that even I work too many hours in the day and too many days consecutively. When we rest, it is in a stinky barn, so there is no reprieve. My body hurts, but I can manage. I fear I will be stuck in this life. My owner loves me and tries to feed me right, but he is not horse savvy. I have had owners before that know what to feed and give supplements. I don’t get that in this life. He loves the idea of me, but he does not see this work for what it is. People, you should all ride bicycles. If you love horses you will fight for us instead of ride for us. I have noticed that people see what they want to see rather than the truth. Fight for us, and maybe I will be saved.”
New York City Carriage Horse #3, fallen horse, says, “I died, and there were signs. I had pain in my hooves and up my legs for years. I was not given water all day or night until I got back to the barn. My neck, back, and legs were in an excruciating amount of pain. My owner knew and had no way to dispose of me or to replace me. He did not care about my health. There was a time when he was kind to horses, but life got hard on him and he no longer cared about us. I died on the streets because angels want the world to see how the carriage horse business treats horses. There are some horses that are treated well, but the majority suffer. It is for the majority that people need to fight. My death should teach. I want to believe that there are humans that are compassionate. I watch from heaven and remain shocked that not more has been done. Where is the empathy for carriage horses? Why do people choose to think this is a wonderful thing when clearly animals are suffering? I am still learning these things. My soul will not rest until all the horses are off the street.”
Laura’s thoughts: It breaks my heart that the soul of an animal cannot even rest in heaven because of the way he has been treated on earth. I know it takes a good eye and an open heart to see the suffering in animals. I hope more people are called to action and that this business is more strictly regulated. I believe carriage horses can be treated well, but not for someone’s sole income. This should be only a hobby where both animal and human are in enjoyment and hours of work are limited.