Tourist Recounts ‘Traumatic’ Experience After Carriage Horse Takes A Tumble

Animal Rights Activists Renew Calls For Ban; Drivers: You Are Overreacting

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A tourist hoping to enjoy a leisurely ride through Central Park on a carriage horse Sunday said she is distraught after the animal started moving backward and fell to the ground.

Theresa Shaver told 1010 WINS’ John Montone that her husband and son were sitting on the horse carriage when it tripped over a curb and collapsed.

1010 WINS’ John Montone With More On The Incident

“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Oh the horse, no! Oh God, get off, get off,” she could be heard screaming on the video.

Warning: Strong Language

Shaver described the whole episode as a “traumatic” experience and was incensed to see that shortly after the incident, the carriage driver allegedly had the horse in line to pick up new passengers.

“You put him back to work after he drops to the ground twice?” she asked the driver seen on the YouTube video.

Shaver said something terrible could have happened given what she perceived to be the horse’s poor condition.

Back home in upstate Baldwinsville on Thursday, Shaver said she still hasn’t gotten over the incident.

“I’m changed forever. My view on it is changed forever. I was actually afraid for horses on the way out. I didn’t want to get near the carriages,” Shaver told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

However, a spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Drivers Association, Ian McKeever, said Shaver is “crazy” and overreacted.

Warning: Strong Language

McKeever said the horse just tripped like a person might trip and was “absolutely fine.” He said the horse was returned to the stable to be checked and returned to work only on the following day.

“We followed proper protocol, we brought the horse back to the stable — made sure the horse was fine.  And the horse was fine,” McKeever said.

Kramer found Bill Sac, the carriage driver during the incident, on Central Park South on Thursday with a different horse.

“It could happen sometime. It could happen. They always risk,” Sac said.

Dr. Pamela Corey, Director of Equine Veterinary Service for the Humane Law Enforcement Department of the ASPCA, said the horse was “spooked by a pedicab and fell down.”

The driver claims that Shaver left her purse in the carriage and he was waiting with the horse in the hack-line for her to return to collect it, Corey said.

The incident comes on the heels of a recent push by animal rights activists and lawmakers to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City. Supporters of the movement claim it is abusive to the animals.

“This is definitely a safety issue safety, meaning it’s a safety issue for the horses and it’s a safety issue for people,” said Elizabeth Forel of the Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages.

Drivers said an investigation isn’t necessary.

“The truth of the matter is that they’re very well cared for. There’s much oversight of this industry. These guys love their horses and take good care of them,” Demos Demopoulos said.

Did the woman overreact or does she have a good reason to feel traumatized? Should horse-drawn carriages be banned? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

More from John Montone
  • Jo Singer

    Horse and buggies didn’t have to deal with the overwhelming amount of vehichle traffic that puts these horses at great risk for spooking and getting injured. So there is no comparison with horses that stand in a hack line for hours on end without shade in the brutal sun. While there are regulations that cover temperature safety there is very little monitoring of what is really going on. The woman who was so freaked out by the accident today, more than likely frightened the horse even more with her shrieking and yelling like a lunatic. All she had to do was to call the ASPCA with her handy dandy cell phone and report seeing the driver on the hack line after the incident. I am in complete agreement with the horse lovers who strongly believe that carriage horses should be banned in from city streets. It is grossly inhumane what these horses must endure.

  • Susan Davis

    This woman is not at all psychotic, she was clearly and genuinely concerned about the horse and for her family riding in the carriage. That horse was not spooked, he was faltering from illness, don’t be fooled public, this is bull, I was raised around horses, if that horse was spooked you would have found him on the other side of the park not right where he faltered!! TOTOL LIES being told on here by Eva and others in the industry! All of us New Yorkers are traumatized every day that we have to witness the abuse of these fine animals. Pro industry people claim to care about people, that is ANOTHER LIE. They don’t care about the people who TRULY care about the horses and how traumatized we are at witnessing their daily abuse!

    • Lynne R.

      you obviously never drove a horse who jack-knifed. Watch the video again. The horse spooked, backed away from something ahead of him that scared him, and then tripped over a curb while his driver did nothing. The woman videotaping isn’t “psychotic”, but hysterical.

      • Eagle in NYC

        A spooked horse typically rears and steps back. Not runs to “the other side of the park” as the horse-challenged Susan Davis would have us believe. She’s projecting what SHE would do when spooked.

        And to all those who can’t borrow a clue about horses in urban settings, I give you a video all school children should see to offset the Disney-PETA fantasy they’re being fed via the Hollywood, the media and schools:

  • hondr

    That lady is psychotic.She needs to be committed to the mental hospital.

  • Susan Davis

    Anyone who claims that carriage horses are not abused without hesitation is either an owner or operator themselves or a complete idiot. No matter who the driver or owner may be, some are not as bad as others, it does not matter because the NYC environment is cruel to horses. There are myriad unknown noises and ignorant people who have caused countless horses to die, someone playing drums next to horses, a horse stepping on manhole cover got electrocuted, horses passing out because humidity is not factored in the temp regulation, there is no free access to water and absolutely NO shade even when in the park! The pedicabs should be banned right along with the Carriage Horses, they are all completely unsafe, neither Carriage passengers nor pedicab passengers wear helmuts, which goes to show the lack of concern both industries have for their passengers. Our Elected Officials see this madness every day and do nothing, if they can ignore abuse like this out in the open, you know they aren’t going to do anything about behind door corruption such as Christine Quinn’s slush funds (she supports the Carriage Industry, no surprise)! I have always objected to horses being worked in NYC for any reason because the high congestion is just not safe for horses or for people, but lately I’ve noticed ever increasing neglect of these beautiful horses by the Carriage Industry, a lot of these horses have dental problems because of old or ill-fitting bits, they are old horses, many of them with severe arthritis, you can SEE them STRUGGLING to pull those carriages! SHAME on these owners for allowing these magnificent creatures to suffer in the confines of NYC and SHAME on them for sending so many of these beautiful animals to slaughter! Apparently our do-nothing Officials are waiting for humans to drop like flies as the horses are before they do something! Outrageous!

    • Eagle in NYC

      Where is your evidence that this horse was abused or sick? Where is your EVIDENCE? You sound like someone who hasn’t grown out of your “Bambi’s mom got shot” horror that we adults left long ago. Watch a nature show. See what predators do to prey. It’s nature. And God is God and you’re not – try as you may to imagine differently.

      In 1917, there were 108,036 horses in New York City pulling carriages, and vendor carts, and ice wagons, and trolleys full of people, and everything that moved within New York City. That’s within the city limits, not counting the ones outside the city herding cattle, and pulling plows, and everything else horses have done for millennia for man. And when cars took over, the horses were dragged to the glue factory to be killed. Which, by the way, is what these concrete jungle environmentalists want to do to these horses. Kill them. Same as PETA killed 94% of the pets they “rescue” and also poison the water dishes at dog shows. They would either kill or throw into the wild (same thing as killing, only slower) all domesticated animals. They hate animals that have value to man. Only “this” much less than they hate humans.

      The vast majority of concrete jungle environmentalists have never been on a farm or a ranch, or spent any time in the wild. That’s why, when they do venture out, like the publicity stunt meant to show that the Arctic Circle has less ice in the summer than in the winter, they end of dying of exposure. They who know least bray the most.

    • Allison

      I have to be honest with you my sister owns a small carriage horse business in Florida. I have pulled and pushed bigger carriages than the ones that you see in New York City myself. It is not difficult. My 65+ year old mother does it without a problem. I watch her moves each one of my sisters carriages both in and out of their holding area and in and out of the trailer (up ramps). These horses are not struggling to pull anything and besides horses push against the collar not pull the carriage. If you did some research you would know this and would be aware of the realities of the carriage industry. Check out the kill pens, the horses that are slaughtered because they serve no purpose. Check out the ones that have nothing to do with the NYC carriage industry that are starved then auctioned for inhumane slaughter. Check out the horses that are starving in green pastures in rural areas because their owners don’t feed them. There are a lot of things in this world that you should be outraged about. The majority of the carriage industry is not one of them. Most carriage horse owners do not abuse their animals. Most do not starve them. If you want to do something about them stop writing letters and adopt a horse that really needs you. Adopt one that has been dumped starving at a slaughter house by a person that can’t afford to feed them. As I said there are a lot of causes out there that deserve your outrage. This is not one of them.

  • Maryann

    Where is the compassion for these horses? They have no voice and cannot tell anyone what their problem is. If people have any common sense they can see that the horse was over worked and needed to be taken back to the stables and rest with fresh water and food. The driver should be fined big time!

  • keith

    amazing that someone pitches a fit over something that a horse will do naturally and happens more often than you think?? You gonna pitch a fit when a horse on a horse ranch gets spooked by a snake? Or someone is riding it down a country road and it gets spooked by the backfire of a car? I’m really tired of people saying that these animals shouldn’t be doing what they do…..horses have pulled carriages for centuries and while it isn’t as widespread, it isn’t abuse to do something that has happened for centuries. keep your nose out of nature

  • Mitch Pawl

    Tell the lady in the video to shut the he11 up. MY GOD – sniveling little 10 year old.

    If I were her kid, I would be embarrassed to be seen with her.

  • john Moore

    How about a weight restriction instead because if her whole family is her size that’s just cruel and unusual punishment for a horse.

  • Eagle in NYC

    Shaver just wanted the horse’s oats for the evening meal. She was jealous. But seriously, I think she spooked the horse into falling down. And there is not one shred of evidence that the horse had any medical problem. It tripped. Big whoop. I think Shaver is part of the anti-animal group PETA and the animal-hating group trying to ban horses in our beloved Central Park. Get a grip lady. And not on that horse’s feedbag either. … Screaming obscenities in front of children and tourists in our fair city. The arrogance of ignorance of the Left.

  • JM in San Diego CA

    That woman was the definition of “hysterical.”

    Nothing she says about the incident can be trusted.

  • Chris Marrou

    It’s interesting that there seems to be more interest and better-shaped arguments over this issue than there were over the debt limit last week. Maybe it says something that we can all imagine the problem of a possibly-overworked horse than we can imagine what a trillion dollars is.

  • Red Juventud

    The horse saw the size of this woman and her son and thought they were going to go bare-back…the horse fainted from the thought.

  • AmericanMark

    The Horse and Carriage Association representative is right, this woman is crazy. I could take maybe about 10 seconds of listening to her hysterics. She probably traumatized the poor horse with her insane wailing. The horse got spooked, that’s al.

  • that_lady_is_nuts

    The horse tripped. That lady is crazy.

  • Andrew Wilson

    Considering the size and apparent lung capacity of the nice lady, she should have offered to don the harness and pull the carriage for the nice, tired horse. That would have been a memorable family moment. Honestly, does she react this way to roadkill or does she do her part in staying green by consuming the animals felled on the side of the road.

  • buddy woods

    wow an anim al fell down. God forbid anything like that should happen again. grow up people

    • Tanya

      I would hate to see what this lady would do if she saw my dog trip over her own feet or a basset friend we have trip over his own ears. Probably go into a psychotic rampage about how dogs feet are inhumane and bassets should have ears. She really needs to get a grip. While the man is trying to explain that he was just waiting to giver her back her property and have the horse checked out she is screaming obscenities in front of her child… sheesh some people.

  • Hank Warren

    Animal rights beauracrats, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  • Richard Head

    What about the fact that the woman and her kid weighed over 800 hundred pounds combined??? Maybe that made the horse collapse???

  • cube

    I smell a law suit in the works otherwise why so much drama?

  • Darin

    Horses have been carting humans around for 1000’s of years, lady. It is their purpose here on Earth….
    This is only considered news in Metro-America. The rest of America is rolling their eyes.

  • cbrown

    The woman that posted this video is a blooming idi@t! She has no sense of the animal world and lives by FEAR of big animals. She THINKS that she is caring and concerned for the horse when she knows nothing about them.

    She should see real horses in the wild! Look at the numerous scares and wounds on their bodies from the fights they have with each other. They kick and claw at each other with their hooves. Their young die of weather, injuries and predators, more often them those that live to adult age. More horses in the wild die from disease and trauma than live to old age. That is a fact!

    Any horse working in NY has a far better life than a horse out in the wilds of open country! The wild panic in that woman’s voice on the video is reason enough to simply ignore her ridiculous claims!

    This woman is a slave to her fear and panic. There is no reason anyone should listen to her because of it.

  • JaJaJa

    Back in the old days, they used to slap hysterical people back into reality. Someone should have tried that.

  • Robin

    This woman is a nut job. Horses are very adaptable creatures and usually do just fine as long as they get their hay and an occasional scritch behind the ears. I don’t know why this horse was backing up, but he may have been a ‘newbie’ and all the bicycles coming at him may have been disconcerting…and the screaming nut job only makes it a zillion times worse. You don’t have to ‘know’ horses to realize that panic for no reason will beget more panic…or in this case, a little more confusion on the part of the horse…he was NOT panicked..otherwise the carriage would have been wrecked, the horse likely destroyed and dozens injured. The only one ‘spooking’ is the screaming lady behind the cell phone camera.

  • EZE

    What an idiot!!!

  • Ollie

    The woman was being utterly ridiculous and needed someone to give her a good slap across the face to snap her out of it.

  • Brian

    first, the woman is not normal…she is an aberration, her husband acknowledge as much when he tried to calm her, since she was causing a scene and embarrassing him
    second, if i was trying to push for a ban on horse-drawn carriages i would not consider this evidence nor credible based on the driver’s calm reaction and the woman’s abnormal reaction
    third, i would expect the lady to have enough shame not to want to copyright her video…not only was her reaction abnormal but her son appears obese; perhaps they should have been walking in the park vice “taking advantage” of a helpless horse for locomotion?

  • Scott in Atlanta

    That woman seems unbalanced. A horse falls down and she falls apart? Down here in Atlanta, I think we have a little more cheese on our crackers.

  • Jarrod Hubbard

    If she’s such a “traumatized” animal lover, why was she riding in a horse drawn carriage in the first place? Silly drama queen.

  • Alicia

    @B. Beekman–NYC carriage horses are going to slaughter already. Hello. Why don’t YOU do your research? The current law, which looks like the work of a child (with heavy influence from the industry), allows for the horses to be dumped at kill buyer auctions–such as the one in New Holland. So, whenever the industry will be banned, this cycle of cruelty can come to an end, or at least New York City doesn’t have to be in the horsemeat business.

    • Tanya

      So why don’t you go rescue them instead of posting online?

  • JezzyBell

    Well, all you “harse” people (who identify yourselves as horse “owners,”) you are correct–some things never change. A worn-out, badly cared for, other otherwise “unprofitable” horse is sent to the kill buyer auctions and slaughter-bound. About 70 NYC carriage horses “disappear” annually from the city’s roster, a reflection of the legal loophole that allows for the horses to be dumped for slaughter. Sixty-seven million pounds of horsemeat derived from American horses is sent abroad annually.

    As for Ms. Shaver’s courageous videos, she was very wise indeed to be fearful for herself, her young son, the horse, and the public. You horse experts know full well what can happen when a horse gets skittish or spooks. Fatal consequences. What about the woman who was trampled to death by a spooked horse a little more than a month ago in the UK? The tourist who was killed by a spooked horse in Austria last year? The children who were run over by spooked carriage horses last year in Iowa (and the carriage driver’s wife, who was killed)? The two serious accidents in 10 days in New York City? Theresa Shaver is smart, brave, and 100% reasonable in her response. The crazies here are the defenders of animal exploitation and those who would put themselves or another animal in harm’s way.

  • OMG, run...RUN!

    Imagine how distraught that woman would be if the horse ate her iced cream cone!

    • JaJaJa

      Someone should have replaced her ice cream with soap to wash out her mouth!

  • HooDatIS?
  • Steve

    Thank-you for posting that video….maybe this will open the eyes of those people giving out the licensee fee’s that work for NYC. Its bad enough the people of NYC have to suffer living in the city under Mayor Bloomberg…but now it looks like the horses are being dragged into the equation.

    • Scott in Atlanta

      Does anyone understand what Steve is talking about? Scott in Atlanta

  • Websteve

    Yes, absolutely the horse should have been taken to the vet, but lady, give me a break. You were totally overreacting. Calm down. Acting that way will not help your cause.

    • Steve

      Not really regarding overreacting….chances are Websteve is from around here BUT someone like her ( a tourist) doesn’t see things like that everyday…NOT everyone is as tough as you.

      • websteve

        Take my word for it, she was overreacting. I know. I have a wife like that.

      • Run for your lives!

        Please. She was reacting as though Godzilla was nearby.

  • Sandy Haas

    Yes, this woman was freaked from the get go! Would she rather see the animal put down, driver out of work and the tourists without an adventure? Animals have accidents just like people and it seems to me this animal whixh tripped was spooked by her bad behavior as well! It seemed to me that she was criticizing, condemning and finding fault with no real concern for the horse! Why would you run off and not check on the animal and situation! It is not like the sky was falling! I felt sorry for the driver as he was being verbally abused in public (very hateful) What about the fact that she was causing trauma to other tourists, children- the public witnessing her bad behavior and obscenities. She needs medication. Stand up for the unborn if you really want a worthwhile cause lady! Also, there are plenty of animals that need good homes- maybe you would like a horse???

    • TheTRUTH

      stand up for the unborn. what an idiot. so much compassion for the unborn but not for the living. your meanness directed at this woman and your lack of sympathy for the horses speaks for itself.

      • Sandy Haas

        Live abortions are living and I love horses and have a ranch! I have a friend who was aborted and lived! This woman had very inappropriate behavior which was abusive and hateful! Even if she were right in her view I would not want her to talk that way in front of my family! I have a right to call it like I see it and if you think that is mean then so be it but at least I am not using obscenities or insults- As far as not having compassion for the living you are not qualified to make that judgement. I do believe the horses should be treated well- and I never said I didn’t but I think this incident is a very unfair incident to argue that issue without all the facts!

  • Sick of Stupids

    The stupid screaming, screetching c\/nt is what spooked the horse. Stupid drama queen is looking for her 5 minutes worth of fame on YouTube.

  • ksny

    I’m an animal lover myself, but I find it amusing that all these opinionated people mentioning the horrible affect of the horses breathing in fumes, getting caught in traffic, etc. Um, our dogs breathe in these fumes. WE breathe in these fumes. Should we also give up our dogs because we are subjecting them to the terrible and toxic environment of NYC?

    • TheTRUTH

      Do you walk your dog in behind moving traffic and keep him behind parked idling tour buses and city buses?

  • silent watcher

    I think we are loosing the point here – lots of comments back and forth – but we need to think about not only what happened but we need to think about the horses.

    In a city like New York – we do not need horses pulling carriages. And there are always going to be those that think it is good for the horses and those that do not think it is good.

    I will not ride in these carriages and there is enough proof to show these animals are not well taken care of – I am sure there are some really good owers but it is cruel to have them working in 90/100 temps and then in 10/20/30 degree temps.

    I am sure we can find a better soluation besides working them to death and glue factories. Not everyone is going to be pleased but remember – we are not the horses who are going thru this.

    Instead of all the nasty comments back and forth – take this energy and apply it to fixing this situation.

    And one more thing – everyone reacts differently in situations – leave the woman alone – she was with her family –
    Put the negative comments and turn them into positive actions.

  • Hate animal abusers

    Psycho Spotter, no one is huger than Eva Hughes. She really took the WHOLE cake. :D

  • Huger than eva

    So sick of the abuse of carriage horses in New York City. Drivers profiting tax free of the animal abuse. Investigation needs to be done on the fake union that didn’t admit all the drivers and no collective bargaining.

  • Psycho Spotter

    I wonder how they treat the horses at her trailer park? Probably eat them, by the size of her family. Nice language on that psycho. Why does a “news” site give weirdos like this a platform?

  • mr

    My only comment is: “It is NOT natural for any horse to walk in heavy traffic of cars, buses, trucks, cabs and sirens, fumes, severe weather conditions and pull carriages. You can never convince me (and millions of others) that this type of business is “a job for the horses – that they need to do this in order not to be bored”. When there were no automobiles, humans relied on horses to get around – we are living in modern times – we DON’T NEED to rely on them for transportation. You want to see Central Park or Manhattan, take a bus or even better – WALK!!!!!!!! It’s very upsetting for someone to actually see a magnificent innocent animal get hurt in front of them. This woman was very upset at such cruelty – to make that poor creature go back and continue “it’s job” is very
    disheartening. The people who own these beautiful animals need to rethink their occupation – not at the expense of these animals.

  • Sarah

    After watching this video, I must agree with most of the other posters. This woman is an idiot. I feel bad for the horse because he fell down but her reaction is ridiculous. Yelling at her child to “run”. What would her reaction be if a tsunami was coming? She is clearly out for publicity or something. Spew your drama elsewhere dumba**.
    Her poor son must be mortified with embarassment!

  • Rina Deych

    Of course the industry defends the ASPCA because they do NOT adequately enforce the rules (which are very minimal to begin with). Horses are CONSTANTLY out in all weather extremes for long hours, with inadequate food, water, and rest. In the past three weeks there have been FOUR incidents with horse-drawn carriages (and those are only the ones we KNOW about). This brutal industry has to be shut down, period.

  • j


    • Bob P.

      You’ve obviously never been around the drivers.

  • j


    • Notdumb

      Lol. Reading comprehension fail. You are dumber than a carriage driver and that is dumb!!!

    • Bob P.

      Um, as stated in the story, Ms Shaver was with her “husband and son”, so she is neither “single” nor “lonely” Lose the caps and read the story, if capable of doing so, You’re right there is too much “confusion” in this world, so let’s try and eliminate yours, ok?

  • JR

    As a retired horse show judge, riding instructor, farm manager, and one who has adopted an abused horse in the past, this is what I observed in the video:
    1) The horse had not broken a sweat as one would if they were overheated or very emotionally upset.
    2) The horse remained amazingly calm considering the woman had completely– and inappropriately may I add– lost it. (She obviously never watches the “Dog Whisperer” on NatGeo. Horses. Dogs. It’s all the same psychology.)
    3) The horse was in very good condition– more than sufficient weight, healthy coat, no obvious sign of illness.

    Yes, the horse did spook initially, but, the only caveat I’ll add is that I have known of hack or school horses to lie down if they don’t want to work any more. If the horse is working a full schedule, I would lessen his schedule so as not to make him “sour” to it. As other horse-people have stated previously, horses– just like people– flourish when they have a purpose, usually meaning ‘a job,’ but, also like people, we can have too much of it! I think the horse initially spooked, but then found an excuse to try to get out of the situation altogether– Lie down. When they got him up, he didn’t act at all upset. My guess is he had just decided he was done for the day, or was ‘taking a break.’ As any horse person will tell you, that is NOT the time to put him away. I am quite sure that THAT is why he went back to the line. The handler decides when it is time to quit. If it were me, I’d take him for one more trip– without a fare– and then put him away. Take that loss for the day, and lessen his schedule or get an additional horse.

    Bottom line: I did not observe any abuse. I observed a hysterical woman who may be well-meaning, but also may be looking for $$$$ and found an easy target, and a horse who MAY be a little tired… or, also like people, a bit lazy.

    • Sandy Haas

      Don’t ya love it when even though you offer your expertise and experience people hurl insults at you? Perhaps these horses do need more due to the heat and other conditions. But I agree with your analysis- clearly, this is an issue which needs to be dealt with in N.Y.! However, the truth supports itself and after seeing the video the compounded problem appeared to be an overly hysterical woman contributing to spooking the poor horse even more adding to the problem. The horse did better than she did! He got on his feet and she ran! I will not say anymore before I put my hoof in my mouth! LoL

    • Nota expert

      Lazy? What an idiot. Horse was probably exhausted from the abuse and conditions. Horses are worked to death in NYC.

  • Ellen porter

    I believe they should ban the horse carriage rides. Those poor horses are not being taken care of properly. They are out in that heat pulling a heavy carriage as well as the huge people that get in them. No horse is bred to pull carriages all day in the heat. How often do they get water? This world is full of over weight people and they should walk instead of sit on their a– being pulled by a over worked horse. They get spooked at the cars and bikes going by them. If that horse fell twice he was not feeling well. Stop the cruelty!!!!!!!

  • sandi

    Not quite sure why anyone would have any confidence in the ASPCA or DOH overseeing the care of these horses. Take a look at how they handle the dogs & cats at NYC AC&C and you will find nothing but a killing machine hard at work. They are directly responsible for removing any concept of “care” in ac&c.

  • Bitty Red

    Thank you, Eva, for posting such an informative and level-headed response to the reported incident.

    My husband and I have been blessed to be stewards of two wonderful horses – both of whom had been harness racing champions in their former lives. While the life that live now is far less exciting and fast paced (pun intended!) than life on the track, they have adapted well to a new vocation. One of them has become a therapeutic riding horse and is currently being trained to a buckboard and sleigh so that he may continue to earn his keep over the difficult winters.

    Contrary to what many other people seem to believe, horses DO need jobs. Many of them, our boys included, need to be kept occupied with some sort of work or else boredom sets in and havoc ensues! They’re trained atheletes that are not content to sit in a pasture day in and day out eating their heads off.

    It’s taken some years to acclimate them to a different lifestyle, but it’s a lifestyle in which they still contribute meaninfully to maintain their quality of life and earn their keep.

    There are people that take wonderful care of their animals and there are people that don’t. As you so helpfully pointed out, there are laws in place to protect the horses that make their livings in the carriage industry. No carriage horse owner worth their salt would mistreat or deliberately harm their horses. That’s the primary source of their bread and butter and just like farmers of old, a mistreated or unhealthy animal simply won’t perform their duties as well as an animal that is well kept and looked after properly. And that also means a loss of income and means of survival for the owner in these difficult economic times.- and for some horses that also means a one way trip to slaughter across the US borders.

    The great-great grand-dams and sires of many of our horses helped to build this country and enabled us to fight for our freedom. We were founded on horse-power, we’ll end on horse-power when all other means of subsistence and transportation have failed to be economically viable. To put the carriage trade and every other industry that honestly employs horses out of business would be a tremendous disservice to these wonderful animals.

    Thank you again for your thoughtful posts. The timely information you have provided to educate people who are not in the industry will hopefully keep our horses gainfully employed and out of the hands of nay-sayers and ignorant do-gooders who simply don’t understand (or want to remain deliberately obtuse) that this is as much a means of survival for the horses as well as their owners/employers.

    • Adam

      How do you think people got around New York City before cars were invented? Horse and buggy. The way this woman reacted you would have thought she had been involved in a fatal accident. Screaming at her family to run? What, is there a gunman on the lose? Damn.

    • sunnykies

      Horses “gainfully employed” is a concept that works for people much more than it works for horses. The streets of NYC, with it’s dirt and grit, with heat reflecting off cement, and wind howling around buildings in winter, with it’s incredible noise, and motorized vehiclals spewing noxious fumes everywhere–this is no place for a flight animal who is also a herd animal by nature. Especially when they go home at night to cramped stalls, no fields for turnout, no means of socialing with others of their kind.

      I have three horses at this time. They do not fall down, twice, in the span of a minute or two. If one did, I would understand, something was/is, very wrong. If you think the ASPCA oversight is appropriate, google Oreo. Remember Oreo? This was a dog they saved, held up as a poster child, then killed–with legitimate sanctuaries offering to take Oreo, standing by.

      It’s a cruel world. Humans have a big hand in making it that way. By putting making a buck before doing what is right, by deluding themselves that what is good for themselves is also good for an animal, and worst of all: by looking the other way. If you have an ounce of kindness in your heart, you will stand against carriage horses in NYC. These animals do, truly suffer. It’s a simple issue at heart: the carriage horses suffer. The carriage industry makes money. That’s it in a nutshell, folks.

      • Warmblood

        Just because a horse is working in a city environment is not relevant. That concept is ridiculous. You talk as if NYC is the only place with dirt, grit, heat and wind! If you want the horse to be in his natural environment, doing what comes naturally, they why the heck do you own 3 of them? Just set them free on the prairie to live out their short life. Hopefully, you don’t ride these horses of yours because that is quite un-natural from the horses point of view, that is, if they are capable of having a point of view. The fact is, horses in captivity live alot longer and for the most part, finer lives than their wild conterparts. They are assured of their food and water and usually get decent veterinary care. These carriage horses work all day long and look forward to their time of leisure in their stalls. If being stalled on their time off is a concern for you, then you should be addressing much of the professional dressage and jumping industry where horses are worked all day and stalled all night.l These professionals don’t want to take the chance their animal will injure itself in the field, therefore they are stalled. The horses are fine with it because they have let out their energy during their ride time. They have no need to socialize with other horses. Their herd is their owner who is with them all day, working. These carriage horses aren’t out in the pasture all day without a companion. Your whole concept is wrong.

      • ez

        We have horses as well. They do fall down but not very often.

        This guy was backing up over an unseen curb and fell. He was slow to get up which is a concern. Then the driver was back in line for another fare. I wonder how old this horse is. He appears to be very calm which is a good thing.

        I read some of the comments before playing the video. I muted the sound because I thought that may not be of value.

        Amarillo TX

    • Linda Bento-Rei

      Who are you kidding. These poor horses never see a green pasture or a day off. Follow them around for a day and you would wake up.


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