NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – There has been much debate over the years about the treatment of horses used for hansom cabs in New York City. Now, two state lawmakers are calling for an end to the popular tourist attraction.

Many hansom cab drivers have giving tours of Central Park and other parts of the city for years and say while they’ve seen it all, their horses are always well taken care of.

“They’re nice, they’re in good shape,” said one driver about his horse. “They have a lot of food and water.” 

But State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal want to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, calling the industry antiquated and barbaric.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Hansom Cabs ‘Quintessential’ New York

But many New Yorkers say the carriages are an icon of the city. “They’ve been here for the longest,” said one man. “That’s part of New York City.”

What do you think about the carriages? Sound off in our comments section below.

Comments (102)
  1. Nancy WhoDat Evans says:

    Guess the Amish are next

  2. Nina says:

    Guess the Amish are next

  3. Eva HUGE says:

    Those horses are ABUSED and DUMPED for slaughter after years of pulling in such traffic

    1. HorseLover says:

      No they’re not, and the poster knows better. The poster’s name is a personal attack on a person in the carriage industry. The New York City Horse and Carriage Industry is offering to debate some of the leading anti-carriage advocates in late July. So far, none of the anti-carriage types have agreed to appear, probably because they have absolutely no facts or data to back up their ridiculous claims.

      1. Truthteller says:

        Thank you, HorseLover. Of course you are correct on all counts.

      2. HorseEater says:

        Those NYC carriage horses really do taste good. Must be all those years pounding on pavement in congested traffic and kept in small stalls. Better than veal. Yummy

      3. Philadelphia Carriage DRiver says:

        Man, I am so proud. Those NYC carriage drivers abuse their horses more than we do. Anyhow. I am creating a fake sanctuary modeled after Blue Star Equiculture. we don’t retire those poor old blind sick horses but we MAKE them work to their last dying breath. LOL. BlueStar is one good scam.

    2. Camille Hankinsnot says:

      Prove it.

  4. Susan Davis says:

    There is no question in any thinking person’s mind that horses do not belong in NYC traffic, in NYC stables or in NYC parks. The city environment is cruel to horses, and the antithesis of every basic requirement a horse needs to thrive and even survive! I support the ban on horse-drawn carriages and feel the ban is long, long overdue! A NYC audit proved conclusively that aside from environmental hazards and conditions for the horses other abuses continue to exist by this Industry, such as inadequate water (Central Park water troughs are empty except when filled with garbage), horses forced to eat grain out of pails that contain pigeon droppings or the ground that is contaminated with same, stable conditions so horrendous that the hardest working horses on earth are deprived of the ability to even turn around let alone be in a turnout! The park is not even remotely humane for the horses. The park is a HUGE tease for these horses, they can smell the grass and trees, but can never be under their shade or even under a single branch, can never walk on the grass. There is not one iota of shade for those carriages horses, the paths they are driven on are far removed from trees and grass! I don’t worry about winter for the horse, but the summer is absolute HELL for these horses, the existing law does not factor in humidity which is vital in any consideration of working horses! The underground cables in street combined with 85-90 or above temps brings the actual temperature closer to 200 degrees against the horses feet, regardless whether they wear metal or rubber shoes, it is hell ! Speaking of feet, this Industry boasts that they have farrier visits every 6 weeks, that is not always adequate for horses that pound pavement, and are old and already arthritic, many of these horses should have a farrier visit every 4-6 weeks! This Industry also tries to justify the unnatural and very cruel conditions they keep the carriage horses in by pointing to other horses, other industries somewhere else that are either starving or being slaughtered. Pointing out other’s mistakes never justifies one’s own mistakes! Currently there is no accountability for each horse used by this industry, no adequate records at all. Countless horses have been worked and then disappeared, and we know that a horse can be sold to slaughter and there is money that exchanges hands! It is vital that each horse is accounted for and that NO horse EVER go to slaughter. This industry has sold countless horses to slaughter and recently a horse they sent to slaughter was rescued by animal rights people! What can a person think about someone who makes their living off the back of a hard working horse, then when that horse is too old or lame to work, they send them to slaugher! What can a person think about that? How do you have any respect for someone like would do such a thing? I don’t respect anyone who does that. The amount of animals they retire (a few favorites ) is small compared to the ones sent to auction and then bought by killers. If the carriage owners say otherwise, they need to prove it, but they haven’t had to show any accountability for years, so why would any reasonable judge or jury believe someone that has no records and no accountability? It is time to stop the corruption, the cruelty, and the nonsense associated with this Industry that employs relatively small numbers of people compared to the general population! Please allow the ban to finally come to fruition and ensure that this legislation includes protection from slaughter for each and every single horse!

  5. ELIZABETH says:

    The thing is horses do not belong on the streets of NYC. It is dangerous, dirty and talk about the air they have to breath. And then there are the cars. It is dangerous to drive there why would anyone want to subject these innocent horses to try and survive on these streets.

    The only people who are wanting this to continue are the ones who profit from these horse’s suffering. They don’t care what happens to these horses, because once they can’t do this any longer…they will send them to slaughter. What a life.

    No take all of the horses off the streets and DO THE RIGHT THING!

    1. Donny says:

      These horses are not sent to slaughter. There is a retirement program for them. However, Elizabeth, are you doing ANYTHING for the hundreds of thousands of horses who DO got to slaughter every year? Just today, there was the weekly auction at New Holland and several dozen are on the trailers to Canada. Why don’t you take a trip there some Monday? Try and actually save a life instead of carrying on about NYC carriage horses, who are not suffering in any way.

  6. MJ says:

    I vote to ban the horse drawn carriages. They are dangerous for the horses and people alike.

  7. Humane Society of US Supports A Ban of NYC Carriage Horse Business says:

    The Humane Society of the United States is against this industry in NYC. They like the ASPCA have no profit motive unlike the drivers and “stable” owners who are desperately trying to hold onto their ALL CASH business.

    1. HumaneWatch says:

      Look at all the organizations (who make MILLIONS exploiting people’s emotions) who are trying to jump on the ban-carriages-band-wagon to make a quick buck. The HSUS takes all your money and spends 1/2 of 1% of it on actually helping animals. Get the facts:

      1. Donny says:

        Absolutely! The HSUS does NOTHING for animals. Don’t believe me – just ask the folks running your local animal shelter what they think of the HSUS.

  8. Candice L says:

    It makes me crazy to see these poor tired horses with there heads hanging from all of the wear and tear on their bodies. I agree a horse should not be forced to lug a bulky cab on unyielding pavement in extreme heat or cold. NYC carriage horses, who endure fatigue, dehydration, chronic hoof conditions, and lameness deserve a better life, A carriage ride is NOT romantic- it is cruel and abusive.
    The drivers do NOT care for these horses they whip them to move faster. These heartless people should be dragging the carriages around and the horses deserve to be on a farm where they have freedom to move without leather stapes and metal bars restricting them .
    I have the ASPCA on speed dial so each and every time i see a horse limping or with his tongue hanging out from exhaustion I call to report the carriage license number. It takes FOREVER to get through and all you can do is leave a message. NOBODY cares about these horses – we must work together to ban these cruel behavior.- my heart breaks for them .
    Please support the ban it is time to help the HORSES !!!

    1. Donny says:

      Please identify your source for the horse’s lameness, chronic hoof conditions et al. Do you know this personally or just repeating some anti-carriage propaganda? Do you carry on like this when you see someone walking a dog with a harness on? Do you wear a bra? That’s about the equivalent of wearing a well-fitting harness. You can help the horses by supporting the industry. Why don’t you take a trip to New Holland on Monday and see the horses who don’t have jobs and homes, most of whom are going on a one-way trip to slaughter. You obviously have never had a bond with a horse. Turn-out is good, my own horses live out, but the most important thing for a horse is good care and a bond with a rider or driver. Horses just left out in a field get bored and depressed if not worked. The easiest way to destroy a trained, working horse is to just turn them out and pay little or no attention to them, even if they get decent food. It kills their souls.

  9. steve says:

    amen to that!

  10. James F. Boylan says:

    To honor our servicemen who are giving their lives overseas to secure our oil supply, we should stop using these hay burners. Detroit has given us taxicabs and limousines to replace them.

  11. Michelle L says:

    I firmly believe horse drawn carriages should be banned from NYC and I am glad this law is being considered. Horse drawn carriages pose a risk to drivers, bikers and pedestrians; and obstruct the flow of emergency vehicles.

    In addition, horses are not cut out to haul carriages through streets clogged with bikers, walkers, cars, taxis, busses and emergency vehicles. They get spooked and someone can get hurt. A horse should not be forced to lug a bulky cab on unyielding pavement in extreme heat or cold. NYC carriage horses, who endure fatigue, dehydration, chronic hoof conditions, and lameness, work an average of four years, compared to police horses on active duty for about 14 years.

    For these horses, there is no reprieve from the daily exhaust fumes that lead to respiratory ailments. Carriage horses are denied soft pastures to graze and mingle as a herd. Instead, they are isolated in cramped stables with barely enough room to move.

    1. Donny says:

      Your statistics are absolutely wrong. :Let me guess – you got them from PETA or Elizabeth Forel. I’ve challenged Peta, along with a six time Olympic rider to come up with proof for their riidiculous statements, which a few minutes going researching respectable sitesw will disabuse you of of this notion. Get the facts, don’t fall for lies of Edison Properties.

      1. Elena Cohen says:

        I don’t need any statistics from anyone to see these horses with my own eyes. They are in an amount of traffic that makes human drivers scared, and walk around on pavement all day, far from any habitat even almost natural to horses. I completely support this ban, not because I’ve fallen for anyone’s lies (or even truths) but because I see horses suffering to drag tourists around.

    2. Domestic Animals says:

      Elena, do you think dogs should also be banned from NYC? It’s not a natural environment for them either. Same with cats. Don’t cats belong outdoors, where they can “naturally” kill wildlife, etc? And isn’t spaying/neutering “unnatural?” Seems you pick and choose a natural lifestyle when it suits your purposes.

  12. ray says:

    When I see tourists taking a horse carriage ride in NYC I want to smash their skulls and tell them, “the horse is doing all the work and for all his effort he gets abuse and neglect”. The owners are heartless. The city of New York along with Bloomberg are guilty of perpetuating this horrible practice. They have hardly any inspectors checking up on these over worked animals. This so called attraction should be banned once and for all. Every major city has done so and now it’s time for New York City to.

  13. Batya Bauman says:

    When I lived in New York City I always avoided the area where these sad, dispirited horses stood tethered to a carriage which they were forced to pull in all kinds of weather, in all kinds of traffic. Then I once saw one of the dingy, disgusting “stables” where they stay when not working, and my heart broke. It is an utter lie to say that these horses are well-cared-for. Anyone with eyes can see that they are not.
    This industry is a stain on my wonderful New York City.

  14. Sarah W. says:

    I’m an animal lover who doesn’t like seeing the horses being used this way, even if the laws and protections are followed, because they’re clearly not enjoying themselves too much. But what I also hate (and what my friends all complain about) is the carriages causing traffic and the manure smelling up the neighborhood. Seriously, the smell when you emerge from 5th Avenue station is enough to make me really excited about this potential ban.

  15. Mary Beth Sullivan says:

    Your comment is idiotic and you are a moron ,NYC is just not a city
    it is a universe and kids here learn diversity and how to survive amongst
    millions of their neighbors. No one is imprisoned here, they chose to live
    and raise kids in an urban settlement so that they will know better how to
    live and compete in the entire world not just the world of heatpumps and

    1. Natasha Brenner says:

      Talk about idiotic! What the hell has that got to the inhumane treatment of a sentient animal? Do you even know what that means? Are you trying to teach your children cruelty? You probably would like to see slums come back so your children cold experience that phase of New York. You really are an idiot!

      1. Christina says:

        Natasha – what constitutes inhumane treatment and cruelty?

        Carriage horses aren’t suffering from either, and I think it’s a good idea to teach children about working in partnership with another species and about history.

  16. Dale Auburn says:

    There’s no reason to pay through the nose to ride through Manhattan behind a horse when I can WALK for free.

    1. Roxanne says:

      Well, then… there’s a simple solution… DON’T take a carriage ride. See how easy that was? You don’t need a law to do that.

      Meanwhile, let everyone else who wants to take a carriage ride go ahead and do so. They’re actually the ones caring for the horse by providing the funds to feed them.

  17. Donald Gault says:

    I too feel that we should abandon these horsey rides in our city however
    one is fighting the oldest labor union in the USA the “Teamsters” which
    these sad faced wagon-drivers belong to.
    The guys and gals look like sharks that solicit anyone near by just walking down
    59th street,they are like prostitutes. Poor horses,poor suckers that go for a ride
    in these horse carriages ,might as well give them your wallet or purse and say
    “take what you want” …. This debate has been going on for decades and the
    poor horses are still working 59th street ,booooooo!

  18. Louis Gedo says:

    The facts speak for themselves. Horses were not born to be exploited and forced into harmful conditions. Breathing in hot noxious and toxic car, truck, and bus fumes all day, as horses forced to pull carriages always do, is fiercely detrimental to the horses. Most of the horses being forced to pull these carriages are retired after 4 years because they are “spent” from the grueling conditions of exploitation they are forced to endure. Many of these same horses are auctioned off, some sent to slaughterhouses. One doesn’t have to be an equine behaviorist to see and acknowledge the stark difference between a healthy, happy, free horse and a lifeless, miserable carriage horse…it is clear and obvious. If our cats and dogs were forced to be subjected to similar conditions as these horses, practically every New Yorker would be rightfully outraged or at least condemning that exploitation. “Tradition” doesn’t justify any detrimental or harmful, unnecessary form of exploitation….and certainly not the unnecessary exploitation of horses by an industry that trades away humane treatment for ill-gotten profits.

    This ban is very much needed and our support of it is necessary and positive.

    Good people don’t support animal exploitation.

  19. cbs4game says:

    How about we put an end to the communistic tyranny of Mayor Bloomberg?

    1. sunnyskies says:

      Like horse racing, this is an economic situation not about horses, but about money. This is why we see horses pulling carriages in the face of exhaust fumes; in freezing temperatures; in terrible heat; on surfaces that hurt their feet, no matter what the weather–and the horses do work in these conditions, because if they don’t, no money is made. And after their long day, the horses are not maintained in comfortable quarters and go weeks without seeing a pasture, though they are pasture animals. This business is, indeed, blatantly cruel; it is visibly cruel. It is also dangerous to the public, as well as the horses, and at some point, people are going to die in a very avoidable accident, adding lost human lives to the list of already lost horse lives. I admire the legislators attempting to end this heartbreaking business. They get the big picture. So many others, do not–or simply, do not care. Or perhaps, have a buck to make on the backs of these animals who cannot speak of their pain, but can only quietly bear it.

      1. Donny says:

        These horses are very well-cared for. I guess you want to ban horse racing next? The horses are maintained in very comfortable quarters – box stalls with hay in front of them all the time. How is it visibly cruel? Please post one photo of an undernourished NYC carriage horse or one with any kind of sores or wounds. You won’t find one, because these horses receive good food and treatment. A lot of horses are not turned out in pasture regularly, but they get regular exercise, as do the NYC carriage horses. Are you also against dressage or hunter/jumper barns? Many of these facilities have minimal turnout, if any. Please cite your horse experience. I suspect you know little about them.

      2. The Horses Were In The City First says:

        Where are your facts, ma’am?

        The people trying to BAN the carriages are the ones who are falling for the greed and lure of lucre! This is about real estate and about donations to anti-carriage-horse organizations.

        Speaking of the economic situation, while carriage horses get all the hay they can eat back at the barn and while they get veterinary exams multiple times a year and farrier work every 6 weeks, etc., thousands and thousands of horses in the US are neglected, abused, and starved because their owners can’t afford to feed them. Meanwhile, 100,000 homeless horses (who are NOT carriage horses) go to slaughter every year. The idea that people, who covet mid-town real estate or who are “offended” by the natural smell of horse manure, want to put 200 horses out of work – where I guarantee you they WON’T be regulated like they are now – is just so disgusting. You’re not helping horses, you’re hurting them!

        A working horse is a horse whose home is secure and who can count on being fed and cared for.

        All you commenters who hate carriage horses should redirect that into something positive and actually go HELP some horses in need. There are plenty of horse rescues, full to the gills with “disposable” riding horses, that need your help.

  20. Mary Beth says:

    The problem is that tourists and the general public are not aware of what really goes on and what the regulations are and that they are not enforced. The public only sees the pretty horse with the feathered hat, as they sit in a carriage. There is probably an element of danger in their minds as well, seeing themselves in sitting in something of the past as they ride through the city, no car roof over their heads, sirens blaring, and thousands of people who are coming and going.

    They are not taking into consideration the well-being of the horse. They are out for an adventure and have their own blinders on. The public needs to know the truth and not what the drivers just tell them or how they are portrayed in the media.
    They need to see the photos of the horses lying on the ground after an accident, they need to see them nose to tailpipe and they breathe in the fumes, and they need to see where they return to at the end of the day, a lifeless warehouse, cramped stalls climbing steep staircases in order to get there.

    Seeing horses suffering in the heat, standing on blazing asphalt and not having water half the time and being forced to work during a blizzard where for the city it was mandatory that all vehicles stay off the roads was an abomination.

  21. Mary Beth says:

    The problem is tourists and the general public are not aware of what really goes on and what the regulations are and that they are not enforced. The public only sees the oretty horse with the feathered hat, as they sit in a carriage. There is probably an element of danger in their minds as well, seeing themselves in sitting in something of the past as they ride through the city, no car roof over their heads, sirens blaring thousands of people.

    They are not taking into consideration the well-being of the horse. They are out for an adventure and have their own blinders on. The public needs to know the truth and not what the drivers just tell them. They need to see the photos of the horses lying on the ground after an accident, they need to see them noes to tailpipes and they breathe in the fumes, and they need to see where they return to at the end of the day, a lifeless warehouse, cramped stalls climbing steep stalls in order to get there.

    Seeing horses suffering in the heat, standing on blazing asphalt and not having water half the time and being forced to work during a blizzard where for the city it was mandatory that all vehicles stay off the roads was an abomination.

  22. marah says:

    THE HORSE CARRIAGE INDUSTRY IS THE SINGLE MOST REASON I NO LONGER VISIT NYC …… TOO MANY TIMES i have had my vacation day ruined at the site of an overworked horse or ten —–out in all sorts of weather at all hours. it matters little when i have visited, i invariably getso upset that i jsut finally decided i will not come back and spend my money only to be upset. the streets are no place for horses. so many people have great minds in nyc, come on come up with a more innovative and humane attraction than using horses ………….. im so tired of seeing horses tired and then i know in a year or two the one i am looking at will be ‘rewarded’ by being sent to slaughter. im jsut sick of it. there is no way any one agency can monitor these horses, i have not seen any monitoring going on when i have been visiting. i jsut cant enjoy the city once ive seen these horses. the image stays in my mind the whole time im here. id rather go somewhere i am not reminded of this. you really can do better new york, and im glad to finally see some of your leaders actually leading.

  23. Steve says:

    This is an immigrant business and these immigrants think this is OK for horses to sit in the sun and sweat all day in 100 degree + weather conditions, Lets put a saddle on these owners and drivers and make them sit their all day, I’ve seen these horses and it’s not right what they make them do….. I’d bet some of these posters here are drivers and owners here.

    1. Belacani says:

      Nope, not a carriage driver. Just a lifelong horsewoman who knows something about horses. They also have to go back to the stable when the temp hits 89. It’s the law. What do you mean immigrant business? Many of these people have been in the business for generations. Facts, please, not uninformed opinions.

      1. Lorraine Keshner says:

        It may be the law… but it’s rarily enforced ….. Horses are out in pouring rain, freezing cold… there are given bare minimum vet care… they are out all day .. every day … inhaling the toxic fumes of cars and trucks… suffering from the noise pollution …. It is constant and brutal… Horses have been known to panic and die horrible deaths… often bolting from a sudden noise or fright… An animal that works for a living in this manner is and always will be a victim of human beings and greed …..




      3. Follow the Money says:

        The ASPCA doesn’t know what it wants. It also supports working carriage horses in every other location other than NYC – yet try to get them to explain the difference between horses working in Philadelphia, Charleston, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, Salt Lake City and the roads of Lancaster County (All of which are OK, according to their own policy statements) and horses working in New York City and they can’t give you a difference. The only difference seems to be that the NYC carriage horses are the ones the ASPCA volunteered to regulate and look after these horses and now they don’t want to do it anymore because the violent, hateful people like the ones advocating assault on the drivers, are also constantly threatening them via phone and email. Sad that because of a bunch of rabid radicals and some real estate moguls, the ASPCA should feel compelled to abandon the horses (currently cared for in good working homes) to the winds of fate, when they would support the use of these horses anywhere else beyond their jurisdiction.

        “The ASPCA is not opposed to the use of horses and other equines in pulling carts and carriages for hire, provided that all of the animals’ physiological and behavioral needs are fully met, housing and stable conditions are humane and their working hours and conditions are carefully regulated as to temperature, humidity, proximity to traffic, rest periods, etc. Working equines should receive regular veterinary and farrier care and be provided a humane retirement when no longer able to work.”

    2. John G Hynes Dvm says:

      I agree. Thanks Steve

      John G. Hynes, DVM, PC
      USDA Accredited Veterinarian, NY and NJ

      1. HorseLover says:

        Dr. Hynes, I see you are a PETA supporter from your website. Do you have an equine practice? What, in your professional opinion, causes you to feel these well-cared for horses should be banned? Are you involved in any other type of equine advocacy or is this is the sum of your experience?

    3. Belacani says:

      To Lorraine: Are you kidding? Not only does the ASPCA enforce the law, but the anti-carriage people are calling the agencies and demanding the horses leave. It’s more than enforced. Please give your reference for “bare minimum vet care?” These horse receive regular, good vet care. If you can prove otherwise, please post the particulars. Do you know how many NYC carriage horses have died while working in 30 years? Three – one each in the past three decades. While that is sad, it’s an excellent safety rating considering the 220 horse trips per day back and forth from the stables and around the park. Let’s compare that to the sport of eventing, oddly enough the guy who runs NYCLASS and want to abolish the horses so he can convert the buildings into parking lot has event horses. Those animals get killed left and right, horrible deaths from rotational falls over high jumps, breaking their backs, legs and necks when they land. Three died in this “sport” on one weekend earlier this summer. The Jersey Fresh in NJ had a horse die at each event in its first three years of existence. Yet the developer supports eventing and is funding this major anti-carriage horse campaign? Don’t you realize he’s duping all of you. Don’t believe me : look up Eventing Deaths. Unbelievable hypocrisy,

    4. Maria M says:

      Steve, I agree! The owners of these horses claim they care about them but they obvioulsy dont take the meaning of this word seriously cause they exploit them and force them to be work horses in the year 2011 so they can profit from their labor. What’s worse is that they find nothing wrong with working the horses when it is extremely hot or bitter cold and thru the high trafficed noisy streets of the city. Hippocrates! Enough already, Horses should not be pulling carriages anywhere , especially in the streets of New York city. and yes immigrants that are peverted and have no morals! One of these immigrants was trying to flurt wtih my 19 year old daughter while riding beside us in our car!

      1. Donny says:

        Hippocrates … surely you are joking. Immigrants are perverted and have no morals? Unless you are a Native American, all of your family were once immigrants. Why are you surprised a young man would “flurt” with your daughter. Is she homely?

      2. Maria M says:

        Donny, I did not say all immigrants are immoral, my parents are immigrants , however, trying to pick up a 19 year old- while driving your horse, and completely turning your head around to do so, ignoring traffic ahead of you- just proves that this particular immiigrant showed no respect to me and my daughter and no less to the horse he was was pulling! You sound like you absolutely have no class!

  24. stophorseabuse says:

    End the ABuse. please end it now.

    1. Good Horse says:

      What abuse? I saw well-turned out horses walking along in very slow traffic, and a careful driver deciding to lead his horse at one point just to be cautious. Do you know anything about horses and horsemanship at all?

      1. Lorraine says:

        This has nothing to do with horsemanship… It has to do with the rights of a living being. Because you saw a careful driver leading his horse? This means he cares? He cares about his bread and butter…. in most cases, not a whit about the horse…. I often stop at street fairs and look for the horse rides.. What I find is basically horses being led on hot summer days …. with NO water, NO food …… while the owner sits on his arse…. and drinks soda…. I know… because I’m the one that brings the horse something to eat and shames the owner into having an actual water bucket for this poor soul… In some cases the horse is lame….

      2. Someone who knows a thing or two about horses says:

        Ah, Lorraine.. you tip your hand… Clearly it doesn’t matter to you whether or not the horses are cared for or not, because you wouldn’t know what a happy, relaxed, cared-for horse looks like. (If you can’t tell the difference between the NYC carriage horses and pony rides at street fairs… well… I’m not sure I can help you, unless of course the pony rides had sleek, shiny, obviously well-cared for ponies working there too!). Why not just come out and admit that the REAL reason that you and everyone else on this page wants to ban horses is because you don’t like horses and humans interacting in any sort of way for “work” – certainly because you haven’t got a clue about the capabilities and nature of horses, and probably because you haven’t done a day of real physical work in your life. Work is not a bad thing. Maybe you should try it. Get outside more and see that the sun and the rain and the wind, and burning a few calories won’t kill you – it will actually make you healthier.

  25. kendra says:

    it soes seem sort of barbaric ritual going on there and they do need to make it illigel cause those horses look very tired and worn out to me.and animals have rights also just like people have rights.

    1. cbs4game says:

      Kendra is a NEGRO socialist and radical. Her daddy was a founding member of the Black Panthers. She was educated in the NYC public school system where she learned nothing including how to spell. She is a radical socialist and doesn’t even know it.

  26. Michelle Blair says:

    Horse drawn carriages are banned in most all other sophisticated cosmopolitan cities for a reason; they do not belong in NYC traffic in extreme weather conditions, not to mention the deplorable “living” conditions. Go to the Facebook page to ban nyc horse drawn carriages and watch the film. You will be a pedi-cab fan instantly (and still keep a guy employed)!

    1. HorseLover says:

      The anti-carriage crowd states that there is a ban in London, Paris, Beijing, etc. Not true. Do a little independent research. No such ban – in front, there are carriage horses for hire under the Eiffel Tower. As for Blinders, it is a propaganda piece. Donny Moss followed drivers around for months and this is the worst he came up with? Some drivers talking on the cellphones or reading the newspaper? Easily remedied. The carriage horses do not have deplorable living conditions. I’ve toured the stables and seen if firsthand – which Moss did not. The horses are in box stalls filled with straw, have automatic waterers and hay in front of them all the time. They can lay down – I saw this myself. They get a minimum of 5 weeks r and r on a farm annually, by law. Moss is so unfamiliar with horses that he apparently did not realize that all horses have chestnuts on the inside of the legs. He photographed these a lot, apparently under the impression they were tumors! His film should really be called Blunders.

      1. Cathy says:

        HorseLover must be involved in the industry in some way, profiting off the backs of the horses. How else would he/she be so intimately familiar with how the carriage horses are supposedly kept, and why else would he/she have the need to supposedly know and bash Donny Moss? Sounds like HorseLover is a shill for the industry to me.

    2. HorseLover says:

      Sounds more like I do my research – that’s my professional training. Donny can probably figure out who I am. Is it that obvious that I think Donny is a talentless hack, who STILL has not bothered to learn anything about horses or done any research – just parroted stuff given him by Peta or Nislick. Funny how every time Donny is invited to debate the issue with drivers he skedaddles? No, Cathy, I don’t profit from horses, they profit from me. My personal horses are rescues and I work with major research organizations. You’d be embarrassed iabout your comments if you knew my ID because I’m well-known in the rescue world on a national level.

      1. HorseLover says:

        Should reach “major rescue organizations”

      2. Cathy says:

        What type of “research” organizations? Ones who also profit from animal suffering? You don’t know me; I stand by what I say. If you are well-known, then why don’t you say who you are if you think so highly of yourself and how you help animals. Maybe that’s so, maybe it’s not, but you’re on the wrong side of this one Horse”Lover.” We’re not impressed. Horses “profit” from you because you rescue them? Gee, that’s an odd way to look at it. Nothing like doing things for the right reasons.

    3. HorseLover says:

      Cathy – I do something called Google, but it ain’t the only search engine in town. Look up carriage horses in London, for example. Dozens of stables listed, some offering ALL-DAY tours through the city. Do the same with Paris, if you speak French. It’s really not hard to do. My horses profit because I take very good care of them – probably to the tune of $2000 a month. Horses aren’t cheap. I rescue and rehab and adopt out through a couple of horse rescues. Now please rely your horse experience. It’s a beautiful day and I plan to go riding.

  27. Dale Auburn says:

    I agree with getting rid of the horse carriages, but I must disagree with it being done at the STATE level. This is a LOCAL issue and should be handled by the CITY government. Yet, for some reason, NYC is still the only city in the entire state that needs state permission to govern itself. Why is that?

  28. Julie Kliever says:

    Those who comment that these horses are “miserable” are showing that they have no idea how to relate to horses. You wanna see a miserable horse? Go to one of the kill pens where unwanted horses neither have jobs nor people to love them.

    The people that own these carriage horses know how to treat them. Yes, they live in the city. But so do children and dogs. When any species is loved and cared for, it doesn’t matter where they live. WOULD YOU PEOPLE PLEASE GO FIND A TRULY WORTHWHILE CAUSE TO PROMOTE???????!!?!!!

    1. Belacani says:

      Agree 100 percent!

    2. Cathy says:

      Dear Julie, who are you to tell people what causes they should and should not promote? Apparently, they are hitting a raw nerve with you if you feel the need to shout in capital letters and with so many exclamation points and question marks. At least those speaking out for the horses are trying to help them because they can not speak for themselves, and are trying to make a positive difference for a fellow species. What do YOU do to make the world a better place? What worthwhile cause do YOU do something about? It’s usually the people who are all talk and no action who tell others what to do to make a difference.

      1. Christina says:

        Here’s the thing, Cathy – why don’t you just never take a carriage ride and, if you want, encourage others to join you in a boycott?

        Leave the market to decide, not Tony Avella in Albany! Meanwhile let those who want to take a carriage ride, because they KNOW a healthy horse when they see one and actually want to reward the horse for his labor by paying a fair rate, be able to do so if THEY so choose, not you.

        (And Cathy, banning the carriage horses is NOT making a “positive difference” in their lives. Where do you think they will go? What will they do? Do you think they’d be happy leaving their human friends and horsey-herd-mates? Just yesterday, when the first horse from the day shift came back to the barn on 52nd St., one of her fellow herdmates – one of the nightshift horses upstairs – whinnied out a greeting on her return home. I saw police horses greeting each other in the same way while out on patrol. Why do you think you speak for the horses? The horses speak for themselves.)

    3. Lorraine says:

      Children and dogs are not forced to worked seven days a week under extreme conditions…. and if you look inside a kill pen…. you will find former prized race horses who have outlived their usefulness, carriage horses who are too old and worn out so their owners make a fast buck and go off to find another victim…

      1. HorseLover says:

        NYC carriage horses have retirement program. It’s at Blue Star Equiculture in MA. Look it up. I hope you saved some of those horses in the kill pen.I pulled a very nice TB gelding whose turned inton a great ridding horse. These draft horses were bred to work, Lorraine. There’s nothing wrong with well-cared for working horses. Have you ever been to a kill pen or is this second hand for you? There’s Camelot in Cranbury NJ every Wed PM. Sone of the carriage drivers have saved horses from the auction and a trip to the slaughter house and given them a job.

      2. Christina says:

        Extreme conditions? The regulations prohibit horses from working below 18 and above 89 and in dangerous severe weather. Sounds like the “extremes” have been eliminated – which is not the case in most other equestrian disciplines. Rarely are Thoroughbreds stopped from racing in extremes of weather! In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, eventing horses competed in excess of 100 degrees, with humidity and horrendous pollution – all while doing “extreme” athletic feats. The forces on a racehorse galloping or on an eventing horse jumping, galloping and performing the very difficult maneuvers of dressage are far more “extreme” than anything a carriage horse will face working at a walk or slow trot in NYC.

        Lorraine, if you actually do some RESEARCH you will also find that the overwhelming majority of horses in the kill pen are NOT draft horses or carriage horses… or even racehorses coming straight from the track! The overwhelming majority of horses shipping to slaughter were someone’s pleasure riding or companion horse… or someone’s backyard horse they didn’t bother to train and who they can’t afford anymore.

        (Ever tried to “force” a horse to do something they don’t want to? I assure you, it doesn’t work very well. As for children and dogs, police dogs and military dogs (like the ones who helped capture Osama Bin Laden) work in far more “extreme” conditions than a carriage horse standing on the corner of 59th and 5th Avenue! Children, in turn, get sent off to be cared for by strangers at a day care that actually holds fewer licenses and gets fewer inspections than carriage stables, their owners, vehicles and horses.)

  29. Max says:

    They need to get rid of this horrible “tradition” that are only there to bring in the tourist dollar. You wouldn’t catch a native NYer riding in one of these carriages. I run in the park all the time and the smell from the manure on hot pavement is absolutely disgusting! I see these horses near the stable by the west side hwy unbridled because they are so worn down that they couldn’t run away if they tried. They need to put a stop to this cruel tourist trap nonsense that no real NYer would ever miss.

  30. Barb says:

    Two minutes into his speech and Avella lied when he said the horses go back to tiny stalls in the stables. In fact they all have box stalls. After that I had trouble paying attention to him. A dishonorable politician. And Rosenthal knows nothing about horses or their care and that was clear from everything she said.

  31. BF says:

    Get rid of Cops on horses. Also ban horses from smoking in and around NYC. In fact we should make laws so kids cannot horse around anywhere. I think we need more laws so that the simple minded legislators of NYS can feel comfortable knowing that the people in this city do not need to think about moral value. All they will ever have to do is be able to read the long list of ignorant and repressive laws. And for Joy we should take womans rights to vote away. They always manage to mess things up with their emotional views.

  32. Kendra says:

    My husband, children, and I would never take a carriage horse ride. Our family feels that compassion and kindness are important values.

    We like the idea of the electric antique cars, and would be happy to try it.

    1. hf says:

      Face it lady, you don’t like smelly horses. These horses are shown a lot of compassion. I bet you have a family dog that you imprison in your home, or maybe it is too clean for that and you leave it in the dog house.outside.

  33. Rob says:

    Horses and traffic are not a good mix for the horses. If we want to preserve traditions, why not ban motor cars Win at least parts of the city.

  34. Belacani says:

    These radical animal rights activists wouldn’t know a healthy, well-care for horse if it kicked them. Anyone can look at these horses on CPS and see beautiful, well-trained animals. There are SO many horses going to slaughter each year – why don’t they do something about them rather than horses who have homes and jobs?

  35. Joy says:

    I suspect the carriage horse industry had their people post these comments. Horse experts, and anyone with common sense, have time and again stated that horses in NYC who are forced to pull carraiges are so obviously mistreated. The industry is inherently cruel as the horses are exposed to the noxious gases and stress of being in traffic, they are often being made to pull carriages in temperatures above and below what the law says as well as in snow and rain, and the agencies that are supposed to enforce this law frequently fail to do so, observed injuries have gone untreated, horses have gotten serioulsy hurt and died pulling carriages in traffic, the stables are antiquated and give the horses little room, and they are never let out to be in pasture. This is humane and a nice “home” for a horse?? Many cities have banned carriage horse rides for these reasons. This is not a unique bill. To those who say it has been around so keep it are truly ignorant and ridiculous. Just because something has been around means it is thus good and humane? Slavery was “popular” in the 1800’s as was the inability to vote by women and people of color. Should we have kept those “traditions” too”? Bravo to Avella and Rosenthal. Electric antique cars can give the carriage horse drivers jobs after the ban and these will be environmental and fun ways to take a ride around the city. Similar to the hard working pedicab drivers’ rides too who chose to drive those pedicabs, unlike the horses who do not have a choice.. Get a life and a heart and don’t defend an inhumane industry.

    1. lucy says:

      No Joy they are not mistreated. Its ignorant remarks like yours that gets horses sent to slaughter. Wake up save the 110,000 horses sent to slaughter or do You eat horse meat also?????

  36. Cyrano Ghostwriter says:

    I completely disagree with this current attempt to remove yet another living reminder of our past! I, too, have visited their stables and had many conversations with the carriage drivers, simply because I can go nowhere with horses without stopping to appreciate them. Although one might look to ANY profession and find the occasional person less than worthy of the position they hold (politician, priest, doctor, dog fighting professional athlete), I will testify that these animals have a very good life! Yes, they do work in all weather, but very rarely in extremes of heat and cold. Yes, they pull heavy carriages with laughing families, romantic couples and tourists from all over the world who would not consider their trip to New York City complete WITHOUT a carriage ride round Central Park! But, they are also quite expensive, as is any special treat. Except for the extra work at holiday time, and in today’s economy not always even then, they DO NOT have the life of a cab horse 100 years ago! They rest far more than they drive!

    I think a large part of the problem here is that this legislation is being proposed by those who do not own, or understand horses. I find that fact incredibly sad, as America was built on the back of a horse. Without horses, we would not be the great country we are today. This is a comment, and not an article, so you will have to research your own examples. I have owned and worked with horses all of my life. These are NOT abused animals, no more than a NYPD horse is abused. The owners are very conscious of the fact that their horses are a business asset. Optimum health is essential for them to continue to provide a viable income stream. A starved, overworked or abused horse will not be able to do the job, nor would his poor condition encourage customers to choose that carriage. Being an animal lover does not mean every animal should be made into a pampered and cossetted pet, with bling on their collars and dodgy little outfits! A bored horse will very quickly get himself into mischief and lose his vital spark!

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly here, many of these drivers are generational, inheriting the business from father to son, in a beautiful continuity that ignores the passing of time. So many of our NYC businesses, from tailors to bakers to shoemakers have seen their legacies lost to modern development and huge mega stores. Each time we lose an icon of our history, we become a bit colder, a bit more impersonal and detached. We lose a sense of community, and become no more than a jumble of humans gathered in one place. I sincerely hope that I shall never see our wonderful Central Park devoid of these beautiful creatures, never again have the opportunity to experience something the city as it was long ago. Just as a wonderful orchestra would seem wrong, somehow, without the clarinet or the violin, so would the soundtrack of our city be diminished without the steady, comforting clop clop of the carriage horse.

    1. Joy says:

      Again, the issue here are the animals who have no choice and need to be protected. Who cares about tradition and what tourists want? If tourists knew how these animals live and thought about it for two seconds and had the least bit of compassion, they would , and often do, boycott the rides. When they are given flyers about this, including the awful stalls the horse are forced to live in, they reject the rides. Icons of history ? Sense of community? Please, at the expense of living beings? Take your ridiculous flowery language about orchestras and soundtracks away and all you see is the lack of awareness and compassion that an intelligent person has about what is the natural life of an animal. NYPD horses look completely different from carriage horses because they are seemingly treated much better. Just look closely at the horses forced to pull carriages – of course they are overworked. Animals in circuses are abused, deprived of water, freedom and anything natural, and are treated miserably and yet they still do what they are forced to do. The myth that an abused animal won’t do what he or she is made to do is ridiculous ; that is why they do it: because they are forced to do so. Open your eyes, do some reading and learn something.

      1. DP says:

        What a terrible act of cruelty to raise children in the city, where they cannot frolic in the woods and fields, go fishing and hunting every day! Kids should be afforded the choice where to live, not be forced into this barbaric lifestyle! Childhood urbanization should be recognized for the ultimate form of child cruelty that it is, and punished to the fullest physical extent possible!

      2. HorseLover says:

        Let me guess, Joy. You belong to PETA, right? That wonderful bunch who wants to basically end all human/animal relationships? The carriage horses are not overworked. I’ve had horses all of my life. The NYC carriage horses receive excellent care.

      3. Cathy says:

        HorseLover must be involved with the industry somehow. It makes me laugh how people like him/her think ignorantly sometimes to automatically lump anyone who cares about animals together that we all must be PETA. Shows how little they know.

      4. HorseLover says:

        Nope, not involved in the carriage industry. Just involved with horses and horse rescue issues for decades. BTW, NYC carriage horses do not need rescue. Go to an auction like New Holland in PA or Unadilla in NY and see horses that do need rescue. See the abused and neglected horses there , if you have the stomach for it. Rescue one and give it a home, rather than waste time trying to close down a well-regulated industry.

      5. HorseLover says:

        Funny, I do believe animals need ownership, because they cannot take care of themselves. Just call me radical for that view. And it’s not “dubious” at all that people who have a passion for horses recognize that passion in others. You can knock me all you want, but I’ve had horses all of my life and have a great deal of firsthand knowledge about their care and needs. I would never defend what I feel is a cruel practice. You do realize that people protesting the carriage horses carry around a photo of a horse killed in 1986? How old were you then? Again, please list your equestrian experience, including the rescues you work with. I’ll list a few of mine – Rerun and Standardbred Retirement Foundation, Exceller Fund and Saddlebred Rescue.

    2. Cathy says:

      Just because horse-drawn carriages were a thing of the past, doesn’t mean they should be a think of the present or the future. That argument is rudimentary. It’s very dubious that so many of the people lashing out at those who are trying to speak up for the animals have such a familiarlty with these horses or their stables or their working conditions yet claim they are not a part of the very industry making money off the horses labor. hhmmmmm It’s also perplexing that “Cyrano Ghostwriter” does not give his/her name yet is trying to sound like such an expert on these horses and on historical nostalgia. It is clearly ignorant to assume that “the problem here” is that the people trying to help the horses don’t know anything about horses or that none of them are guardians to horses. American may have been built in part on the backs of working horses and other animals, but this is the 21st century if you haven’t noticed. As a supposed evolved civilization and species, humans don’t have the right to now be making money off the backs of these animals.

      1. HorseLover says:

        Ah, guardians, the magic word of the PETA people to use instead of Owner. Sorry, Cathy you just PETA’d on yourself. And no one whose posted so far against the carriage horses appears to have more than rudimentary knowledge – it is obvious to a real horseperson.

      2. Cathy says:

        Apparently you think arrogantly enough to see an animal as something to be “owned.” Oh, you are so very clever ….. PETA’d! Too bad you are the only one who thinks you’re funny. I have no idea whether PETA believes in guardianship or not. The organization I support that believes in the “guardian” campaign is IDA. They have nothing to do with PETA. A “real horseperson” would care that horses should not be in traffic in the middle of one of the biggest ciites in the world. A “real horseperson” would put what’s best for the horses FIRST, regardless of all the mumbo-jumbo reasons you have to justify the industry. You are pretty full of yourself, whoever you are, but I guess we’ll never know because you don’t want to expose yourself for who you really are. I don’t blame you.

      3. Christina says:

        Cathy – REAL horse people don’t think horses live in magical unicorn land. Real horse people get dirty. They work harder than their horses. They know their horse better than best human friends. They can muck, groom, harness, hitch, drive, etc., and do it all day long and come back tomorrow and do it again, in all kinds of weather – not just when it’s 70 and sunny! And many of them have been doing it for 20, 25, 30 years or more!

        Don’t come back here until you’ve read

  37. janey says:

    Anyone who knows horses, who knows New York City, and who lives in the twenty first century, knows that these horses live miserable, completely unnatural lives. Your daughter visited the stables? What stables? What they refer to as a stable is nothing but a tenement warehouse where the horses live in undersized stalls. You have only to open your eyes and stop lying. These horse look completely miserable. They toil away in midtown congestion. They never walk on grass or frolic as horses do in a pasture. There’s nothing nice about those hansom cabs.

  38. Roxanne says:

    Anyone who knows horses can see that these carriage horses are fit, content, calm, and well-looked after. The economic crisis in our country right now has affected horses in a big way, with thousands of them being abandoned, surrendered to over-crowded rescues, or being sold to slaughter because people can no longer afford them! And these politicians want to take away good homes from horses that HAVE them?? Better Sen. Avella should take care of the people’s business in Albany – God KNOWS there is enough of it to do!!

  39. Richard says:

    My daughter who is an extreme horse lover has visited the stables where they are kept and let me know that they are well treated and cared for. Up to that point I was against the entire carriage horse industry. I live in the district that Linda Rosenthal represents and she is usually right on point, except this time.

  40. DP says:

    The only thing so offensive, barbaric, and outmoded about this is the attention that people who find such joy in calling everything barbaric and offensive. Why keep re-electing these nuts?

  41. Linda says:

    Horse drawn carriages are part of New Yorks History, Attractions, an Icon. Thought these “politicans” were supposed to be creating jobs along with bettering our cities, instead they are ruining the whole state of New York. Get rid of the darn bicyclies and all there desinated areas. The Horses and Carriages should stay, idiot politicans. Lets get rid of a bunch of these idiots, starting with the two suggesting this “idea”.

  42. Paul Kohloff says:

    put the council people out to pasture

  43. Horse Play says:

    I have a birds eye view of the facility where these horses are kept and I am life long horse lover for years. These horses are very well looked after. In addition, the affection and attention the horses get from visotors to New York on a daily basis is spiritually excellent for these horses. The only thing that is being abused is the role these two law makers have in our state law system. There is no need to actively persue the demise of a NYC icon simply becuase these law makers “assume” inhuman treatment. The law will never pass. Someone shoove an apple in these peoples mouth and tell them to get a life.

  44. amanda says:

    Ok #1 why not just do checks on these people and their horses #2 if its so inhumane to do horse drawn carriage why was it popular in the 1800’s 1900’s?! #3 I’m all about being a voice for the animals but I think this is extreme! I know someone who does the horse drawn carriage here where I live and his horses are treated very well!

    1. Gregg says:

      I agree that horse drawn carriages have been around for hundreds of years. If the care and treatment of these animals could be monitored some how by a respected agency, they should stay !

      1. HorseLover says:

        They are very well-monitored by several city agencies, including the ASPCA and the DCA. They are probably the most observed, regulated horses in the world!

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