Saturday, September 8, 2012

Times Square is no place for Carriage Horses


To some Times Square may be the “cross roads” of the world – to horses, it is their worst nightmare.   Domesticating horses never meant to put them to work on the hard unforgiving asphalt surfaces of New York City streets—where their natural instinct to graze  is thwarted because there is no grass.  It was never meant to make them wear blinders to kill their peripheral vision and put  them in an uncompromising position stuck between the shafts of their carriage in an extremely noisy environment – all to make a few bucks for their owner.   It did not mean that it was acceptable to subject these gentle creatures to the loud insanity of Times Square that many native New Yorkers avoid because it is such an awful affront to the senses.  Horses, having such sensitive ears with excellent hearing, are more reactive to loud noises than we are.  I can only imagine that they either go into a meditative trance because they have no choice or become totally dispirited and psychologically broken down.  It is not natural and it is cruel.  

It is amazing that more of the horses on the street do not spook and bolt as Oreo did recently on Central Park South as his driver was making an illegal u-turn.  It begs the question if some of the drivers are not putting cotton into the horses’ ears to prevent them from hearing well in the hope they will not spook and bolt.  After all they wear blinders to affect their peripheral vision – why not earplugs?   This is not unheard of in some horse competitions. 

Horses are allowed to work in Times Square in the evenings until 3:00 am.   Take a look at these pictures and this video.  These horses do not belong on the streets of New York City.  What possible attraction could there be to riding in a carriage on crowded, filthy, smelly streets with bright lights and excessive noise led by a dispirited horse whose vision and probably hearing are impaired?  

Where is our humanity?  How can we continue to allow this inhumane and unsafe business to exist in New York City?   Luckily, many people want it to end – all polls since 2006 have shown that between 75 and 80 percent of respondents want this business to be shut down. 

This is why we support the Avella/Rosenthal bill in the NYS legislature to prohibit the use of horse-drawn carriages in New York City.  

Join with us and sign this petition.