Horses belong in natural locales

In reply to the April 4-10 editorial, with all the media hype showing the carriage trade as something it is not, the reasons why so many people want this trade shut down have been overlooked. It is inhumane and dangerous.

Putting the stables in the park is not possible, nor would it solve anything. The hack line is outside the park on Central Park South, the site of many accidents.

In 2007, Smoothie, a young mare attached to an unattended carriage, was spooked by a loud noise and bolted, running into a tree and killing herself. Another horse was also spooked and ran across the street, hitting a car. When a horse is exposed to cars, traffic and noise, anything bad can happen. Horses are predictably unpredictable, and at 1,500 to 2,000 pounds they can easily spook and bolt, become unwitting weapons and killing themselves and innocent passersby.

As for the park being the site of stables: wrong again. If this were to be done right, much larger stalls should be provided — the existing ones are less than half the size experts recommend. Horses require daily turnout — 1 acre per horse — something they do not get now.

The five-week yearly furlough is absurd, grossly inadequate and highly suspect because the “farms” are not inspected by the city Department of Health.

The amount of space to do this properly would require adequate sized stalls and turnout for 200 horses in the park. That is not about to happen and those of us who enjoy the park, minus the carriage horses, would complain.

If someone wants to see horses in a more natural surrounding — not pulling carriages on the street — there are several horse sanctuaries outside New York City.

Elizabeth Forel


Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages


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