Monday, March 24, 2008

No More Excuses Please, We Disagree

Dear Wendy,
Thanks for reading and taking the time to write. If I weren't under the weather I would have posted your comment sooner. My point is that NYC is a misery for carriage horses and cannot be made safer for these fright-and-flight animals, as you well know. The horse that is operating in a state of anxiety (as sometimes happens in NYC) is apt to balk or let this anxiety escalate into a red zone, as we both surely know. Traffic obviously doesn't favor the horses.

The industry is an incestuous and corrupt mess that would make your head spin (perhaps you know this all too well, although I believe you mentioned being in California). Even the sometime bribery defendant and industry veteran Cornelius Byrne has acknowledged in comments published two years ago in The New Yorker that the streets of the city that never sleeps are fraught with distractions for highly sensitive horses.

Byrne offered some veteran’s wisdom, won over four decades of driving a horse in the city. “One of the things horses are most afraid of is garbage trucks,” he said. “They have an odor to them and a noise to them and a size to them."
Byrne went on to say in the New Yorker piece that some horses are "bombproof," which is utter nonsense and reveals much about his attitude toward horses. Fire engines, wailing sirens, speeding automobile drivers, carriage horse drivers talking on cell phones--these are the elements with which the horses contend. Plus extreme weather and lack of water.

Support Intro. 658, the bill the ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City. A 19th-century anachronism involving animal cruelty has no place in a modern city. Find my City Council member now!
Not a New York City resident? Contact Mayor Bloomberg's office and make your voice heard!

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