Monday, May 26, 2008

What goes though a horse's mind?

It doesn't take a horse whisperer to tell us about the glum looks on the faces of New York City carriage horses. Our good friend Dan Piraro--artist, cartoonist, and author--hit the nail squarely on the head with his cartoon depicting life on the hack line.


MichaleenFlynn said...

The only thing Dan Pizaro has perfectly communicated in this cartoon is his lack of understanding of horses (no shock there lol.)
Horses live in the moment, as do all animals. A fit, well-fed, properly harnessed, and properly shod NYC carriage horse is in work-mode on the 'hack line' as you call it (we don't call it that LOL). Many of them will begin to amble off before the last passenger has his foot in the carriage, if the driver lets him. That is because they are creatures of habit, and like my grandmother's stories of the milkman and his horse in days of yore, the horse knows the route, and what is expected of him, and does it willingly. Horses respond positively to routine, they feel secure doing what they know.
And the stereotype/caricature of the passengers being obese is objectionable on many levels (you're smart enough to know what they are), but even all of those aside, the implied suggestion that 3 or 4 people of ANY weight being pulled by a horse in a wheeled vehicle on fairly level land is a hardship on the horse is laughably absurd. But then again, I wouldn't expect melodramatic, agenda-driven, anthropomorhic non-thinkers to know (or admit)such a thing ;-)
I wonder, though, why it is that a police horse - with not one, but TWO severe bits in it's mouth & 150-200 lbs on directly on it's BACK for hours at a time standing and walking and trotting on the same pavement doesn't summon up the hand wringing from Mr. Dan and yourself that carriage horses do? Especially the ones that live in STRAIGHT stalls down on Varick Street...hmmmm...
Not that I think the police horses have it tough, they absolutely do not, I think they are terrific and I wish there were more of them (and straight stalls are a perfectly acceptable form of equine housing.) But it's curious that you and pal Dan and all the rest not only don't target them, but laud them and shower them with praise and admiration. Curiouser and curiouser...
But there I go again, trying to get critical thinking from a hysteric, or as they say, blood from a turnip. Silly me.

MichaleenFlynn said...

I see you've been reading my blog ("no flies on you!" LOL...I know, I know, it's merely a coninkydink LOL)
You may want to try and think up your own idioms, what with you writing for a living and all ;-)
As far as individual acts by drivers with regard to their driving, that would have to be seen to on a case-by-case basis - of course, I HOPE if you see anything illegal, you take their number and report them right away! It's all about the specifics, yanno...
I see you have no response to the obese carriage patron stereotype, or the specifics of the police horse comparison.
Why am I not surprised?
Oh, and...
Dan is Dan Pizaro - you remember, the reason for your post? LOL

Mary Alice said...

Flynn, always informative to hear your comments. No flies on you! It's good to know that carriage horses love their jobs and their routines.

I guess that is why the drivers feel so comfortable making U-turns on Central Park South, letting go of the reins to count the money, or kicking back and running the battery down on the cell phone while they're driving.

Mary Alice said...

Why, I wanted pay homage to your blog, that's all. Who said writing was easy?

You must be having a good laugh about reporting violations. That's a regular "Who's on First" sketch! It would be funny if it weren't so sad. You drivers really have it made, what with no oversight and all, and the laughable communication between agencies--and the industry wants self-regulation, as per Mr. Gennaro's bill. It is absurd to contemplate.

I must work now. Will have to save for a later post the discussion about passengers, the law as it pertains to passenger loads (LOL), and police horses.

You will notice that I reposted my original reply, to edit out "Who's Dan?" I thought you were ribbing me about another Dan (M), who I don't know but who seems to always be on the minds of the drivers.

Although I will say, apart from the question about negative stereotypes of overweight individuals, there were some rather heavy passengers on the line Sunday. Thank God for loopholes in the code, wouldn't you say?

p.s. ever run the lower loop? Those hills are deceiving.