Saturday, November 29, 2008

A recipe for spooking a horse

It's always horrifying, and never surprising, when a horse spooks in traffic or around a noisy spectacle. Which is what happened Friday in Rhinelander, Wis., during a downtown Christmas tree-lighting event. The moment everyone was waiting for, in fact, is what apparently frightened the horses, who were still harnessed to a carriage. One man was trampled, and one vehicle damaged. Read more
If you've ever wondered if New York City carriage horses spook, the answer is yes--and when it happens, the consequences are generally horrifying, as with the death of Smoothie in September 2007.

The next time you see a horse in Times Square, or on 9th Avenue, or being made to make a U-turn on Central Park South, consider whether that is an appropriate environment for a horse. Learn more about the lives and inelegant deaths of New York City carriage horses

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big-city politics: too puzzling!

How is this going to help the horses?
Here’s something to ponder. In the grand tradition of big city politics, the League of Humane Voters of New York City is honoring City Council member Peter Vallone, Jr. Puzzling, isn’t it? Humane isn’t the word that comes to mind. Vallone wants to ban pit bull dogs in New York City. He has never supported the Pets in Housing bill, a measure that is dear to New Yorkers and that would save the lives of many companion animals. He does not support Council Member Tony Avella’s bill that would ban the inhumane horse-drawn carriage industry in NYC. He voted for an extension of term limits (apparently he wants to ensure that we’ll have four more years of the same seamy, do-nothing council). Speaker Christine Quinn, as you may recall, has blocked every single piece of animal-friendly legislation that has come up. And I’m really scratching my head over the exclusion of Avella from the list of honorees. Humane DOES come mind when I think of Avella, who leads the way in supporting humane legislation—and who is enthusiastically endorsed by the League of Humane Voters of New York State (the real LOHV).
The LOHV-NYC also helped to elect Elizabeth Crowley, a vigorous opponent of a ban on horse-drawn carriages. (Maybe some whippersnapper can explain this to me?) With friends like this, who needs enemies! Crowley has ties to a number of proud political "players," as you may know.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The mustang's last stand? (off-topic)

Tell the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to end its plan to kill wild horses, including Cloud's herd in the Arrowhead Mountains of Montana. A meeting of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting is planned for November 17, 2008, and comments are being accepted. The BLM has been trying to implement a misguided program of "managing to extinction," a plan devised as a consequence of its own fiscal mismanagement. Submit comments by Wednesday, November 12 to the Advisory Board care of Ramona DeLorme (
Learn more about this issue by visiting The Cloud Foundation

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Carriage horses have it made. Right?

The reality is very different from the fairy-tale portrayal seen in ads. Get a feel for how wretched the long days are for New York City carriage horses. Hint: they don't live in the park.

Video courtesy of YouTube member "HorsesinNYC"; added October 2008

Support a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City, a position that is supported by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Friends of Animals and numerous other organizations seeking a ban.