Saturday, January 31, 2009

Horses and people in harm's way

A carriage horse spooked recently in Charleston, S.C. What frightened him? A puddle of water. And a well-trained appaloosa named "Mouse" spooked at the presidential inaugural parade, which was delayed as a result. The slam of a car door frightened him. A close call, and he was injured but is recovering. Surely the inauguration is one of the most controlled events in history (and experts were standing by, which is probably why Mouse is still alive). These reports are not surprising. Every week, we read news accounts of highly trained, "bombproof" horses spooking. And this is why horses don't belong in New York City. Having horse-drawn carriages in the city is not safe. It is inhumane.
Update: By most news accounts, Mouse spooked and backed, kicking, into the grill of a truck, after spooking at the sound of car door slamming. A new report says that Mouse has a pet peeve: horse-drawn carriages, and that one had stopped beside him. The idea is distasteful enough to sentient beings. This parade veteran should stay away from New York City. He would be beside himself.
Photo: Kevin Wolf, Associated Press

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