Insight into the reality of the carriage industry

Answers to some common myths

It is often said that horse drawn carriages are charming. Or that carriage rides are a part of our history. Unfortunately This belies the cold reality that horses are the subject of inhumane treatment and forced to endure conditions that would be considered criminal if done to a dog or cat.

Carriage horses are afforded no protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act and looking out for their welfare falls to local officials. All too often, these local agencies do not have the time or the resources to regularly monitor the horse-drawn carriages industry.

Myth: Horses can endure all sorts of weather
Fact: Horses are not built for extreme weather conditions

Horses are forced to pull carriages in extreme weather conditions including extreme heat and extreme cold.

Myth: Horses can endure all sorts of situations
Fact: Horses aren’t built for the city

Horses are very sensitive to loud, unexpected sounds. Both horses and people have been hurt and killed when horses have become spooked.

Myth: Horses are adept at navigating city streets
Fact: Cars and horses do not mix

Countless accidents in which carriages have been hit by drivers have occurred in nearly every city in which horse-drawn carriages are permitted.

Myth: Horses are treated well by the industry
Fact: Horses are continuously subjected to poor treatment

Carriage horses often suffer from respiratory ailments caused by breathing exhaust fumes for many hours a day. They frequently develop crippling leg problems from walking on hard surfaces for which their legs and hooves were not built.

Myth: Horses are strong and built to pull heavy weight
Fact: Horses struggle when pulling their carriages

Pulling extreme weight is not natural to a horse. Being forced to do so on a daily basis causes carriage horses to sustain injuries, often serious ones.

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