The Cruelty of Horse-Drawn Carriages!

~~April 6, 2014~~


I live close to Mt. Dora, Florida. This is a very quaint town, well-know for art festivals, parades, bed and breakfast inns and horse-draw carriages. The horse-drawn carriages do look pretty and sound like a romantic adventure. 

These horse-drawn carriages are also well-know in the St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the United States. 

I wasn’t aware of the condition under which these horses “do their job” until an accident was reported. Then I started researching and this is what I found. 

… and it brakes my heart!! 

~~This is indeed New York City~~

Every year, the list of accidents involving horse-drawn carriages grows, and horses continue to endure pain and suffering because of this outdated practice. The only way to end this cruelty is to ban it permanently and give these horses the freedom that they deserve.

Forcing horses to pull oversized loads isn’t romantic—it’s cruel. Horses are forced to toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic, and pound the pavement all day long. These gentle animals suffer from respiratory ailments because they breathe in exhaust fumes, and they develop debilitating leg problems from walking on hard surfaces. In some cases, horses have even dropped dead from heatstroke after working in scorching summer heat and humidity.

~~Accidents Waiting to Happen~~

Horses are extremely sensitive to loud noises and unexpected sounds — and busy city streets have plenty of both. Horses and people have been seriously hurt — with some injuries resulting in fatalities—when horses have become spooked and run amok.

There have also been countless incidents in which carriages have been hit by impatient or careless drivers. Accidents have occurred in nearly every city where carriage rides are allowed.


There is no way that cities, with their exhaust fumes, hard road surfaces, and busy traffic patterns can provide a humane … environment for a carriage horse.

Thanks to an alert police officer who noticed that a horse in Central Park was having trouble pulling a carriage, a New York City carriage driver has been charged with cruelty.

After questioning the driver, the officer learned that — despite the fact that the horse, Blondie, had been exhibiting lameness for several days — the driver, Saverio Colarusso, had forced her to work for five hours that day. The officer testified that Blondie’s injured left hind leg caused her to “have difficulty walking and substantial pain.” Colarusso was charged with cruelty to animals and faces a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

He was also ordered not to have any contact with Blondie, who, after being examined by a police veterinarian, was determined to have a potentially fatal hoof infection commonly caused by improper hoof care and unclean conditions. This isn’t the first time that Colarusso has run into trouble with the law. He was previously charged with drinking on the job, operating a carriage during unauthorized times, and failing to keep the carriage lit after dark.


~~Abused ‘Til Their Dying Day~~

Horses are afforded no federal protection under the Animal Welfare Act, so the responsibility of looking out for horses’ welfare falls to local animal control officials. But anti-cruelty laws provide few safeguards to horses, and many humane authorities just don’t have the resources or the time to monitor horse-drawn carriages in order to ensure that horses are not being overworked and that operators are following regulations.

When horses grow too old, tired, or ill to continue pulling heavy loads, they aren’t retired to green pastures and loving homes, as many people are led to believe. It’s cost-prohibitive to maintain a permanent sanctuary for the countless numbers of horses who break down in this industry. Instead, many worn-out horses are slaughtered and turned into food for dogs or for carnivores in zoos, or else they’re shipped overseas for human consumption.


Read more:

Glee actor Lea Michele is raising her voice against the cruelty of horse-drawn carriages. In a shocking undercover video, Lea exposes the harsh conditions that these overworked horses are subjected to — all day, every day. The native New Yorker also posed with a rescued horse for a gorgeous PETA ad to help spread the message that horses don’t belong in traffic.

“Imagine for a moment that you’re forced to do hard physical labor all day, seven days a week—whether it’s sweltering hot or freezing cold outside,” Lea says. “At the end of the day, instead of relaxing on an easy chair or sleeping in a comfortable bed, you are locked in a tiny closet all night long.” This tortured life is a sad reality for the horses who are used to pull carriages.

During their workday, these horses are forced into dangerous traffic, where they develop respiratory ailments from inhaling exhaust fumes and debilitating leg problems from pounding the hard pavement. They constantly weave between cars and are often spooked by loud noises on the streets. As a result, accidents sometimes occur in which many horses and people are seriously injured or even killed. When not working, these horses are confined to cramped stalls in which they are unable to turn around, stretch their legs, or even lie down comfortably. Don’t get taken for a ride. Join Lea and countless others in boycotting horse-drawn carriages!


For more information and to take action, please visit

Read more:


~~Lea Michele: Horse-Drawn Carriages~~

~~Uploaded on Jan 5, 2011~~

Lea Michele, star of the hit TV series Glee, exposes the painful conditions that carriage horses are subjected to 24 hours a day.


~~What You Can Do~~

If you live in a city where carriage rides are still allowed, contact your local legislators to ask if they will sponsor a ban. Many cities—including Biloxi, Mississippi; Camden, New Jersey; Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Key West, and Treasure Island, Florida—have already banned horse-drawn carriages.

Take action now and sign the petition!


Not only in New York City. Address the plight of horses drawing carriages in other cities.


We ALL are connected through NATURE!! 


We ALL are ONE!! 


10 thoughts on “The Cruelty of Horse-Drawn Carriages!

  1. I just couldn’t hit the like button, because this is so horrible. Thank you for exposing this Dr. Rex. I am so thankful my town has never had horse drawn carriages, and will never think of them as being romantic or wishing I could ride in one again. Cruelty to animals in any form is so repugnant to me. And the people who perform the acts of cruelty should be sentenced to spend a month enduring the same type of life they have inflicted on the animal. I don’t think a two legged animal could endure even one month of it.


    • Agree!! I think there should be an “acknowledge” button … there are some topics that there’s no way one can like. To me this is another sad story where man “abuses” the animal kingdom for profit or entertainment!!

      Angel …. feel free to call me Horty. Dr. Rex is too
      formal, Hugs …. 🙂


  2. I just wanted to mention that several of those pictures are not of NYC horses. They were taken from 3rd world countries, as though they are stock photos. The chestnut horse with the open wound, is not a NYC carriage horse, that isn’t even NYC. The white horse is also not a NYC carriage horse. That is inaccurate journalism. Please take the time to study and understand equine conditions and equine behavior before sensationalism. Stable conditions in Mumbai are not equivalent to the stable conditions in America.

    If one wishes to expose the horrors of the equine condition a better more helpful expose on horse slaughter plant conditions would be more useful. Starved horses found at animal hoarder’s properties would better serve the equine population. Investigate Premerin production, nurse mares and Big Lick trainers. While your intentions are understood and appreciated for the concern for animals is evident, there are far more pressing and damaging issues for horse welfare in this country than NYC carriage jobs. The carriage horses get well cared for and it is well documented. They have 5 month’s vacation on farms, veterinarian care and hoof care as well as getting to work in a job they were bred for.

    Please look to the real horrors that horses face in this country. The horses in those conditions need your support and efforts. Those are the desperate horses, those are the ones who are starving, neglected, mistreated and need most urgent care.


    • First and foremost, I want to thank you for stopping by and stating these comments. They are really appreciated and I will take them to heart. I will correct some of the pics on the post.
      I do want to mention that the intention of the post was to call attention to the general plight of horse drawn carriages. I know that the white horse isn’t NYC but is shows the “grandeur” of horse draw carriages.
      I lived near St. Augustine before and now near Mt. Dora where the horse carriages are in full use.

      Understand about the conditions in the Munbai stable. That will be corrected. I didn’t intend to address the horrors horses face in this country overall. Even though there is a recent
      post about the racing horse industry that came after this one.

      I appreciate the information you stated about “horse slaughter plant conditions would be more useful. Starved horses found at animal hoarder’s properties would better serve the equine population. Investigate Premerin production, nurse mares and Big Lick trainers”. I will look into this matter to see what I find .. sometime.

      Thank you, once again for stopping by and “setting me right”. It’s really appreciate. From the heart … 🙂


    • I corrected the pictures. As a matter of fact, your comment made me look further and found pictures that are from NYC. As a matter of fact, the white horse, third picture from the top, is indeed NYC.
      The stable conditions aren’t any better than those in Mumbai.
      And the horse with the sore … was also NYC.
      “Thanks to an alert police officer who noticed that a horse in Central Park was having trouble pulling a carriage, a New York City carriage driver has been charged with cruelty.”

      Thanks again for your visit and comments!


  3. Pingback: The Cruelty of Horse-Drawn Carriages …. reader’s commentary! | It Is What It Is

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