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Amidst (or due to) the controversy regarding the horse and carriage industry in Central Park, we decided to take a trip to the Clinton Park Stables on W. 52nd Street with Christina Hansen of the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City. The purpose of this article is to show the history of the industry and the workings of this particular stable without getting too embroiled in the hot-topic issue. That being said, it seems that everyone has weighed in on New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to ban the carriage horses that will go in front of city council soon.

Liam Neeson has even come out in support of the industry: “I think it’s about real estate. I’m not the kind of person to use my celebrity…but the horses are happy,” he tells NYPost. The pro-horse lobby organization, The Cavalry Group, has come out to say that the bill is the work of “animal extremists” with a “vegan agenda.” In response, NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets) has criticized the carriage industry for joining forces with The Cavalry Group, calling them right wing and a “group of zealots.” Meanwhile, taking a different tactic, The Catholic League says that de Blasio cares more about horses than humans.

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“Lots of cities have carriages, but nobody really has carriages like New York,” Hansen says to us. “We’re basically cab drivers that didn’t motorize.” Indeed, the license plates on carriages read: “HORSE DRAWN CAB.” The horse and carriage industry received their medallions in 1935 under Fiorello LaGuardia in a large-scale regulation of transportation, but they’ve been licensed by the city since the 1850s.

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The well-known horse carriage zone on Central Park South from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue was designated “Cab Stand #16″ in the late 1850s. As testament to the importance of the carriage cabs then, this designation took place before the park was completed. “They had barely hired Olmstead. They were figuring out what to do with the land…but they knew that there needed to be a place for cabs to park,” says Christina.

The cutout of the plaza on 5th Avenue where the General Sherman statue is now was originally a deliberate open area for carriages to park and be out of the way of traffic on 59th Street and 5th Avenue. According to Hansen, even the roads of Central Park took into account carriage driving–not only the speed of travel but also, for example, the views from the back of a carriage.

Hansen believes that the current controversy is part of a cyclical trend and cites similar concerns that arose in the press during the 1920s and 30s, with the arrival of the motorized car. World War II put the horse and carriage industry back into play as gasoline shortages hit the nation. (de Blasio’s alternative to carriages are electric vintage cars).

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There are four stables in New York City for carriage horses. Clinton Park Stables is the largest. It hosts 39 carriages and 78 horses, between 35 owners. There are 68 carriages all together in New York City, so Clinton Park Stables has more than half. The number of total medallions hasn’t changed since Mayor Bill O’Dwyer set that number in World War II, who had given medallions to his carriage driver friends. Today, medallions are often passed down within families.

The four stables that the Central Park carriage horses live in were all built as stables, and are all currently owned by carriage people. Clinton Park Stables was built in the 1880s for the city’s sanitation department horses that pulled the street sweepers. For a period, it served as storage for a cardboard box company, but in 2003 it was bought by a co-op of fifteen carriage owners.

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Unlike other cities, the New York City carriage industry is run by a collective of individual owners with medallions, rather than by carriage companies that own a fleet of carriages. Even the stables, though privately-owned, are run by a co-op of medallion owners. Though not all the drivers own the stable itself, they pay dues to the co-op.

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On the first floor, one half houses the carriages. The grain for the horses is delivered by the ton from a feed mill in Pennsylvania. The stablemen feed the horses hay, but the drivers are responsible for feeding grain to their own horses.

The freight elevator was put in after the building was built. It’s not for horses but for the hay and grain:

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When carriages work at night, lights are needed and the generators are charged in this battery room on the first floor:

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This contraption is a tire-resetter, used when the steel wires inside the solid rubber tires get loose:

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In the driver’s office in the building, time sheets are kept as required by New York administrate code and the laws of New York City:

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Old school time punch for the trip card that’s taken with the drivers:

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The ramp to the horses’ quarters, in place for over a century with rubber mats so the horses don’t slip:

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All the stables in New York City are run 24 hours a day. The Clinton Park Stables has a minimum of three staff present here 24/7, says Hansen, and mucking takes place every few hours.

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Rosie peeks at us from her stall, having just returned from her required five week per year vacation on a farm in Pennsylvania.

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The fans have a misting system used in the summer on very hot days, as horses can’t be air conditioned. The building is also fire-proofed and has automatic sprinkler systems.

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The box stalls in Clinton Park Stables are at least 8×10 feet, larger than the city requirement of 60 square feet. Many are quite larger than 8×10, like Rosie’s. The fountains (automatic waterers) in each stall turn on automatically when the horse puts his nose in the sink:

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Though no longer used, you can still see the original drainage groove of the stables:

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The horses are bedded on straw, but other stables in New York City use shavings:

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All the old bedding and manure gets sent to a mushroom farmer in New Jersey:

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The manure room, which surprisingly doesn’t smell too bad:

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Since the building was originally built as a stable, there are windows on all sides of the building:

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Each horse has their respective paperwork on the door of their stall, which includes the license, rabies certificate, immunizations and latest veterinarian inspection:

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A wash stall (horse shower) with hot and cold running water:

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An old anvil:

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As for Christina Hansen herself, she’s a long-time horse rider and enthusiast from Kentucky. She was pursuing a graduate degree in history at the University of North Carolina when her she and her husband relocated to Pennsylvania for his graduate degree at UPenn. She was looking for jobs with tour companies and ended up with the carriage company in Philadelphia, and then moved to New York City. She doesn’t own a medallion but drives for medallion owners here in New York City.

The public can attend tours for the stables through the organization Clip Clop. 

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich

112 Comments

  1. Vikki White says:

    It isn’t about the stables…It’s about the daily grind..it’s about the horses being subjected to NYC life, noise, pollution, stress, on a daily basis. It’s about them being out in freezing weather and having to stand around, even though it’s too cold for people to ride a carriage, the horses have to wait..God forbid it isn’t the magic 18F that will send them back to the stables. Or it’s 89F with high humidity, people are just puddling with the oppressiveness…but the horses cant go back..because it isnt the magic 90F. A horse isnt meant to pound the concrete and asphalt streets of NYC..even if you are one of those that believes horses want to work and they are here for us to enslave..if you can’t see that,you have a cold heart and soul.

    • Mike says:

      Your knowledge of horses/animals is woeful. On the basis of your ideas there should not be any domesticated animals in the world.

      • animals has feelings says:

        many dolpins in captivity died because of the noise, horses are also very sensitive, loud noises scares them,
        domisticated animals – it means being treated well and not being forced to labour

      • Scott says:

        Your ignorance is “woeful”. Where did she say that “there should not be domesticated animals in the world”? Interesting enough, she doesn’t say that.
        Your perception of what her “ideas” are, is rather simple minded.
        As far as that goes, your assumption that she has no “knowledge of horses/animals” is just plain idiotic. HOW the Hell do you know what her knowledge IS???
        How do you dumb asses sleep at night? Your “brains” never seem to shut up.

    • lb says:

      Horses shouldn’t be on the roads in New York City along side vehicular traffic. Period. Just because people are stupid enough to risk their lives bicycling, motorcycling and walking in one of the nation’s top ten cities with the worst traffic, doesn’t mean horses pulling carriages should be subjected to it.

  2. Nancy McMahon says:

    I sent an email to the Mayor about his misjudgment on this industry. he has not responded. This is poor for a first time Mayor. I did not see any cruelty to the horses. They are well taken care of. I think there is some political buyouts the Mayor think he owes. Who wants to drive electric antique cars in the park? Horses and most of these horses are draft horses or that type of breed are meant to pull carts. At one time NYC it was the way to get around the city and get your business done. The Mayor does need to get out and see they situation and make his judgment then. If he is concerned he should push that this be taken to a vote by the Council or citizens of NYC. The poll show they suppose the horse and carriage industry and not the Mayor.

    Yes its sad many years ago there was an accident and a horse was killed. It was between a cab, my bets are the cab driver was also in the wrong. If we look at the accidents in the subway or on the streets. Are we closing done the subs because people get killed or the closing the street? No we trad to put in more safety controls. So have someone look at this industry and do that.

    Mayor do the right thing.

  3. Elaine Brown says:

    I must say that I am very impressed by this stable and have pretty much stayed out of this argument as I did not know enough. My only question is when do these horse lie down? I believe that as large as these horses are and I just lost my lovely Belgian mare so I know big and these stalls are very small for any horse much less a small one. I would guess that many of them become cast due to the small size of their stalls. I was glad to hear that 24/7 there are at least three people on duty in just such a case of casting.

    If it were not so far away, I would be happy to adopt one if this comes to an end, but cross country shipping is difficult and expensive. I do not want to see any of these horses euthanized or slaughtered and that ought to be a condition of shutting down the industry. And I am not so sure shut down is a good idea or solution. I would love to come to New York and take a carriage ride in Central Park.

    • Sherry says:

      For what it’s worth, I used to work at a living history farm and we had one of our Belgians in a small box stall (8×10 at the most) because it was either that or he was going to have to be in a cow stanchion. He had NO problem laying down or rolling and in the 4+ years I worked there never got cast in his stall. The non-horse people posting here should know that the average high priced show horse doesn’t get turned out EVER because of the chance of injury and nobody thinks twice of the fact that they’re living in their stalls 23 hours a day. Do I agree with that? Absolutely not, but it is a fact.

  4. Nancy Weaver says:

    I would like more information about what is going to happen to these ” gentle giants” and whom to contact . My husband and I give these “gentle giants” a forever home. We do not breed them or resale the horses. They are ” retired” to a life of being a ” pasture statue”. They are cared for and treated with the respect they have earned and never leave the farm even in death. We are in our 5th year of being a part of these ” gentle giants” lives. I read the articles and wonder if we could help any of the “gentle giants” before they go to any auction.

  5. Laura says:

    These horses are taken care of better than some kids. Didn’t de Blasio have a contributor who is a developer,and rumor has it he wants the land.. Follow the money.

  6. Jon Katz says:

    Thanks for your interesting blog posts about the Central Park horses, I have also been writing about them on my blog, I am an author who writes about animals and rural life I much appreciate the information and the way you presented it. With your permission, I’ll link to it on my blog.

  7. Lynn-Marie Nitti says:

    Wonderful article that really shows the “behind the scenes” horse carriage industry. It is also quite apparent, not from this article but from the political arena, that the mayor received campaign funds and promised to end the horse carriage industry so he can turn the stable property over to developers who funded him. Just lost total respect for this mayor. Praying the truth is released, politics is kept out of the horse carriage industry and it is allowed to continue for all the world to enjoy!!!

  8. Herbert Rogers says:

    I’ve read (this) article twice..and I know it would be asking too much for at least-some sort of field or place-where the horses could, at least run and/or be outdoors WITHOUT their harnesses attached.
    I know-I know…I’m digressing too much.

  9. She Ponies says:

    **You’re (you’ll see it)

  10. She Ponies says:

    Ok real quick…raise your hand if you are involved in the Horse Business. Not have a pet, I mean pleasure horse or mommy and daddy board you a horse and pay for shows and such. But raise your hand if you are a trainer, breeder, competitor, sportsman, dealer.

    Seriously tho…bc if your not you really have no idea what your talking about at all…I don’t care what side of the fence your on.

  11. Ginny says:

    So some of you think the whole article was staged? Set up? Too “sweet”? Oh brother…you obviously know nothing about horses, or how to take care of them, or how they live in captivity…YES, captivity…because in a perfect world, they would be running free, eating fresh sprouts of grasses in the badlands, etc. But our world is not like that….I actually thought the stables looked a little cramped, and I believe the stalls are way too small for such big horses. But, as far as the cleanliness, the neat tack room, the manure removal system, fans, misters, etc? What is so “made up” about it? Do you believe they would add all that stuff for the article and then take it away? The fact is, you cannot possibly think beyond your own beliefs, and refuse to see what is in front of you. These horses don’t even work as hard as your parents, most likely. I bet your grandparents didn’t get 5 DAYS let alone 5 weeks vacation in rural Pennsylvania? Your poor dog probably spends more time in his crate while you work all day, or, maybe you don’t work, and that’s why you think animals don’t have to do anything either. As with all extremists and government decisions, you think you have solved the problem for the horses, but who is going to take on the responsibility of their care? Do you have ANY idea of the cost for vet, feed, housing, farriers for a draft horse? No, of course you don’t, because you are probably saying “The carriage people should keep them forever its their duty”….right. And how would they do that…working at Subway? Taco Bell? LOL ignorance is bliss…How about YOU find them a “forever” home? Or take them yourself? No? You cant afford it? No one else can either…

  12. M Heinz says:

    All these tree-hugging PETA supporters are ( as always) completely delusional, if they think that banning carriages in New York City, is going to send those horses back out to a grassy, daisy-filled field where they will be living out their days romping and socializing with their friends. How deep in denial, do you have to be to not understand that farm animals all all put to USE, not kept for their ability to live in a “natural state”. Fidel DeBlasio, should mind his own damn business, and leave people alone to do theirs. There is nothing particularly “cruel” about the way NYC carrigage horses are kept in comparison to the rest of the industry. DeBlasio is a typical ‘knee-jerk” clueless liberal with agendas that are all glossy on their surface and competely unthought at their core.

    • Lisa W says:

      M Heinz:

      The harsh terminology in your comment towards your critics turned out to be self incriminating. “Delusional” “Deep denial” “Knee jerk”. What superior intelligence have you personally gained on the article’s topic? What investigative steps have you taken to actually be an eye witness to portray such first hand knowledge of the carriage horse industry AND it’s opponents? Have you taken the time to thoroughly read all the comments left here by various individuals who have spoken from a wide range of reference points? Have you thoroughly studied MAYOR DeBlasio’s (please give him due respect) plan to phase out carriages & carriage horses? IT IS Mayor DeBlasio’s business to run the city of New York and to lead the cities inhabitants towards prosperity and peaceful co-existence. Try reading up on the Mayor’s business plan on the carriage horse trade industry phase out first before you negatively comment on the plan’s failure. You are also far too generic with your branding of the equine species as a whole. Not all horses are “farm animals” as you say. Equines roamed wild at their creational beginnings. Some breeds of the species were domesticated to be a helpmate to humans in their quest for substinance living (farming/hunting/gathering/transportation and companion animals). Not one animal in the entire kingdom was created or even evolved (if your prefer that terminology) for purposes of explotation. There is a no comparison between the definitions of “helpmate” and “explotation of”. I will give you one credit however. When the industry is abolished, you are correct to say that not all of the retired carriage horses will be romping in grassy pastures with their friends. Humane euthansia may be necessary if owners abandon their old/sick/injured carriage horse, if suitable adoptive homes are not found or if retirement farms are at capacity. Humane euthanisia for these horses is a far superior alternative than being shipped to auction at New Holland, shipped to slaughter into Canada or being sold to Amish farms for hard labor until the horse is dead.

    • Lynn-Marie Nitti says:

      Amen!!! And these horses will most likely end up at the auction block and then sent to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. That is the reality! There is really not much need for draft horses except to pull carriages.

  13. Laura says:

    While it is nice to hear that these horses are getting proper care and living in clean stables, it is still a sad life for a horse to only have 5 weeks of turnout a year. Horses are meant to be moving and grazing for 18 hours out of the day, as well as socializing with other horses as part of a herd for optimal health and soundness, both physically and mentally. Ideally they should be getting turned out on pasture daily, or at least weekly (maybe on a rotation basis?). With all the wealth and philanthropy in Manhattan, why can’t land within Central Park be allocated for these horses? Not only as pasture land, but also to keep the carriage lanes totally separate from all motor vehicles. If the carriage horse industry is so important to New York City tourism, wouldn’t it be worth the investment? And wouldn’t it be safer and more pleasant for everyone (specially the horses)?
    P.S. They also need to set some limits as to how much weight these horses are pulling!

    • Ginny says:

      Laura, I like your post, in that you don’t recommend the removal of the horses, but a better plan for their “fun time”, and I love it! Central Park is huge!! Why hasn’t that ever been addressed, I wonder? The horses and people would benefit from that…people strolling the park could visit with them, pet them or just watch them….Hell open a small gift shop and sell stuffed carriage horses, right? Horses were meant to live, walk and eat throughout the day, but in our current age, there is really no where that happens anymore, as people must work, and/or cant afford huge properties. We must do the best we can, and I, as a loving horse owner, am blessed to have the room for my horses to run and play, and I hope they find a solution that benefits everyone. Sadly, it costs hundreds of dollars a month to care and feed draft horses…Im worried their future will not be good. Very nice post!!

  14. Holly Parry says:

    Thank you for posting. Very informative, everything is very well cared for!

  15. Liam Rooney says:

    As a Democrat who lives in a semi-rural area in Colorado, I am constantly embarrassed by the total lack of awareness and curiosity on the part of many “progressives” when it comes to animal-related industries. The assumption on the part of many siding with the animal rights movement is that people who own and work with livestock on a daily basis have no compassion for or understanding of their horses, cattle, or other species. This criticism usually comes from people who would hold their noses when passing a farm, stable, or even a county fair. Is there cruelty in the livestock industry? Certainly, just as there is cruelty to children in some families and some schools. Is cruelty widespread in these industries? That certainly hasn’t been my experience in a variety of settings involving rodeo, racing, farming, and the show circuit. I wish that instead of rushing to judgement, more urban dwellers would take the time to explore the communities and environments they are so quick to condemn before making total fools of themselves.

    • Lisa W says:

      Liam Rooney:

      Your ill thought out comment on animal advocacy could not be more skewed. However, I applaud your courage to mention terrorism in schools and domestic violence against children. I also applaud your admittance to the most certain truth of animal abuse in the livestock & other species profit making industries. Any seasoned, intelligent equine rescuer or advocate will be able to draw a conclusion made using wisdom on whom to rescue if given the choice. WE are not fools, as you so quickly stated to pass your own brand of judgment on our many comments typed for this “Behind The Scenes” article. Stick to the topic at hand Liam. Trying to corral all categories of abuse into one gobal generalized pot makes you to appear the foolish. Your energy & assistance will be MOST appreciated on websites such a Covenant House dot com to aid in the fight against child sex trafficking during the Superbowl. I can vouch for the organization’s credability. I am a financial supporter.

  16. Lisa W says:

    Maybe one could find a compassionate carriage horse owner in NYC. We would all like to meet that person who cares more for their equine than the status of their pocketbook. However, that person would not be the norm. This article seems too staged. Looks can be very deceiving. Words glossed in syrup rolling off the tongue are often spoken by a liar. Human attempts to make substitutions for nature are rarely adequate and usually damaging in the end. Horses are not physically designed for living and working in a world made of concrete and polluted air. Earning a living in the United States in the 21st century does not require anyone to depend upon equine based transportation. Explotation of any creature in the animal kingdom for personal gain is a choice made only by man for the complete benefit of man. No where in the article does it speak of the averge life span of a carriage horse, the average retirement age of the horse or what happens to a horse that is deemed unfit for work. The largest east coast kill buyer auction is a mere 2 hour drive from NYC. New Holland ring a bell? Thousands of good healthy horses, from eastern and southern states, sold daily by the pound, squeezed into non-equine semi trailers and driven directly to Richelieu slaughterhouse in Canada. Poison horsemeat anyone? Domestic horses ALL have vaccines, dewormer, bute and other drugs in their systems. What about all the carriage horses sold off to Amish farms to finish out their lives in constant toil till they die? Is this how a caring, thoughtful and responsible carriage horse owner offers gratitude to their meal ticket after years of dedication & hard work? I hope that Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfills his campaign promise to banish the trade WITH ONE MAJOR CLAUSE. I hope he has already thought of the re-homing of unwanted carriage horses that will be discarded by their owners. I suspect some will be humanely euthanized as well.

  17. Kathryn Baker says:

    I especially love the photo of the two neighboring horses playing, while having a stall divider between them to keep them safe from injuries that are sometimes sustained in that kind of play. The interest with which the bay horse regards the camera is telling as well, these horses are calm and relaxed, but curious about visitors, not depressed and miserable as some suggest.

    • Lisa W says:

      The horse with nose through the divider bars is not playing. The horse is starving for natural equine interaction with fellow herd members. Mutual grooming, standing nose to tail, herd dynamics & animal leadership is all lacking in their lives but their instincts keep them searching for life as a horse.

      • Ginny says:

        And the arguments can continue forever…my horses are separated also, and that makes me cruel too? Or does NOT separating, them and letting them bite and bash and injure themselves make it cruel? People can and will never win, nor will they respect the perception of others. I believe the stalls are WAY too small for such large horses, and I don’t care WHAT the “city code” or requirement is…we have Arabians and even the 12×14′s are less than adequate, and they are only in them at night, for safetys sake, as we have large predator issues here. I love my horses, but others would think not, because of how I do things. Folks that want the carriage horses gone just want them gone, and they have no reasonable solution to where the horses should go. Without money, you have no means of supporting them. Rescues and retirement homes are full. THe amish have their own horses. You don’t want them “discarded”, but what would a person do with horses they cant afford to take care of any more? Where to keep them? I would rather see better “time off” conditions, more off time, bigger stalls, and I love the idea of a pasture type setting in Central Park. I tire of the old adage “horses aren’t meant to live like that” or “its all about the money” Well, for anyone who has a horse, YEP! Its about money, because they take a lot of it to take care of them.

  18. Love the Tradition says:

    What a great article! Enjoyed the armchair tour. Since I have been to the stables and seen the horses, I can verify that they are both wonderfully well cared for. The horses are comfortable in this stable and the stalls are large enough so that I actually saw a horse laying down. The air is clean and the there is adequate natural and artificial light.

    More than anything, the NYC Carriagess are a rich and much loved tradition. Central Park was built especially for them, and there is nothing more pleasing than going for a ride there. The gentle working relationship between humans and horses can be easily seen. It is natural and gracious. It is a nod to the past, and to cherished history. There is no substitute.

  19. Gillian says:

    And please don’t give that silly statement that you have seen one of the big horses roll in those stables. It’s not possible they would get cast. And even if they try to lay down they would be too tight for a draft horse. I’m a fully qualified British Horse Society Instructor and have built stables given instruction in several different countries veterinary lectures etc. the rest of it looks fine it would be nice if they had daily turnout if only for half an hour or so but THE STABLES NEED TO BE BIGGER AND THAT’S DEFINATE.

    • adriane says:

      A working horse (ie carriage horse) is out daily doing its job. Turn out would be nice but its not like the horse isn’t getting exercise. Whether its standing outside in a paddock (likely up to his knees in mud/manure) or pulling a carriage he’s still benefiting from fresh air and exercise. Also, I own a draft horse and she can easily lay down in a stall this size…these are in no way unhumane conditions for a horse to live in…geez they’re even bedded in straw which is so healthy and rare in this age

    • Kathryn Baker says:

      Given that you are a British Horse Society Instructor, how do you feel about the fact that the Royal Mews has straight stalls, and not loose boxes as you call them? It must be so difficult to have a position so in contrast with the Queen’s.

    • Liam Rooney says:

      If you would actually read the article, those stalls are 80 square feet, which is plenty of room for a draft horse. Regarding a horse getting cast, that is a function of being close the wall when rolling. A Shetland pony could get cast in those stalls if it got caught just right. It would be interesting to ask one of the stablehands how often one of those big horses gets trapped that way. I doubt it happens very often as they’re probably stout enough to push themselves away from the wall. Aside from that one issue (or non-issue) those stables are definitely better designed and maintained that what the typical backyard horse endures.

  20. Gillian says:

    The stalls are way too small for big horses they would be fine for up to 14.2 – poss 15 hands knock out middle partitions for these horses so they can lay down and rest their legs

    • Sarah says:

      Gillian- I have seen pictures of these horses before they were groomed and they have straw in their mane and some dirty spots where they obviously were able to not only lay down- but flat out. How do you account for that?

      • The likelihood of a horse getting cast in a small or standing stall is greater simply because when the horse lies down, the sides of the stall are closer on each side than they would be in a larger stall. The less room they have to move their legs out to the side when lying down, the greater possibility of being cast.

  21. Allison Thomas says:

    Thrilled to see an article that like this. Working in the carriage industry for many years and being a horse addict all of my life, I cannot tell you how much joy seeing a horse and carriage brings to so many people – young and old alike. There are many, many people that would never have the opportunity to touch the velvety coat or feel the warm breath of a horse without this industry. What keeps me coming back, even on the coldest of nights, is sharing my passion for the horse which is stronger than the fear encountered from drunks and impatient drivers on the streets. The love and attention our horses receive from their admirers (some of which come religiously to our stand) makes our hard working partners feel like rock stars. I pray the horse and carriage will never be put out to pasture.

  22. Mike Barry says:

    Have never visited but have some Irish immigrant friends from the home village who work there. Have had reports from many over the years who have visited and have only heard positives and superlatives. Shame this cocktail of sham political correctness and warped animal rights misthinking could prevail over something that is only doing good for all concerned (including the horses) and mother nature herself. Let sanity prevail. Fingers crossed!

  23. Vb says:

    Tip top looks like great stable management for tight spaces. Let’s hope you can stay there. Inspire the visitors and people who appreciate horses and our historical connections through horses. Rooting for you from a life long horse person still enjoying horses and could not live happy without my 3 carriage horses to hitch up! Moved away from NY now in Ky. If visit NY I would love to see the stables.

  24. Judy Lenon says:

    I think Michelle did a good job with this article. I have never been to New York and have no plans to go at any time but I feel very strongly about the controversy going on about banning carriage horses. I am a draft horse owner and have been a driver on the street in different cities and different situations. I am painfully aware of the repercussions banning horses in New York could have on the carriage horse industry around the entire country. I feel this would be the worst that could happen to the carriage horse industry. I agree that horses are happiest when they have a job to do and that these horses are well taken care of. Interacting with other horses is not always an option no matter what situation the horse is in. Taking a roll in an 8×10 stall is very possible. I have seen it with large draft horses in smaller situations. I appreciated the photo of the water fountain that had bits of hay in it—makes it believable. Any horse situation is not perfect but I think these horses are well cared for and the job they preform is a tradition that should never be banned. The medallions are handed down in families. That means it is a family tradition, a tradition in a city that has many traditions. There are traditions threatened each and every day in a city this size. Most of them should be saved and this is one that should never be threatened in the first place. Please horse owners band together for a tradition that could mean the loss of many jobs and family traditions as well as city traditions.

  25. Ann Maletzke says:

    My husband Skip and I have visited New York City on a few occasions. During one of our trips we took one of the carriage rides through Central Park. It was a beautiful ride and a wonderful way to see Central Park. We have enjoyed many carriage rides in many cities across the United States. We have horses of our own. Horses enjoy working, they enjoy the attention of the visitors; and pictures. They are a very real part of American history that should be preserved especially in one of the most visited cities in the country. Surely, there is a way to figure out how to modernize the city without throwing out its working history.

  26. Cat Ross says:

    I cannot tell from the pix but do these horses have any fresh air ventilation? Windows that can be opened in the stalls? I ran a large equestrian facility for years with 36 stalls and if the barn was shut up the ammonia smell was overwhelming and hay dust affected some with breathing issues. I also agree that 12′ x 12′ stalls are the norm and we had drafts who definitely could have used bigger so we let them stay outside as much as possible. I have been around horses for over 50 years and know that movement keeps horses healthier especially their joints and feet. And free movement as in daily turnout is the best. Letting a horse BE a horse. Standing and walking on hard pavement breathing exhaust fumes for long periods and then being confined to a stall is not what I would consider a great healthy life for any horse. I know they get vacations away from this work where they are allowed more freedom but I am looking at the daily needs of these horses year round. Sometimes just giving a horse food and water and a stall and claiming they are well taken care of is being shortsighted. They have other needs as well which I can’t see are being addressed by this type of life in a noisy, dirty, crowded city.

    • Walker Blankinship says:

      Clinton Park Stables has plenty of fresh air ventilation from both windows and forced air ducts. (Actually it was built as a stable by NYC Dept of Sanitation.) Horses are inspected regularly by their own vet and by agents of the city (including a vet who works for the Dept of Health) who has 24/7 access to them. The quality of life is evidenced in their excellent condition (No chronic respiratory issues present.) There is no such thing as just providing a stall and food and calling it good care in NYC. The loving and caring relationship between the drivers and the horses in far more intense in NYC by the need to provide everything a horse needs physically and psychologically.
      Horses are also required to have a vacation for 5 weeks but the logistics of this usually means that most horses spend half their time outside the city “just being horses”.

    • Agreed! They may be “adequately” cared for but, horses need to have freedom of movement and relaxation just like every other living being on this planet. The biggest issue is what happens to these beautiful creatures after they can no longer “work”?? They deserve a happy, healthy and care free retirement in a green pasture not in possession of a kill buyer or slaughter house which happens much too often especially now that they are re-opening in USA :(

      • Walker Blankinship says:

        Every carriage horse owner I have met in the past 20 years is a caring and responsible horse owner. This includes caring for their horses in retirement.
        I have been privledged to be able to help several carriages horses find a new situation on retiring. There are many owners who have farms in the country to retire their horses to. There is also an offical retirement venue, Bluestar Equiculture.

        • Skeptical says:

          Wow, Walker. Guess you have never met Saverio Colarusso or Frank Lou. Colarusso was working out of this very stable, Clinton, when, by his own admission, he worked a horse four days while the horse was LAME. He stopped working the horse AFTER an NYPD officer cited him for animal cruelty.

          Lou, who works out of either Clinton Stable or the West Side Stable, lost control of the horse he was driving Sept. 29. Althouth he apparently didn’t get cited in that mishap, he was cited previously for over chargiing customers and for working a horse longer than the NINE hour shift allowed by law. Within days afterward, Chris, the horse, was sent to a dealer who sold him on to the Amish for a buggy horse.

          There are many other carriage drivers working with similar records. The carriage horse owners keep guys like these on the job or pass them off to other carriage owners.

          And then there are the documented cases of former NYC carriage horses found in kill buyers’ pens or bought from their owners to keep them from going either to a dealer or an auction. NYC carriage horse owners are playing a “game” when they say they do not send their horses to the auctions where the kill buyers await. The NYC carriage horse owners pass their horses of to horse dealers and Amish farmers who act as “middle men” and THEY are the ones who send the horses on to the auctions or directly to dealers with meat contracts.

          Many of the NYC carriage horse owners KNOW the fate that often awaits their “old partners” but they turn a blind eye and LIE about their former horses’ fates.

          Guess you must Have met very few carriage drivers in the past 20 years to be able to claim that Every ONE you have met is a caring and responsible horse owner.

          • Kathryn Baker says:

            I’m assuming you have documentation of the many drivers you maintain have bad records, and the multiple cases of NYC horses that have ended up in kill buyers pens? I know of exactly one, and because of how loudly the organization who ended up with him trumpeted their coup, it’s hard to imagine there were many others. When contacted, the Northeast horse auctions have said that either they have never seen a NYC carriage horse go through a sale or that it’s years in between. What specific information do you have?

          • There are lots of Amish “facilitators” and kill buyers who help horses, not just carriage horses, disappear into Amish carriage life. After they’ve had them a while and the hoof brand grows out they’re pretty difficult to trace. Selling a horse to an Amish driver is usually just a deferred trip to the sale barn and the slaughterhouse. The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition has MANY videos available on their website of large drafts, standardbreds, and draft crosses dropped off by the Amish, followed by ghastly undercover video of the slaughter process. I also have photos of hoof brands of horses at Camelot.

    • Snoeberry says:

      The stalls look spacious and clean, as does the entire building. As for 12×12 is the norm, I would have to counter that there is no norm in horse care, I can show you barns in Westchester and Dutchess County that have nothing but straight stalls — no room for the horse to turn around, lay down or roll. I have also never heard of any horse getting a five week vacation (I, a human, get no vacation. I also lived in a 180 square foot apt in NYC for ten years, no access to the outdoors and no guarantee of food or water, heat, healthcare or vaccinations). What does happen to these horses when they aren’t allowed to work? When the carriage trade ban goes into effect, we will all be responsible for signing these horses’ death certificates.

  27. Bobbi Poole says:

    I personally think it is a horrible life for any horse to be stalled for man making $$$$$$$$$$.
    The day they walk on grass will be the happiest day of their lives. If they live through this that is.

    • Mike Barry says:

      I grew up on a farm and worked with animals from the time I could walk. Animals are not human. All animals have various God given attributes that dictate their usefulness and purpose. But spending their life in a retirement home is not one of them. Basically those horses are suited to carriage work and get stalled for feed, care and rest. Thats what nature has dictated and credit to all who work with them and do such a fantastic job. Running at Churchill Downs is not on the cards. Better rejoice in the usefulness and care they enjoy than think about the alternative fate that awaits should this woolly warped thinking prevail.

      • Chris says:

        Oh, please, will you leave the “God-given” stuff out of this? Animals do not exist so that they can have “usefulness and purpose” to humans. Our use of them is tangential to the fact of their existence. And saying that God apparently doesn’t want elderly horses to retire after working all their lives is a convenient excuse for offing them just to make life convenient and less expensive for you. And “nature” has not dictated anything. “Nature” would dictate that horses live in the wild as they evolved to do. THAT SAID…I have no problem with people working with animals and indeed own horses (and dogs and cats) myself. However, I don’t kid myself that “God” or “nature” has fashioned these animals for me to use and somehow envisioned the carriage trade, or show jumping, or what-have-you–now THAT is woolly warped thinking.

        • Elizabeth Becht says:

          Chris you say you own horses well then you must realize that most of them welcome human contact and enjoy having actual work to do ….

    • Del Legan says:

      For those people who think that horses should spend their lives on rolling pastures, please send money monthly to Equine Rescue organizations and Retirement Sanctuaries. If they put their money where their mouths went, the retirement pastures might actually afford to stay open.

      • Elizabeth Becht says:

        very well said Dell right to the point anyone worrying about horses needing a place for retirement truly send your money to any well established rescue farms …..

        • Elizabeth Becht says:

          also I have found that if giving the choice a horse will spend more time with a human then its own kind the wild has been bred out of most horses I have seen more disasters from horses being turned lose in a big pasture then one that is in a small enclosure.

    • Kathryn Baker says:

      There are no more big open ranges on which to turn horses loose to be free. In fact, the Bureau of Land Management is rounding up mustangs by the tens of thousands, and either selling them or keeping them penned up, and supporting them at taxpayer’s expense. Horses cost money to support. Are you suggesting that they shouldn’t be allowed easy work to earn their keep?
      Being free to run in fields of long green grass is a Disneyesque and romanticized version of what horses need to be content and healthy. It’s just not possible to provide that life for many horses, nor for some would it be healthy. The New York horses are fit, healthy and content there as judged by at least three horse veterinarians not connected to the business. Leave them alone.

  28. I plead with New Yorkers not to let this greedy real estate CEO destroy this wonderful tourist ride from the city. The horses have made a statement of welcome that no where else can compare with. No other animal other than the dog captures the admiration of human kind. The prime land that they live on at this time will be absorbed into the coffers of the greedy, while robbing the city of an admirable attraction that has no substitute. Please don’t let this happen..

    • Walker Blankinship says:

      Thank you Sally! Join the battle http://www.savenychorsecarriages.com

    • The carriage owners own the stables. Therefore, if the trade were eliminated, they could only prosper from the real estate transaction.

      • Walker Blankinship says:

        The goal is preserve this unique and proud tradition of driving and driving horses in NYC. If we wanted to cash out on our real estate then we wouldn’t be here.

        • The goal is to preserve the unique tradition of a primarily cash business.

          • Walker Blankinship says:

            You better tell EF to give you another one. You can’t have it both ways. Either its about cash or horses. Real estate is very valuable here if you are in it for money you sell out to developers. If you love horses you aren’t getting rich on $50 a trip. And FYI many drivers take credit cards now.

          • I’m sure you’re unaware that I’ve been to NYC and seen the horses and the cash-based economy. Sorry, better luck next time. I know that eve half-medallion owners are doing well enough to send their kids to private schools, and you you don’t get to that point making $50 a trip unless the majority of your business is under the table.

          • Walker Blankinship says:

            Well you and EF better get cracking then on the Dept of Consumer Affairs then.. Oops she has been doing that and NOTHING. Mountains from mole hills. In fact you must have missed the last hearing when our current speaker cried this same song. Metered vechicles were the only way and what to our astonished eyes did appear? Why it was a taxi meter scandel the very day. Meters and all. You try again.

        • I’d bypass the ministry and go straight for the IRS. Don’t you guys have a snitch program? LOL I believe they split it between small time crooks and big time crooks. Which one should I choose?

  29. Valerie Lynne says:

    What a wonderful article! I have owned horses since I was 8 years old, and my husband and I own one horse drawn carriage license that operates on weekends in Chicago (I also work full time as a nurse). We have 3 draft horses that drive, and a retired rescue standardbred. As horse people and driving aficionados, we were empathetic to the plight of the NYC carriage owners/operators. Before throwing our support behind their cause 100%, we decided to investigate for ourselves. We flew to NYC and spent several days observing the horses at work. We were given tours of the stables and we talked to drivers, owners, and an equine nutritionist. The stables are amazing, the horses fit, healthy, and content. These horses are among the most regulated in the world, and many of their owners are second generation horsemen and women. As a horse lover and an animal welfare advocate, I thoroughly support the NYC carriage drivers and their equine work partners. Carriage driving is light, low impact exercise that keeps a horse fit and healthy. These horses are rotated between the city and farms, and are provided with veterinary, farrier, and equine dentist care. They even have an official retirement home at Blue Star Equiculture. Thank you for writing this wonderful article!

    • Lisa W says:

      Valerie,

      I may be all wrong about your comment but please hear me out. Comparing your carriage service to the NYC trade is not apples to apples. The magic words in your comment are “operates on weekends” and the quantity of your working horses. It sounds like a hobby rather that your livelyhood. Most likely, 5 days a week your equines are out to pasture allowing nature to provide recooperation from 2 days of gritty & physically demanding work. You probably don’t force yourself & the horses out to work in heat/rain/sleet/snow either. If one horses isn’t up to the task you can rotate another horse in for duty. If it came down to a choice, I bet you would put your horses’s wellbeing over a possible dollar earned. Day in and day out pounding of hooves on concrete is not low impace exercise for a horse. Check out the Youtube videos of a cadaver horse hoof. No shoes or pads could ever be invented to stop the bone, joint and tissue damage suffered from daily walk/trot on unforgiving street materials. A good analagy is asking a human to stand/walk/trot on the tips of their fingers or toes on city streets with maybe sewing thimbles for protection. Yes, the horses would be fit and healthy if breathing CLEAN AIR! But NYC city horses dwell with 9 million people with 1/2 million personal registered vehicles. Air pollution, noise pollution & sensory overload. This doesn’t take into account low flying aircrafts, emergency vehicles, construction equipment, service trucks, semis passing through, motorbikes, cyclists & pedestrian activity. Really? All this will promote a healthy & fit horse in mind, body & soul? When you were on your fact finding trip did you research how many animal abuse complaints are filed against carriage drivers every year? How many horses are injuried, die or are euthanized on the job? What common ailments are suffered by full time working carriage horses? Check transit logs of carriage horse sold or disposed of? What the average expected life span is of a carriage horse? There is just too much wrong to ever chalk the horse cabby industry up as a good idea in the 21st century.

  30. Nina Courtney says:

    The stalls are too small. 12 by 12 foot is the normal stall size. These horses are not the normal sized horse. They are a draft or draft mix which means they are much bigger and need more room. There is no turn out, so the only time they are out of their stalls is when they are working. I have been to Central Park and have seen these beautiful horses and they looked like their spirit has been broken. The city is not their natural environment. Horses are flight animals, they run whenever they sense danger. The fact that they are living in an environment with so much noise and commotion and adapting to it is not normal.I have worked with horses my whole life and I would never do this to a horse.

    • Do you know WHY the “standard size stall” is 12×12? Not because of anything having to do with horse size, but because that’s the standard length of lumber. Building 12×12 has nothing to do with the horse’s well-being, and everything to do with ease and economy.

      (PS I have seen even the largest NYC carriage horses roll successfully in their stalls, and they do get vacation.)

      • Lumber Guy says:

        Sorry, but that is not quite true. A standard size for box stalls that was quite common was 10X10 ft. Lumber comes in severl pre-cut lengths and can be ordered in many lengths.

        Common lengths stocked at the “big box stores” are 6, 8 ,10, 12 and 16 ft.

    • Walker Blankinship says:

      There is no evidence that stall size affects any horses well being physically so long as they can lay down. Psychologically horses need to be able to see and interact with their neighbors from their stalls like all NYC stables. In fact horses feel safer when they are closest to their neighbors. Humans think they want a bigger apartment.Horses see space as isolation from their herd mates.

  31. gina leslie says:

    I am not a vegan or an advocate for PETA. I am a horse enthusiast and breeder. These animals are not happy! The stalls are to small for an animal that by nature loves to roam, graze and roll! There isn’t ant turnout. Do they ever kick up there heels. They stand on hard concrete all day! Horrible for there feet and joints. Not to mention the noise and pollution. They are not highly adaptable animals. They have very small intestines which are made to graze and move all day. Three large meals and thrown into unventilated small stores is very unhealthy and causes ulcers. I am a New Yorker and have been horrified that we keep these animals working on the street. Sport horses work hard but they play hard as well! That is compromise. Five weeks a year is not compensation enough for asking these animals to live in those conditions, This is as bad as the elephants in a circus. Or the whales in a tank. Not fair! Bravo Bill De Blasio for speaking for those that cannot!

    • Nina Courtney says:

      totally agree.

    • Bobbi Poole says:

      Mans greed for $ will be the demise of us. I do not like caging horses.

    • Walker Blankinship says:

      What kind of riding or driving do you do Gina?
      I am surprised that an experienced horse person would call NYC carriage horses unhappy because I watch the carriage horses all the time and I have experience treating depressed horses.
      Your premise that sport horses are not stressed and do not suffer a greater incidence of ulcers is untenable at best.

    • Agree. Horses are grazers and without enjoying a grazing lifestyle, they are prone to ulcers. Two small grain meals during the day are unnatural. And five steady weeks of vacation is equally unnatural. The energetics of exercise suggest that horses on a lengthy vacation become “pasture potatoes” that lose condition and then suddenly are thrown back into work for a 9 hour day. This could very well account for what, Dr. Corey has described as, horses appearing “worse off” than when they went on vacation. Horses need exercise punctuated by rest periods on a regular basis, not heavy work and then weeks standing in a pasture. The days are too long and so are the months between rest.

      • Lynnwood Farms says:

        Actually you are wrong a recent study on pasture fit horses found that horses at pasture kept themselves just as fit as horses who were exercised one hour of intense work a day.

        http://www.thehorse.com/articles/32630/study-horses-able-to-stay-fit-when-kept-at-pasture

        • I think we disagree on what “fitness” is. If that were true, Chester Weber could leave his horses on pasture without conditioning and still win at Live Oak.

          • Elizabeth Becht says:

            being a a retired Jockey and horse trainer for 37 yrs watching horses in my fields on the farm out my back porch I can tell you u can absolutely, you can take a horse right out of the pasture and win a race been their done that.. over training is the most catastrophic mistake most trainers make ………………………………………

          • I agree that there is too much too soon insofar as training is concerned in the race industry, but that’s not what happens to race horses, is it? Look at Zenyatta’s colt – 20 months old and being raced as a 2 year old, which by most anyone’s standards is too much, too soon.

    • Lynnwood Farms says:

      Actually being allowed to eat small grain meals throughout the day and being given unlimited hay while in their stalls is fairly close to natural grazing.

      I’d think with their consistent low impact exercise and free choice hay while not in work they have a very similar eating pattern to a pastured horse.

    • Chris says:

      Yikes. I can’t imagine that you are a horse breeder or an enthusiast if you think that a horse’s intestines are small. Horses have quite a lengthy intestinal system. Granted, their stomachs are small (because they are hindgut digesters, not stomach digesters like a cow) and they are indeed adapted to roaming and grazing, but you can aid that by providing a slow sort of feeder for their hay. As for sport horses–90 percent of them have ulcers. Many of them probably have it worse than carriage horses.

      I used to live in NYC, though, and have to say I’m torn about the issue. I’d like to see larger stalls for these animals–an extra two feet on either side would be more humane (and don’t let anybody kid you into thinking horses prefer standing up in a small stall because they like being close to their neighbors! A horse can shuffle two feet sideways if it wants to see its neighbor!!). And I can’t forget the time that I heard a pacer clopping down the street in the dead of night–these horses were all supposed to be drafter, not off-the-track Standardbreds, but a pacing horse is a Standardbred, and the lightweight horse that paced by was no drafter. (and pacing on concrete? Ouch.)

  32. Dodi says:

    These horses are well taken care of and need to be supported. When PETA and HSUS finish with the Tennessee Walking Horses and the these horses what breed/industry will be next? Arabian, Saddlebred, Quarter, Etc, you pick it and they will be after them!

    • What’s wrong with ending the soring of the TWH? And how is soring comparable to the uses of any of those other breeds? I’m all for eliminating soring, gingering and any other cruel man-made torments for horses, so I hope they do go after those issues as well.

    • Chris says:

      Excuse me???? Do you read beyond headlines? Are you really in favor of whipping horses with chains and zapping them with stun guns and spreading caustic chemicals on their legs just so they can kick up their feet higher in a competition??? Please get educated about the abuse in the TWH industry before sounding off on that topic. I am not a PETA fan, but I’m a horse owner and like many am outraged at how certain TWH people treat these beautiful, trusting animals.

      • Elizabeth Becht says:

        out of all the types of horse activities there is out there TWH ought definately to be outlawed in fact if no shows would be put on and no one to watch this would disappear as bad as it get on TB what they do to these poor TW just for the action is the most horrific practice I can think of Dressage horses and the Lipizzans have great and beautiful action and it is all taught not brought on by deforming their feet

  33. Alice Gallardo says:

    The stables are beautiful and the horses appear well taken care of. Having owned horses for nearly seventy years, I know that horses are happiest when they are doing a job. It is sad indeed that people who have never owned a horse and interacted with them feel they have all the answers for the welfare of animals. So sad and so misguided.

  34. Raisa Stone says:

    These hardworking animals get absolutely no turn out. Being able to run, roll, play freely and mutually groom other horses are absolute physical and psychological necessities. The stalls are not of adequate size for even horses that get that turnout. The standard size for an average sized horse is 12X12, not 8X10. As these are large draft and part draft horses, that size should be at least 16X16. They cannot even roll in these tiny stalls, a necessity for wellbeing.

    Truly a miserable life, both on the streets and in the stable.

    I am not “city person with a vegan agenda.” I have my Level 8 certification from the British Horse Society, and have been in the industry all my life. My family are horse people for many generations on both sides.

    • Kathy Gilbertson says:

      Oh, please, you are an “animal psychic” with your own agenda. Horses are highly adaptive creatures and as long as they are well cared for can adapt to just about any environment. Give weeks of total rest and relaxation, turned out with other horses, is more than a lot of horses get. Why don’t you turn your energies to something that really needs to stop, like puppy mills.

      • Yes, many people are, and then the carriage trade went and hired the professional puppymill promoters to handle their PR. I’m referring to the Cavalry Group of course.

        • Olivia says:

          So Heather, why is that racing your horses at top speed around CDE “obstacles” is fine, but a leisurely clip clop through Central Park is not? In order to be competitive, your horses work a lot harder than any NYC carriage horse. Why is OK for you but not for them?

          • Because “Olivia” a CDE is not a race, don’t you know? Don’t you know that in a timed event they are required to arrive at the conclusion in good condition and not exhausted? My horse also wears a heart monitor for a marathon. A marathon includes not only cantering, but trotting and walking and if you arrive EARLY at the finish and not in good condition you will be penalized. Those horses work harder but for much shorter periods of time. And they also have longer rest periods in between. In addition to that, when I go to a CDE, I have a support team of horse people who help with sponging and cooling off and everything else in between. Any obstacles on a course are also not likely to kill us, quite unlike NYC.

          • Walker Blankinship says:

            @@ Really Heather? I would love to see the accident statistics for CDE. I find it difficult to believe that horses chosen for their quiet nature walking around a park.would be able to hurt themselves more than competition horses on obstacles.

          • Olivia says:

            Here’s a video of Chester Weber at Live Oak. I love Chester, he’s a great competitor, but Heather if you think this activity is less stressful than a NYC carriage horse’s mosey through the park you are hallucinating. I’m very familiar with CDEs, have acted as a navigator on many occasions, so cool it with the attitude. The announcer even mentions how fast Chester is going — “almost galloping.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4xYdNihd6k

          • Feel free to look up “accident statistics” then. The issue is not that NYC carriages horses can hurt themselves, but what injuries can be caused to them by vehicles.

        • If you watch the Chester Webber video you will soon see (if you pay close attention) that of the 3:51 minutes the majority of the work is at a nice working trot and not an “almost gallop” (whatever that is) I see canter. This is easy work for a four-in-hand with two strong wheel horses, who by the way, are world-title capable warmbloods for whom the exertion is not considerable. The are far fitter than most horses including NYC carriage horses.

          • Walker Blankinship says:

            I would have thought you would have some statistics on the tip of your tongue with all your sage like knowledge. Nevermind I smell what your cooking Heather. Your royalness and all your equine royalness are too good to have any accidents ever. Good luck with that.

          • Don’t ask me for stats. You are the one who wants them.

    • Lynnwood Farms says:

      So if you have your level 8 certification from the British Horse society then you must know that the Queen herself keeps some of her own horses in standing stalls not even box stalls.

      The only necessity for large stalls is to accommodate horses who are either A foaling or B not getting other sources of exercise. The other reasons are purely human emotion driven and have zero to do with the welfare of animals.

      Cheerio !

      • Chris says:

        Untrue. Recent studies chronicled in one of the past year’s major horse magazines show how horses always selected nice cozy straw to lie on, the deeper the better, when given a choice–so clearly comfort is not a human invention! Large stalls are not merely for foaling horses or ones not exercised. Domestic horses do like to lie down to rest. A roomy stall is a kindness to a horse, not a pacifier for human emotions.

      • Personally I don’t care for standing stalls for any horses. At least at the Mews they are wider and in their downtime, the horses go to Hampton Court, or one of the other royal residences for turnout. They don’t work 9 hours a day either and even stableboys at the Mews are professional horsemen, not flunkies like this Saverio Colorusso dude who drinks on the job and drives lame horses.

  35. Jodie Hansen says:

    What would have been appreciated: The person writing the article to actually know a LITTLE bit about horses. Sprinkler? That’s and automatic water… so the horses can drink water. And “wash stall” not “shower.”
    among other things.
    Although I am on the side of keeping carriages and believing the horses are take care of properly… this author did little to support that.

    • michelle young says:

      The sprinklers were actually a reference to the fire sprinklers, a great safety addition to the Clinton Park Stables but not standard in all stables. Thanks for the correction on the other terms, they’ve been updated in the article.

      • Kings County says:

        Thanks for pointing out the sprinklers. I’ve toured Clinton Park and have admired all the amenties the horses have there. I have never seen sprinklers in a ‘country barn’ including those that have hay lofts and lots of flammable wood. Clinton Park sets a standard in safety and efficiency that many others could learn from.

  36. Terri Towner says:

    Thank you for the wonderful picture tour of the stables! Much cleaner and well taken care of than my house!

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