I am not an animal rights activist, but I am a horse owner and I question the judgment of Jerry's owners in allowing Jerry and other horses to work in an urban environment and in extreme weather conditions. Horses colic for many reasons, and horse owners know that most of the reasons are stress related — and temperature is a stress factor for horses.
My biggest concern however is the inherent danger to people in using carriage horses in an urban environment. All horses spook, and sometimes even the most experienced rider or driver can't control a runaway from a spook.
Yes, it's true, Salt Lake City is not the only city that allows carriage horses to operate within city limits — but that is no excuse for not doing the right thing. It's time we ask Mayor Ralph Becker and the City Council to examine the current practice and to either ban the use of carriage horses in Salt Lake City or to curtail their use.
I'm sure the City Council would appreciate everyone's input. Maybe it's time to bring back trolley cars or to close off some of the downtown area to vehicular traffic. Let's rethink the current policy.
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