Humane Society wants horse-drawn carriages off city streets


Return To Article
  • r0cky74 Erda, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    Are the horses receiving adequate care? That is the real question here. How often are they watered? Can they find water when they want to? The heat is unbearable for people walking on days like this. Add a nice thick coat on top of the heat coming off the asphalt and it would seem that 150 degree heat index is way too high. I know everybody has to make a living, but certainly more consideration and care should be given to the well being of the horse.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 21, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    This is the order of the day: if it is difficult, quit; if it is challenging file a protest; if it requires effort and thought, walk away.

    I appreciate PETA and the Human Society for their original mission statements. But out of boredom (and we can only be glad they didn't just shoot the horse out of boredom) they seem anxious to become involved in all things whether they understand all aspects of the situation or not -- if an animal is moving, it must be a bad thing.

    A little work never hurt anyone, and some may even suggest that it is actually a benefit and not a curse. We have enough humans who no longer wish to work, let's not impose that same corrupt philosophy onto the animal kingdom as well.

  • mbenfield Wooster, OH
    Aug. 21, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    I totally agree with Beaver Native. Enough water, shade and. not being over worked in the mid day heat is common sense for an owner. Perhaps Spring and Fall would be better options for carriage rides. Greed should never trump responsible ownership of animals. All animals.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    The Humain Society said, "The question always comes back to whether animals should be used for this purpose". What purpose? Pulling a cart? Of course horses can be used to pull a cart! Horses have used for pulling carts for hundreds of years!

    I don't think it's any harder to pull a wagon on a city street than it is on a farm.

    If car fumes are the problem... then maybe it's the cars that should go, not the horses.

    Aug. 21, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    I love horses and have owned, ridden and trained them for pleasure riding. They have a special relationship with humans, and are wonderful to watch and just be around. For those who think they should not be pulling carriages downtown, please remember:
    1 Horses are expensive to keep. If they do not work, they could be put down because of the cost.
    2 They love to work. They come to the fence wanting to work.
    3 They work 6 hours a day, 3 to 4 days a week, and spend the rest of the time at pasture or in a stall.
    4 They are in good condition, well groomed and well fed, with water kept under the carriage.
    5 They work part-time at an easy job they love, with full health, hoof and dental care, housing and food included.
    6 They travel in and out of shade as they travel downtown, and rest in the shade between trips.
    7 In the winter, they have double thick fur.
    8 A beloved small business would be forced to close.
    9 Carriage drivers would lose their jobs.
    10 They add to the charm and delight of our city. Leave them alone.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    I agree. It's so cruel to have horses do what they were created to do so let's just send them all to the packing house to be made into dog food.

    Aug. 21, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    I love horses. They are animals who have a special relationship with humans. I have owned and trained them for pleasure riding. They are wonderful to just watch and be around. All of you who want the carriage rides stopped, please remember:
    #1 Horses are expensive to keep, they could be put down because their owner could not afford them.
    #2 They love what they do, it is easy for them, they are eager to work. They want to be picked to work each day.
    #3 They work 6 hours a day, 3 or 4 days a week. The rest of their time is at pasture or in a stall.
    #4 The horses are well fed, well groomed, well shod and well taken care of.
    #5 They travel in and out of shade as they travel around the downtown, and rest in shade between trips. In the winter, they have a double thick coat of fur.
    #6 A small business beloved of many people would close.
    #7 The carriage drivers would be out of jobs.
    These horses work part-time at a job they love, with full medical, hoof and dental care, housing and meals included. Leave them and this business alone.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    "If the temp is above 90-95, they shouldn't pull. What is that, 2 days a year in SLC?"

    In the past 60 days at SLC, 56 of them have been 90+ (3 of the other 4 were 89 degrees).

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    150? I would bet that a heat index above 120 has never been exceeded in Salt Lake City (outside at least, in a car left in a parking lot that's a different matter).

  • suess Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    I'm glad Jerry is on the verge of recovery (what that means, I don't know -- will he recover or is it still not known) My sister was on scene as this happened. She is from Wyoming and we grew up around horses. As everyone was trying to figure out what to do, including the driver, she said they needed to get him unhooked from the carriage and get water for him, which they did. He was trying to get up and kept slipping and she told them they needed to get something that he could get his footing on to keep from falling and was told his horseshoes were made for the asphalt. Well and good, but they were still slipping. She stayed until authorities showed up and the people from the stable. I'm sure they are well taken care of, but I wonder how many of the drivers actually have horse experience and know what to do when an animal goes down. According to my sister, this driver didn't.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    @Pete1215 - A heat index might be too hot for a human, but horses (and many larger animals are better adapted for extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum. My guess is that if it's truly too hot for people to be out, then the carriage guys aren't making much money anyway, and they're likely to pull their horses off the street until it cools down.

    These horses are the livelihood of this business. I'm sure they get regular checkups and care. From what I've been able to dig up, Horse Colic is probably a condition that is hard to diagnose until the symptoms show. As for the dismal picture of how this horse was loaded on a trailer by dragging it, I doubt if it was as traumatic as it's being made out to be. I would even speculate that if the horse had been out in a field or pasture, it probably would've laid there for hours before anyone realized it had a problem, and it could've potentially died. So, the reality is that being hooked to a carriage in the middle of downtown probably benefited the horse...

  • Tuffy Parker Salem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Just a little wake up call to the folks at PETA and the Humane Society that are going bonkers over this:

    These are work horses, whose sole purpose is to pull carts, wagons, carriages, plows etc. If that seems too extreme to you all, please keep in mind that your next interaction with these horses will be when you lick the glue on the flap of the envelope in which you place your ridiculous protestations.

    (Just in case you missed the subtlety of that reference, the glue factory is the next stop for work horses that don't work.)

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    I grew up on a farm where we used horses a few times per year to look for or move cattle. Dad taught me to take care of the horses and not over-stress them. I don't have any problem with using horses in the city - so long as they are cared for well and aren't overworked.

    We also had a horse die of colic despite veterinary care and all our efforts to save it. It had nothing to do with heat or work or any of the concerns cited by PETA or HS, as the day was not a particularly hot one and the horse hadn't been used recently. The pasture had plenty of food, water, shade and room. Horses are going to get colic whatever the circumstances and wherever they are, and horses are regularly used in much hotter temperatures and harsher conditions than faced in Salt Lake City.

  • Albert Saint George, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Of course the horses belong downtown. They've been in SLC and the downtown area since day one! They are a vital part of the history of the city. One reason the streets were designed so wide was so a team of horses could make a U-turn without the driver cussing and swearing. Sure there should be some precautions put in place for the old horses, but banning horse drawn carriages would be ridiculous and unnecessary.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    thunderbolt7; I'd add to your list a horse that doesn't eat either. that would be ideal.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Horses enjoyed it and let them continue. I don't know anything about horses but I think 90 degrees and higher should be kept off the street. Why not banned motor vehicles on some parts of downtown and remove those paved roads (partial) and put in straw and dirt. See, this sound a little silly but why not. Horses do enjoyed entertainment and my wife has this bucket list to ride the carriage at downtown. Maybe this fall would be a good time to do it before the ordinance (BIG IF but hope not) come in place.

  • thunderbolt7 DUTCH JOHN, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    I only want horses that never die, get sick, or have health problems.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    One horse with colic decides he's calling in sick, and the HS and PETA want to take away the livelihood of dozens of people.

    If the horses are healthy, they should stay. If the temp is above 90-95, they shouldn't pull. What is that, 2 days a year in SLC? Now, if they were pulling here in Dallas....

    PETA and HS have no Horse Sense.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:35 a.m.

    Changes need to be made so the horses don't work when its too hot and also so the horses have access to water every half hour or so.

    Beyond that there's nothing wrong with having horses pull carriages horses enjoy getting out and about just like the rest of us.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Aug. 21, 2013 5:54 a.m.

    I have seen a heat index of 119. That is too hot for even a pleasant walk. Someone actually thinks a heat index of 150 belongs in a law? Or is the point to kill horses?

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:50 a.m.

    A heat index of 150? Yeah, because the Arabs never ride horses. There were never horses in Vegas or Tucson or Mexico or the Sahara...

    Having been raised around horses I find "When you go out to pick the horses they all come over and come over as if to say 'pick me, pick me, pick me'" entirely plausible.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:46 a.m.

    I love horses, but they aren't exactly weak animals. If properly cared for and not overworked, can they not pull such a load? Modern streets aren't exactly harsh conditions. Stage coaches could have many horses. Why not have 2 pulling today? (other than cost)

    Care for the animal has priority. I agree with that. But I don't think putting and end to this may be the best answer.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:41 p.m.

    Yeah, when protestors objected to the University of Florida's mascot (The Seminoles) they asked the Chief what he thought. He liked the name.

    Sure, give the horses the day off when temperatures reach 90 or 100. Do these city slickers at the Humane Society really know anything about horses? I'll bet a bunch of those horses enjoy pulling a carriage.

    I hate nosy people.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:20 p.m.

    Seems like the Humane Society and PETA is fluffing up some horse feathers again. And SLC Councilman Charlie Luke is eating out of the same oats. I'm so tired of nonsensical whinnying, such as it would be better if a horse collapsed in a stable or pasture. Hmnnn, it would be better if humans collapsed in a hospital, too--then there would be no need for ambulances. *Snort* Horses shouldn't pull? Shouldn't be in a city? The HS and PETA have no clue why they were created. Horses have a greater purpose other than for humans to gaze at them in a stable or pasture. Sounds like animal activists are putting the cart before the horse.

    Horses pose a risk to themselves and the public? Well, so do cars, pedestrians, bikes, etc. with far greater incidence rates. If you really feel that way, grab the horse by the mane and ban them all! Get rid of 'em! Then there will be nothing to pose a risk to anything. Even though they would rather the horses live their idyllic life there, it sounds to me like the Humane Society and PETA are the ones out to pasture.

  • trueblue87 Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    "Arky said horses on the streets pose a risk to the horses as well as the public."

    You know what else poses a risk to people, cars, bicycles, pedestrians, etc. So I think we should just ban everyone from downtown.

  • CynicJim Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:00 p.m.

    Leave them alone and mind your own business. If the animal is taken care of correctly there should be no risk. Find another broom to ride.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    Horses don't belong? Say what? These folks have gotten a bit of loco-weed in their feed. They want to see the nice horsey in the stall or the corral, and from what I can gather in the article, it's because they are afraid of horses. If they truly cared about the animals they claim to want to protect, they would actually spend time with a horse. They would touch and care for and feed and muck out the stall, they would curry and comb and become familiar with the horse. They would learn about what a horse wants and what they like and don't like, what a horse needs and what it would do in a certain situation. Then let's see who wants to do what with them.

    Who was it that said:" the best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse."

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    I've been around horses most of my life. I believe they should be given humane reasonable care, and possibly there are hot summer days when they should not be pulling carriages. However, to completely eliminate the carriage rides seems extreme to me. If there have not been serious injuries to humans or horses, that speaks a great deal in favor for the carriage rides. There is virtually nothing any of us, or our large or small pets, can do that does not involve some risk or hazard. In the days of my regular association with horses, my most serious injury was a broken arm, and it had nothing to do with my wild horseback riding, and actually happened at school (which is a dangerous environment, all too often).

  • Reader81 SLC, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    I have had concerns about the horses for a long time. I live downtown, and drive by them frequently during the week. I have seen horses that look utterly exhausted. A few summers ago a friend of mine helped a different carriage horse that had collapsed downtown. I have made phone calls and email inquiries, but my efforts led to a dead end.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:14 p.m.

    The urban air is OK for humans but not horses? I think this goes to far.