Monday, September 22, 2014

The things we do to horses

Does this make me look fat?
New York, NY
July 2014
Thematic. In the pink. Here.
I grew up in Montreal, which like New York has a thriving tourism trade that includes horse-drawn carriages.

I completely get that a century ago it made sense for horses to live and work in the middle of large cities because cars and trucks as we know them simply didn't exist then. I also get that it took decades for cars, trucks and other horseless vehicles to relegate Trigger, Mr. Ed and their ilk to the fringes of urban life. Somewhere in my grandparents' dusty past, there's an old story of a horse, a wagon, and a thriving business spent criss-crossing the dusty streets long before I was a gleam in anyone's eye.

What I don't get is why any of this still happens today. And why these poor horses are still plying their significantly diminished trade in the middle of a landscape that no longer seems to have any room for them. Supplying real people and residents with the essentials of daily life from the open back of time worn wagon seems somewhat more worthwhile than pointing out the sights for camera-toting tourists in a gaudily painted caleche. Call me judgemental, but it seems to be a bit of a waste of these lovely animals' potential.

As I watched this particular pink-festooned horse head off with another load of tourists in its caleche - sorry, carriage - I found myself silently willing the honking masses of cars to stay very far away from her. I'm sure she's used to the chaos that surrounds her, but I still wonder whether that's enough to justify the trade in the first place.

I'm sure she's well cared for, bit I still can't shake the feeling that she should be on a farm and not here. And the pink totally has to go.

Your turn: Thoughts?


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'll bet the taxis and buses bother that poor horse more than the pink feathers...

21 Wits said...

Oh I totally agree in an urban setting, but I feel my own draw to these most lovely creatures coming out to play and wander the grounds of places like our brand new Whitetail Woods Regional Park this coming Saturday! They are offering horse-drawn wagon rides, and of course 5K run/walk, music, food and fun for all! I'm sure there won't be any pink on their heads, and their owners will introduce them by name. I've been waiting all summer for this opening day!

Anonymous said...

here's mine

Unknown said...

Agreed, Carmi. I don't enjoy horse racing. We do have a mounted horse unit with our local police department, but this is a positive program where children and adult's lives have been saved by these well-trained horses on patrol.