Runaway.


Since y'all aren't local and most people outside of the Southeast don't specifically venture into Savannah, Georgia, let me share a little bit of local horse news with you.

We have carriage horses.

And, yesterday, one ran off.  You can read an article here.

I have mixed feelings about the carriage horses.


Pros:

  • If these horses weren't pulling carriages, where would they be?  Food and some measure of healthcare is guaranteed so long as they are providing a service in the public eye.
  • Some of the drivers that I've met really seem to care.  I know of one who also owns a popular lesson barn (granted, I would never board there), maintains her own carriage, and was the only driver for her horse.  I've toured that particular company's facilities and found the stalls spacious and immaculate, but there was virtually no turn out.
  • Attractions = tourism = money for the city.
  • I actually saw a driver taking a temperature during one of our warmer days in the last week or so.*
Contra:
  • *If you're already concerned about overheating in 70s-80s, why the fuck are the carriages still running in the 90s and up?  If you weren't worried about the weather, but rather the particular health of that horse, why the fuck was it pulling a carriage?
  • There seems to be absolutely no regulation (in my city) about the weight that the horses can pull.  I can't say that I've ever seen them straining, but dragging fat asses on the asphalt can't feel good on the joints.  Also, stop trotting them through intersections to make it through the light.  
  • I've seen sores and rub marks.  On the occasions that I've gone to the driver and questioned the condition of the horse (I am that person), I primarily get the response that the horse "came that way from the Amish."
  • The horses consistently work in ungodly temperatures.  This is the deep South.  Our heat is only compounded by the humidity, which strips sweating of its efficiency.  

The only thing I can say, really, about the incident is that it's not going to be good publicity for the two companies we've got here.  They've already been under fire because Savannah prefers alcohol and fine dining to most everything else and the horse smell was infringing on those establishments.  

Edited to add: one of my coworkers just informed me that she saw the whole thing. A beer truck was in a lane, which was unloading kegs. The horse got spooked at the sound and the driver yanked back. It started rearing, which led to more yanking and more rearing. It tapped down on the back of a car, tipped the carriage and took off. 

You Might Also Like

7 comments

  1. I have mixed feelings on carriage horses too. It seems like it's a lose lose on either side. I believe that comment about the Amish though, they are pretty awful to their animals traditionally.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm another mixed feeling person as well. When i was a kid i loved, loved loved seeing the carriage horse on the street (along with those take your picture on a pony guys) but i want them to be well taken care of and i'm not sure they always are. Its a real tough subject.

    ReplyDelete
  3. yikes..I have no opinion other than the one from Niagara falls - my friend gives guided tours and their horses are treated like saints.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is one of those things. . .a bad driver/owner can ruin it for all. And with horses, accidents happen. I do love to see them, but I do wish that all of them were taken care of to a higher standard.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks!