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.
- 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.*
- *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.