Friday, April 2, 2010
CARRIAGE DRIVERS: "BUT WE LOVE OUR HORSES...."
Sure they do. To many of the drivers, the horses are just dumb animals who do their bidding. They don't interact with them except to give them commands.
These horses are dispirited because they've been broken. There is no love and there is no respect.
If they truly loved their horses, they would not subject them to the wear and tear of working in a congested city, breathing in car exhaust and living in the multi-storied stables in stalls that are too small.
This is an excerpt from a blog called Mama Act where the writer is describing her recent walk along Central Park South where the carriage drivers wait for customers.
"I'm walking by and they're all hanging out, some in grungy top hats. Some in baseball caps. Chatting and waiting. When all of a sudden one of the horses kicks over his feed pail, spilling a decent amount, but certainly not the whole bucket, on the street. And the driver grabs the bucket and yells, "F--- you, you f---ing idiot!" He yells this at the HORSE. And something in the way he yelled it was kind of dark. More like a wife-beater than a business partner. Reflexive and violent. And it just kinda made me wonder..."
This is nothing new. I've had similar experiences. Once I witnessed a driver scream angrily at his horse because she was hitting one hoof against the pavement in boredom. He grabbed her bridle and yanked her head, obviously causing her great discomfort. He used the same type of expletives but with specific nasty words one would use toward a disrespected female. Yes this is one classy group.
I've also see drivers punch their horses in the nose, which is a very sensitive part of their body.
A few years back, I was sitting on a bench in Central Park near one of the filthy water troughs, which are empty half of the year. A carriage came by and the driver stopped to let his horse drink. It was a very hot day. After a few gulps, he pulled her head back, away from the water and turned to his passengers saying "I'll show her who's boss." Yeah - big macho man.
Yes, this is the group of people who "love their horses" -- the group that certain members of the City Council want to keep in business shaming the city.