Saturday, April 17, 2010

MIRACLE ON THE HACK LINE or What I did on my Summer Vacation ... or NYC carriage horses to be treated slightly better.

3/14/10 - New York City carriage horses won a great victory today when it was decided that they would each receive one square inch more in their stalls. Hardly believing the good news, the excited horses neighed and whinnied -- some letting lose a barrage of poop, which unfortunately missed the diaper tied to their rear, landing on a park road right in front of a runner who quickly stepped out of the way. The cyclist behind him was not so lucky. They would have peed, but there had been no water for them in the troughs, which had been turned off.

However the big drafts grumbled at the injustice complaining they will still not be able to stretch out fully, cramping their legs. "Damn" said one, "This is an injustice. Who can I complain to? WTF - Do they think we are ponies or something? I'm tired of standing up to take a damn snooze." Some thought about reaching out to the Teamsters to see if they would take their case and initiate some collective bargaining.

Bruno, a horse from the WS Livery, asked Roger if he was happy about the bigger stalls planned for his stable. “Common, Bruno, don’t be naive." whinnied Roger. You know that most of the stalls were small boxes anyways. This is not a hardship for the owners. They will never give us what we really need to be comfortable."

“Wow, small box stalls ... sweet ” countered Bruno. “Oy Vey! You should see the sh-t hole we live in – if you can call it living. Oh wait, you can, by clicking here. You have access to Youtube, don’t you Rog? Yeah - I suppose they can move walls around to make bigger stalls but the place will always be a hell hole. You should see the fire protection system we have -- sand buckets! I hear they took out the requirement for mandated sprinklers from the bill. That really sucks."

But not to worry, the bill thought of almost everything. As a reward for slaving 9 hours a day, 7 days a week, the horses will be rewarded with a 5-week vacation - weeks not to be taken concurrently. It was thought that the horses might get too used to relaxing and refuse to come back if one week extended into two or more. Most of the horses are so worn out by the time they take a "vacation" that they are in a catatonic state for the first 3-4 days, only beginning to enjoy themselves by the time they are ready to be brought back to their cells to begin the grind all over again.

The horses asked for daily turnout, but the City refused saying that they would prefer to build another stable rather than to give the land up to pasture. "Suck it up" said Speaker Chess Quibly and "stop complaining. " Just remember that I can still make you disappear since I did not change that section of law. Remember I know where Canada and Mexico are," she sneered. "And don't even think about the Teamsters -- or I will get you my pretties. Besides, they have their hands full pretending this trade is really a union. Don't confuse the issue. Besides, how could you even pay? in hay? I don't think so. LOL"

But not to be outdone since he was, after all, the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Gene Roe spat out - "Turn out, turn out?!! You don't need no stinkin' turnout! You still don't get it, do you. It's not about you, you selfish steed. It was never about you. It's about your [slave] driver - he needs more money ... if for nothing else then to line my pockets. Keep this up and I will report your kind to the City Clerk for illegal lobbying."

Some of the horses gave in and were planning on which set of swim trunks to bring on vacation and hoping there would be a big enough swimming pool. "Gee, i hope these horizontal stripes on my trunks don't make me look fat" said a plump Percheron --" I haven't worn them in a year." Others began to brush up on their tennis. "don't forget to bring sun screen" said a dapple gray - "there may not be any shade. And you know how we have to work in NYC when it is reeeeeally hot and humid. I hope they give us spending money for water.”

Many of the horses were very disappointed when they learned that the Department of Health decided not to pursue changes to existing regulations, introduced in January. Pressure from Quibly, they heard, who wanted all the glory. They were particularly upset with the elimination of the section entitled "Drivers Behaving Badly" -- a section that they had anonymously submitted to the Department of Health Commissioner. "It is embarrassing to have your driver reading a comic book, playing video games or talking to his bookie on the phone when we are trying to work" said one of the horses. "They never pay attention. And when they push me into making a u-turn on Central Park South, I just hope that the jerk driving me gets a ticket before he gets me into an accident. The next time this creep stands up in the driving seat while working, pretending to be king of the road, I will jerk him so he falls back on his ass. Hee Hee. He'll think it was a bump in the road. "

The horses also tried to get a weight limit on the customers being pulled in their carriage, but it was considered discrimination. "Take it up with Jimmy Hoffa," snorted one of the drivers. "If you can find him."

Still, it is better than nothing, all the horses agreed - even if it was just to raise the rates for the drivers. "I hope we at least get fresh carrots out of this," said one ..."and maybe some oats without pigeon droppings would be nice. I'm tired of getting limp carrots only when a potential mark comes by. I also wish they would do something about turning on the water troughs in Central Park in the winter."

"Too expensive to add year round piping" said CM Gene Roe. "As I said, any extra money comes my way,MY WAY, dummy. Besides, you do not need water" he said - "you pee too much as it is. Keep this up and I will personally buy you a ticket to Canada."

Roger, a handsome steed, told his stable mates- "keep the faith, my horsey friends. We have never had so much attention showered on us.

There has never been a time in the history of this business that so many people have been fighting to free us from bondage. This is just a temporary setback. I feel it in my withers.

It is only a matter of time, my equine buddies, only a matter of time.

In the meantime, have an apple. They're Fujis."


Roger suggests trotting over to for more information.

Friday, April 2, 2010


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.