NYC carriage horse stable argues that bare, cramped, filthy stalls are not animal abuse

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Carriage Horses) — There are already many valid reasons and obvious examples why we must rid U.S. cities of the horse drawn carriage trade.

Not that we need another example, but here is yet another one, this time in New York City, which clearly demonstrates that it needs to put an end to its horse drawn carriage business.

The New York Post filed the following image and report on June 1, 2017:

A worried city building inspector snapped a photo of a carriage horse inside her “filthy” stall on Manhattan’s West Side — but the stable owners insist that the huge pile of manure is simply what the animal would produce in four-to-six hours.

The inspector — who is asking not to be named — is claiming animal abuse.

“The stable is filthy. It’s tiny. The horse almost can’t even stand up in there,” the outraged whistle-blower told The Post.

The inspector stumbled on the stinky stall on May 17 while checking the conditions of the building structure at Westside Livery Stables, Inc., on West 38th Street.

He was not there to assess the sanitary or health conditions of the horses, which is done by the Health Department.

But the inspector said he felt compelled to take a cellphone snapshot when he saw the conditions.

“The stable looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. It got so crammed up that the horse would have a hard time getting up,” he said.

The inspector said the horse was also lying on a hard floor with little hay for cushion.

But a rep for the stable gave a resounding “Neigh” to any abuse claims.

“I dare say whoever took this picture and thought there was something `wrong’ with it is not a horse person, nor were they interested in learning from someone here at the stable who is,” said Christina Hansen, a spokeswoman for the stables who examined the photo.

“This is a totally normal horse stall, prior to mucking by one of our stablemen, most likely in the morning. Sophia the horse here is shown comfortably lying down in her 9’ x 10’ box stall,” she said.

Horse sh*t. Hansen is delusional. None of what we can see in the picture filed with this report is normal or fitting. Poor Sophia looks anything but comfortable. She looks miserable.

Anyone who thinks that this an acceptable way to care for horses should be banned from having them in their control. This is animal abuse. Sophia is virtually lying on bare concrete next to piles of feces, and no doubt urine too.

PIX 11 News reports that the activist group NYCLASS gathered outside the West 38th Street stables the following day, June 2, to protest the conditions the horses are kept in. The group says it “hopes” for a “one-on-one meeting with the Department of Health to discuss ways to improve the overall quality of life of carriage horses”.

I know they mean well, but that sounds like even more horse sh*t.

New York City needs to clean up its act and rid itself of its cruel and outdated carriage horse trade. This insidious business is never going to treat its horses well because the people in it are not only totally out of touch with a horse’s most basic needs but totally uninterested.

What horrifies us in this case is clearly business as usual to the folks at Westside Livery Stables.  They see nothing that needs changing. Worse still, it appears they think they are doing a good job!

How about some arrests and fines or citations for the abuses these people are committing?

If the Health Department conduct inspections that means they have guidelines. Are there no penalties when people fail to adhere to Health Department standards?

In the meantime, we thank the inspector who reported the sad conditions Sophia is living in. It took courage. It has been our experience over the years that there are plenty of people who work in the carriage horse industry who are ruffians and bullies. They are also often retaliatory and prone to violence.

West Side Livery Stable (left) in Hell's Kitchen has been stabling horses for over 150 years. Time for a change don't you think? Google search result. Unattributed image.
West Side Livery Stable (left) in Hell’s Kitchen has been stabling horses for over 150 years. Time for a change don’t you think? Google search result. Unattributed image.

We are investigating what action we can take on behalf of carriage horses in cities and circumstances like these in New York. Attempts to reform the horse drawn carriage industry to improved the lives of the horses over the past 15 years has failed.

Please help. Share your thoughts and ideas. Let’s bring an end to this once and for all.

Last updated 6/3/17 7:33 pm EST.

Collapsed carriage horse in NY sparks calls for investigation

CARRIAGE HORSES (New York City) — Confronting images of a horse said to be collapsing in Central Park last week sparked cries for an investigation into the horse’s welfare Monday.

However the city advised the horse, named Max, had only tripped, and he was due back at work.

New York animal rights group NYCLASS said bystanders reported that a white carriage horse began breathing heavily before collapsing on the ground just before 10 a.m. Tuesday Feb. 21 near Tavern on the Green in the park.

The group provided images of the incident it said was taken by eyewitnesses. It believed the horse had just started its shift pulling carriages for the day.

Photos showed the horse first kneeling on the ground, and then fully splayed out on its side on the road.

Carriage driver Chris Emanus put the horse, named Max, back to work on Monday, insisting he’d been cleared by a vet. Continue reading at NBC New York »


Emanus claimed “the equine had simply tripped because he was wearing horseshoes for the time in eight months after returning to the city from a farm.”

Um, getting new shoes does not cause heavy breathing and collapse. This should be investigated and his license taken away for lying and covering up abuse if this should be so proved. — TH


Tweet the Mayor demanding an investigation @NYCMayor and @BilldeBlasio. See also Facebook page at to leave a comment. Contact the Mayor’s Office at


Third Annual Equus Film Festival takes New York November 20-22, 2015

Equus Film Festival Logo 2015

Equnews International reports:

It’s this time of year again when the horses and their equestrians take over New York City! The Equus Film Festival will be in NYC on November 20-22, 2015 with many films, plus artists from all corners of the world and over 30 authors, as well as many speakers.

The Equus Film Festival was founded in 2013 in St Charles ,Illinois, USA by avid equestrian, Lisa Diersen.

Since then, it has grown in numbers and moved to NYC to continue showcasing some of the world’s best in film, visual art and literature and raise awareness about some of the horse world most pressing cases. Thanks to the Equus Film Festival, many films have also gained International recognition and distribution.

“We believe that film holds the power to experience a story in the most compelling way. Therefore we empower storytellers to share their unique stories in the most optimal setting, a movie theater. Placing the festival in the capital of the world, New York City, where people from all walks of life can enjoy these inspiring stories.” —Equus Film Festival

The Equus Film Festival’s Website:

And more here about this brilliant event.

• Diana Susan De Rosa, reporting for The Examiner writes:

In just a few days the EQUUS Film Festival will commence for its second year in New York City. With over 140 films, documentaries, music videos, commercials, and more it is the place that horse lovers from all walks of life will want to be November 20-21.

The event begins on Thursday night with a welcome party at Manhattan Saddlery, which is an invitation only event. Authors, filmmakers, sponsors, artists, organizers and guests will get together to mingle before the hustle and bustle begins on Friday November 20.

Friday will kick off the first day of films and EQUUS Magazine Directors Panels. Some heated debates are anticipated about such topics as soring and defending the horse. The NYC Carriage Horses will also be one of the topics discussed in one of the 13 panels over both Friday and Saturday. While the discussions go on in one theater, three other theaters will showcase a variety of visuals for people to choose from.

Saturday kicks off with the FREE Li’l Herc Kids Fest from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, November 21, with two theaters showing films including the much touted, “A Sunday Horse.” The special Saturday event is expected to draw a big crowd. Sponsored by Suzanne Kopp-Moskow not only will kids see films but afterwards they will leave the Village East Cinema and walk two blocks to the Pop-Up Gallery where they can choose between face painting, balloon art or their own caricature, which will be done by Li’l Herc artist Beatrice Bulteau. Read more »

You must register, even for the free events. Go to and click on the orange EventBrite button.

by Edge Brewing, a Sponsor of the Equus Film Festival

Top five misconceptions about the horse-drawn carriage industry in NYC

Carriage horse accident NYC Sept 26, 2013.

Guest Post

Elizabeth Forel. Google image.
Elizabeth Forel with former Boston carriage horse Monty. Google image.

There are many misconceptions about the NYC horse-drawn carriage trade.

The primary reason for this is because the media are mostly on the side of the carriage horse industry and have not reported fairly or honestly on this issue.

Here are what I see as the top five most common misconceptions concerning the horse-drawn carriage industry in New York City.

1. If there is a ban, all the horses will go to slaughter.

Intro 573 — the new bill to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC — prohibits the owners from sending their horses to slaughter. However, although the fine is high, the horses are privately owned and it will be up to the drivers whether they send their horses to slaughter or not. It will be difficult to track.

Many organizations have offered homes for these horses. If the owners are willing, there is sanctuary space for all carriage horses.

Since 2005, 581 horses have passed through the NYC carriage trade. The Department of Health does not require sales records for horses sold outside of NYC. We believe many have gone on to livestock auctions and then to slaughter.

Related Reading
What Happens to NYC Carriage horses when they’re “retired”; One Green Planet; December 2, 2014
NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t know manure about carriage horses, (Forbes counters Daily News articles & Mayor Bloomberg);; by Vickery Eckhoff; October 31, 2013

2. The ban will eliminate good union jobs.

These are not “good union jobs.” The Teamsters represent the drivers but as a lobbyist group, for which they charge $60 a month dues. Not everyone is a member and those who are get no benefits – no medical, vacation or sick days.

Intro 573, the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages, will provide the drivers customized job training tailored to their needs and also offer medallions for green taxis to the owners.

This peculiar union effort is to protect the Entitled 68 – the owners – with no consideration for the more than 200 workers, most of whom are nothing more than independent contractors.

3. This is not an animal rights issue – it is about the stable property.

False. Our organization began this campaign in 2006 because of the inhumane conditions endured by the horses. We have no interest in the stable property.

However, because the head of one of the organizations involved with the ban is a retired real estate developer, this unfounded rumor got started.

The stables are privately owned and it will be up to the owners to decide when, if, and to whom they want to sell.

Furthermore, the stables located on W. 37th and W. 38th Street are in the path of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment project, which has been going on for more than ten years.

Related Reading
Step-by-step truth about NYClass and the carriage horse stables (not what you think); carriagehorsesnyc.blogspot; December 27, 2014

New York City carriage horse in cramped stall. Google image.
New York City carriage horse in cramped stall. The horses are not allowed to graze. Forage is critical for many reasons, with two important ones being digestive tract health, and horse behavior. Google image.

4. The horses get five weeks “vacation” every year.

The horses may legally work 9 hours a day, 7 days a week, 47 weeks a year on the tough, unforgiving streets of NYC.

When they go back to the stables, they are put in their small stalls and stay there until the next day when their routine begins again. There is no turn out to pasture. (Why this is important)

The Department of Health neither requires a list of facilities where the horses go, nor do they provide for inspections.

There is evidence to suggest that some of the horses may actually be worked on Amish farms in exchange for a place to “vacation.” Horses need daily turn out to pasture – not a “vacation.”

Related Reading
The truth about those vacations; carriagehorsesnyc.blogspot; October 14, 2014

5. This is a heavily regulated industry overseen by four City agencies.

Although there are many regulations governing this industry, most of them – especially the “street” regulations – are not enforced and many of the drivers blatantly violate the law.

The ASPCA gave up humane law enforcement in January 2014 and the NYPD was supposed to have taken over. It has not been realized.


Elizabeth Forel is the president of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in NYC, which was founded in 2006 in response to a horrific accident involving a spooked carriage horse who was killed. A long time vegan and advocate for all animals, she has been involved with the carriage horse issue since the early 1990s. She is the author of many articles and opinion pieces on this topic, most of which can be found on the website

For more on this issue, please see Elizabeth Forel, Ban of The Horse-Carriage Trade in New York City; Vegan Publishers; January 23, 2014.