Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
Buy the #EatForThePlanet book



To many people, horse carriage rides are the epitome of elegance and grace: a gentle reminder of a simpler, more slow-paced era. After all, what could be more romantic than taking in the sights of a new city the old-fashioned way? Sadly, the reality behind horse carriage rides is not always so romantic. In places such as New York City, Rome, London, or Melbourne, where this mode of transport has prevailed for many years, the defense of “tradition” is often used to downplay members of the public’s concerns about horse and human safety.

Many people recognize that a crowded, noisy city is not the healthiest environment for a horse. Far from it, as a matter of fact: in New York City, many horses have caused accidents or fatally injured themselves after becoming spooked by unexpected incidents or veering out of their intended lane. NYPD records from October 2009 to April 2014 revealed that twenty-five accidents took place during that time frame only, with at least twelve of these being described as “hit-and-run” incidents (in which the driver allegedly fled the scene) by animal welfare groups. The current NYC mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to end the practice but has taken little action on this pledge since he assumed office in 2014.

The reality is, horses don’t belong on the hard asphalt pavement of the city streets, and they suffer immeasurably being forced to work day in and day out pulling people. Common veterinary issues witnessed in carriage horses include muscle and back pain (acquired by the effort of pulling carriages for much of the day), skin irritation and rashes (often associated with the heat and humidity of working in a busy city), hoof deterioration, and tack-related pressure sores and skin ulcers. In cities around the world, wherever horses are used to transport tourists through the busy streets, these animals are deprived of the chance to live the kind of lives that nature intended: where they are free to relax, play and roam as they choose, free from the threat of human interference and exploitation.

A Twitter user recently drew attention to this issue by posting a picture, which shows a clearly dispirited horse waiting for her next work assignment in Rome.

This Sad Image of a Horse and Buggy Reminds us There is No Need to Use These Animals for Transportation


On Twitter, Matthew Dominguez said, “Seeing her so unhappy today in Rome broke my heart. No animal deserves to be abused for our leisure.”

The use of horse-drawn carriages for transport may have been required before the advent of motorized vehicles. However, forcing these animals to work in modern-day cities – where they must contend with damaging exhaust fumes, loud noises, oncoming vehicles, and high temperatures – cannot be regarded as anything more than an unnecessary throwback to a bygone era. A large array of alternative transportation methods are available to present-day urban dwellers – including planet-friendly electric vehicles – so why put these animals through the turmoil of working in an overcrowded city?

For more information on why horse carriage rides are far from romantic, and why you should never buy a ticket to take part in one, check out the articles below.

Image Source: Matthew Dominguez/Twitter

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

25 Dogs Who Have Absolutely Had it With You

What Scarlet the Endangered Orca Who Starved Has Taught Us About Our Impact on the Oceans

Pretty Pit Bulls Get a Floral Boost in a Colorful New Book That Aims to Bust Stereotypes (PHOTOS)

Pretty Pitties Get a Floral Boost in a Colorful New Book

Here’s How YOU Can Help Enact the Most Historic and Impactful Law for Farm Animals in the World

Here’s How YOU Can Help Enact the Most Historic and Impactful Law for Farm Animals in the World

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

163 comments on “Image of a Beleaguered Working Horse Begs the Question of Why Carriage Rides Still Exist”

Click to add comment
John Pasqua
1 Years Ago


Muriel Servaege
1 Years Ago

That horse looks so exhausted. It\'s heartbreaking. Why don\'t people understand that?

1 Years Ago

Except that pictures shows a horse at rest, not an exhausted animal going to give out. Even horses in pasture look like this, but most of the people commenting haven\'t actually gone out of their way to see horses in pasture resting and relaxing.
It is true that this animals have to work, otherwise it causes them many health issues like arthritis and actual pain because they aren\'t able to work out their muscles like they need to be. Which wouldn\'t happen in a field because they would lose those muscles and become weaker, no amount of running and gallivanting about will prevent them from losing their muscles they use here (even retired/pastured horses have to be worked regardless of what you may think - they still have to have their feet and health tended to, sticking them out in a field does not make it acceptable). These places that have carriage rides take incredible care for their animals, I\'m not talking like what most people treat their dogs like, they get day in and day out care that even most humans don\'t get so don\'t even try to lecture me on them being abused. A fully grown draft horse can carry twice its weight without wheels, a carriage is even easier to pull because it has wheels - animal have been bred by humans for this purpose they did not occur naturally but are the product of selective breeding. About like dairy cows, if they aren\'t milked they can get severe infections and other health issues that will kill them - they have been selectively by PEOPLE for this. Many places will mistreat them, but most of the time those places get shut down hard because they are mistreating their animals.
The other fact is what happens when the horse has no place to go and no one can avoid to feed it (they consume more than most other horses, nearly twice as much just to keep their weight on - they are exercised daily to help them because otherwise they would suffer) they go to auctions where they are bought for pennies on the pound, so instead of them having a nice cushy life hauling around maybe a ton of weight for 5-8 years of their life (they have to be trained and cared for until they are old enough to work) they end up on somethings plate. Would you rather them suffer the fate of thirsting and starving until they get to a slaughter house?

Horse require companions, even human companion, they consider them \'herd\' and many people truly love and care for these animals with all their heart and half of you people are quoting PETA that literally says you shouldn\'t own pets (though we selectively bred for them) and spends more money telling little old ladies they should be in hell for having a pet cat that is spoiled rotten and loved for its whole life than actually helping animals! If you truly cared more than just reading this article get outraged at all the suffering going down for poor animals everywhere, not just one little thing that you understand nothing about other than what you have read here. Get outraged at the fact that so many animals are in shelters instead of loving homes, not for the animals that are cared for and every need attended to like these horses. Get outraged that an organisation like PETA can get away with killing so many animals they don\'t even attempt to adopt out!
Don\'t act so high and mighty if you aren\'t even going to delve deeper into the reality of working animals, actually take them time to learn about these industries so you aren\'t completely compelled and blinded by articles like this. Learn animal behavior and maybe you would actually see what this picture is of - a horse at rest, my completely retired gelding did this in his luxurious field for most of his time, rest his soul, he still greeted people like he enjoyed their company even if you weren\'t holding a treat for him.
So unless you people commenting are actually going to do something don\'t start with the "woe is us" and just get back to you life. You want change you start with yourself. Start with the actual injustices put on animals, not with animals highly cared for and revered.

And "One Green Planet" I\'m ashamed of you promoting stories where you bash every other person that doesn\'t fit into your standards, I thought you were about accepting and actually helping people. Not just ragging on everyone that viewed different, you promote violence across the board when you lace articles with your hypocritical writing. At least try and get people to learn about this instead of taking your articles as sooth and the only thing that matters.

04 Sep 2017

..."highly cared for and revered"? They are valued solely as "property". They are forced to live a life not worth living, working until they can no longer stand up. Then it\'s off to the auction and eventually to the slaughterhouse.


05 Sep 2017

Carola, You should probably do research before spewing your ignorance.

I can\'t speak for everywhere, but in NYC the horses actually are well cared-for and revered. And they ARE treated better than most people.

The carriage horses here are required to have breaks, can only work so many hours, and are tightly regulated. Going even further, the people who care for these horses truly do care. It\'s not to say everywhere does it right, but NYC is doing well. Their next step is to limit the areas the horses can go to and travel in, like only around central park.

Cali Schoenhardt
2 Years Ago

Because stupid people do not understand what the animals go through and the stupid animal "un-care" giver only cares about the almighty $$ and not the animal.

Ejas Ahamed Nazeerutheen
2 Years Ago


HsNd Adore
2 Years Ago

Makes my blood boil!!!

HsNd Adore
2 Years Ago

Makes my blood boil!!!

Karen Jane
2 Years Ago

Because people pay for it because they don't feel connected with any other living being or Mother Nature. May all animals be free loved and only know peace and joy

Sue Drew
2 Years Ago

Horrible practice in cities! Carriage rides should be limited to carriage lane in the woods away from noisy cities with pollution & the chance for getting hit by a car! Sad to see these beautiful creatures enduring terrible conditions especially in summer heat! Greed is the only factor --- shut them down!!!

Mike Volpe
2 Years Ago

People shoud stop abusing horses and all animals


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×