Love horses? Treat yourself, or someone you know, to a Central Park horse-carriage ride.
Horses are domesticated animals that thrive when working and interacting with people.
You can see it at the Central Park carriage stands where these gentle giants will lower their heads so children and adults can stroke their soft faces and pat their long necks. You can see it on the carriage paths as these magnificent creatures walk with confidence and grace through the pastoral oasis.
Too many horses face a much grimmer reality. Hundreds of thousands of horses in the United States lack proper food, shelter or exercise because they don’t have anyone willing or financially able to care for them. More than 100,000 are slaughtered annually.
New York City’s carriage horses, on the other hand, have a purpose — a sustainable job — that generates resources to help pay for their food, shelter and medical care. They’ve been pulling carriages through the park since the day it opened, providing green tours since 1858.
Most of the carriage horses are draft horses, 1,000-2,000-lbs. animals that have been bred for centuries to plow fields, haul goods and transport people. They are genetically hardwired, mentally and physically, for exactly these activities.