Horses are my passion and my purpose. I am a trainer and riding instructor. That said, I have to weigh in here. While I do agree that having the horses staged inside Central Park is smarter, safer and healthier for the horses, I have to call bullshit on much of the rest of this video.
First off, horses aren’t “shackled” into their carriages. They wear driving harness which is made of leather and sheepskin and fitted properly would be like a person wearing a safety harness.
They don’t have “painful” bits in their mouths. Yes, the bit is metal, but it rests in a spot in their mouths where there are no teeth below it, so it’s not pressing against anything sharp. Unless the owner has neglected dental care, which could happen with any horse, not just carriage horses. Carriage drivers have to keep their horses comfortable and healthy if for no other reason than they are their livelihood. People are not going to hire a broken down nag to pull them around NYC.
Next, horses are energy conservers. Even my horses who have free run daily, mostly just stand around. They do this because in the wild, food is scarce and if they spent all day frolicking they’d waste precious calories. So standing around waiting for a fair isn’t mental torture to a horse. They’re lazy by nature. Physically it’s not the best to stand on concrete though, so there’s that.
Unfortunately, horses of all breeds and disciplines end up at auctions, where yes, there are kill buyers. Until the US puts a stop to the export of horse meat, this won’t stop. But it’s not specifically a carriage horse issue.
Finally, ALL horses lay down and roll when they’re turned out. Rolling isn’t marker of a horse who’s “probably never felt grass before”