The Clock Ticks


Let’s face it–horse drawn carriages are an easy target for radical animal rights activists and grandstanding politicians. Carriages operate beneath the magnifying glass of a sensationalist public eye. They thrive in a marketplace crowded with cabs, pedicabs, tour buses, Segways, bicycles, and so many other ways to view the city. Horses are farm animals planted in the middle of the least-rural environment possible. They don’t smell like the city, they don’t look like the city, and they don’t sound like the city.

tosouthnewCity dwellers’ senses are dulled by an endless expanse of concrete and glass, the inescapable drone of gas powered engines. No silent places exist in the city, and no organic soundtrack accompanies the rat race. Humans create urban jungles as giant repositories of man-made ingenuity. Residents lose themselves and their histories in the never-ending march to work, eat, buy, repeat.

horse drawn carriage1Put someone in the back of a horse drawn carriage and take them to the quietest street possible, where the city speaks in a whisper. The hollow, rhythmic footfalls of the horse entice the heartbeat to slow, the muscles to relax. Anxiety melts, if only for a while, and people breathe deeper, easier. Children often fall asleep in the back of a carriage, and conversations lull. Magic. Peace. Harmony.

Wv-heavenly-sunset-farm-scene_-_Virginia_-_ForestWanderHumans didn’t always molder away beneath fluorescent lights, parked in ergonomic seats, cultivating lists of friends they’ll never meet, and money they’ll never touch. We once enjoyed the sunlight, earned our lives from the soil we nurtured and the creatures who walked beside us.

c50919fa6242fa5ab251ffe0ec51b631The horse is a simple animal. They like to eat, they like to sleep, and they enjoy being horses. Hundreds of years of domestication have developed in them an expectation of human assistance: we bring the food, we soothe them when they become nervous, we are a part of their normal. Domestication happened, and in the process, animals became our cohorts in life. No matter what Peta believes, horses need us, and in return, we share their experience of the world. Stand next to a horse and feel their quiet strength. Place an ear against their side and listen to the vast expanse of their breath. The hand cannot resist the softness of horse’s nose.

Perhaps they need us less than we need them, and for this, we owe them our unflagging loyalty. We are caretakers for the wildness they no longer possess. We incorporate them into our lives and businesses, and in exchange, they remind us of who we once were. To eliminate horses from our cities at the insistence of extremists seeking to sever our ties with the animals who journey with us through life, destroys another link to a time when we were better: happier, healthier, calmer, and wiser.

“To that which you tame, you owe your life.” —Stacey O’Brien


6 thoughts on “The Clock Ticks”

  1. Save the horses. I tried to give it a “like” but the Web site wouldn’t let me. Probably another someone trying to get me to make another login name. Save the horses in Chicago. Forget PETA and their crazy extremism. Don’t hunt animals. Get them at the grocery store where no animals are hurt. Hunting takes care and sacrifice. No one supports deer, geese, pheasants, wild turkeys, or any other game animals…..except the hunters. Riding horses, using horses, is a part of our culture. I have never met a horse owner that wasn’t three shades deep in their love of the animals. Also, horses are a major part of Illinois economy and tourism. The Illinois horse industry is more productive and valuable than Kentucky’s. Research it. I dare you.

    1. Amen! Our country is unfortunately packed full of idiots with ignorance running thick! If they knew anything about the connections and bonds between horses and their owners, trainers and/or caretakers they would understand that in most cases those horses are taken better care of than some people take care of their children!

  2. PETA is a pack of fools! Pay no attention to the idiots. They are headquartered 20 miles east of me in Norfolk VA and, since I can see first hand what kind of actual evil they do, I can tell you not to take them seriously. I have been a horse trainer for 35 years and run a rescue/rehab barn. I know all too well what an abused horse looks like. Chicago’s horses are far from abused. keep up the fight.

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