Yes, There Was An Accident

Late Monday night, an SUV carrying 3 adults and 4 children rear ended a Chicago Carriage heading home after a shift downtown. The 4 children were treated at Lurie hospital and released. The driver of the carriage has a broken wrist but is otherwise fine. Milo the horse is fine, and has been checked over by Inspector Holcomb from Chicago’s Animal Care and Control.

So what does this mean?

Does it mean this?

I don’t THINK so. What both of these recent tweets fail to mention is that the horse and carriage didn’t collide with an SUV, but rather the SUV collided with the horse and carriage.

And I have to ask, how does an attentive driver not see an oversize dapple grey horse pulling a large white carriage with a highly reflective slow moving hazard triangle?

wtf_true_blood

Were you paying attention? Were you driving too fast? Were you distracted? Were you on your PHONE?

Instead of questioning whether horse drawn carriages should be in Chicago, maybe we should be asking more important questions?

 

 

 

More Support Arrives For Chicago Carriages

Awesome!

Many thanks to Illinois Horsemen’s Council member and Antique Coach & Carriage owner Debbie Hay for getting this great letter of support from the Council!

Microsoft Word - Honorable Rahm Emanuel.docx

Microsoft Word - Honorable Rahm Emanuel.docx

 

And with the help of Dr. Sheryl S. King, President of the Horsemen’s Council, Chicago Horse and Carriage owner Larry Ortega received this great letter from the Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources!

preview

Good Stuff!

 

Go Pickle!

Check out this great new video made about one of our Chicago carriage horses!

We’ve watched Pickle since the beginning, as a newbie in town, to becoming one of the cutest greys to pull a carriage. How great is it to see him become a star?!

How Can You Help?

Romance

We get a lot of questions asking how someone can help keep horse drawn carriages in Chicago.

1.Contact your city alderman. Politely tell them you want carriages in Chicago. Not sure who your Alderman is? Check here.

Capture

2. Keep up to date with our Facebook page and Twitter account. Share our message with your friends to spread the word

3. If you speak with someone who’s uncertain about the conditions of the horses, be informative! Point them to the resources that can help them understand the love and care our horses are given every day!

4. If you are unduly harassed by protesters when taking a carriage ride, contact the police! You have rights!

5. Share the message! We are always willing to talk to people about their concerns–we love to talk about our horses!

Antique Coach and Carriage

Great Lakes Horse and Carriage

Chicago Horse & Carriage

Do you have a great carriage story to share? Please comment in the thread beneath this message and include any pictures of your ride!

Where Do the Horses Go?

Radical animal rights activists believe carriage horses go to slaughter once their working days are over.

Elizabeth Forel is quite outspoken in her beliefs. 

Peta is certain carriage horses are what’s for dinner.

And if you ask this guy, well:

You can watch the whole video if you want, but I can’t be held responsible for any loss of brain cells. This guy’s a real wunderkind.

Anyway, if we listen to these folks, carriage horses are the wildebeest of the horse world, basically feeding everyone from lovers of Aldi’s lasagna to Fido to that weird kid who ate glue in Kindergarten.

So, these pictures and videos of retired carriage horses must be super rare footage of almost mythical creatures, right?

Meet Roger. He has his own Facebook page, and his retirement was profiled by the New York Daily News:

 

And meet Caruso. This Chicago horse retired and now packs a little kid around the hunter ring.

10153837_836605899687961_686556057817158594_n 10015164_836605889687962_2441468209438539493_n 10171889_836605876354630_9183220047557607544_n 1422464_836605866354631_5278045354564223757_n

And then there’s Toby, who retired after pulling a carriage in his owner’s funeral.

IMG_0874

I guess if we knew retired carriage horses were so rare, we wouldn’t have been giving them away to loving families for all these years.

Unless perhaps,

GASP!

 

…could the animal rights activists so proudly beating their drums be mistaken? I mean, retired carriage horses running around in fields with goats, packing little kids around show rings, and relaxing in pastures just don’t make very convincing arguments, now do they?

Have a retired carriage horse? Share your pics with us and we’ll include them here!

 

 

Chicago Owner/Driver Jim Rogers Defends His Livelihood

 From WBBM: “The three companies that run two dozen horse carriages in the city are gearing up to fight what they see as a misguided attempt to put them out of business. Mike Krauser reports.”

More Support Arrives From Veterinarians!

Two more letters of support have arrived from vets familiar with the horses working in Chicago!

Jim Rogers

Professional Letter

 

Many thanks to Drs. Smith and Beatty for taking time out of their busy schedules to support working horses in Chicago!

The Clock Ticks

1501-map-assoc

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

 

Voices of Reason

Many thanks to Dr. John J. Hanover, DVM and Dr. Garry J. Fedore, DVM for these excellent letters they have written in support of our industry!

Inexperienced personal opinions may deem carriage horses working in urban environments to be unhealthy or cruel. But veterinarians spend many thousands of dollars, and countless hours of education to gain their experience. Aren’t they the only ones truly qualified to evaluate whether an individual horse is or is not healthy? Shouldn’t their professional observations mean more than the personal opinions of those without verifiable experience? And importantly, if the veterinarian has performed an actual in-person physical examination on the animals in question, don’t their observations mean more than ones made by those with no first-hand experience with the horses?

 

Microsoft Word - John J Hanover Edit.docMicrosoft Word - John J Hanover Edit.doc

doc01085120140212135128 (1)

More to follow…

Keep Chicago's historical horse drawn carriages where they belong–in Chicago!