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We provide horse drawn carriage and wagon services, as well as pony rides for ANY occasion.
We are family owned and operated and offer over 30 years of horsemanship experience.  We are fully insured and guarantee the best, most reliable quality services for your event.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Drama vs. Truth

I could go on and on about this topic, but I'm strapped for time right now. As many know, there has been a longstanding battle over shutting down the carriage business in New York City (Philadelphia  has also been targeted, but not on such grand a platform). It boils down to politics and animal rights extremists vs. the carriage drivers and horse owners. The other day, friends posted this to our Facebook page:

This whole issue reeks of ignorance. The saddest part is that the bandwagon is full of ill-informed mouth pieces with louder microphones than the ones in the know.

The ASPCA itself has set regulations for the carriage horses, and even has staff that keep watch on how long each horse is on shift to make sure that they’re not being overworked, that they are not working in extreme conditions (heat/cold), and that they are kept humanely. Horses are meant to work. They are healthier, and I like to think happier though I've never actually seen a horse smile (well, maybe I have but people will think I’m crazy), when they are working and fit. In fact, it is much healthier for a horse to be working rather than a living lawn ornament whether it be as a carriage horse, work horse (plowing, hauling, farming), riding horse, or any other physically active type of horse. Inactive, barn-kept horses are more unhealthy, and quite honestly, not happy horses.

So, instead of choosing to clearly inform their viewers (some of the NYC stables are on prime real estate  that friends of politicians want to develop in addition to other hidden agendas), this local news station decided to fill a time slot by jumping aboard the abuse-to-animals train that has long plagued New York City carriage drivers, their horses, and the livelihoods of both. Choosing to spread the wealth of ignorance rather than researching and reporting the underlying reasons for the proposed ban because it might mean standing up to political agendas driven by the thickness of their wallets and elected position of probable corrupt power, because--why? It's easier? It's what the public wants? It's what sells? Oh wait, they did interview very reliable horse owners from Happy Trails--great people who are experienced and skilled in the craft of horsemanship with reputable facilities, horses, and services--but what about the whole story? I fully appreciate the reporter having sought out horsemen for their views and valid opinions--that in itself is quite commendable--but it's not enough.

What ever happened to investigative reporting and telling the whole story rather than pure sensationalism and a twisted idea of what the public wants to hear? I, personally, am tired of the drama for the sake of drama. Not only in relation to this topic, but several:  it's going to snow (close the schools and streets for an inch), it's going to be cold (bring in your pets, it's going below 30), a brick fell from a building (reporter tosses an already-fallen brick while standing in supposed harm's way). This isn't a prime time drama. It's not supposed to be entertaining for the sake of ratings. It's supposed to be the news. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it. And all of it. I’m tired of having to do my own research to get to the real story because I can only trust a minuscule amount of the information that I get from the news. What sells is important? No, truth is what's important! And reporting the truth, all angles of it, should be a moral, ethical, and unequivocal requirement for any newscaster, reporter, writer, or analyst. 

For the record:

According to an editorial written by actor Liam Neeson in support of the carriage workers "the city’s horse-drawn carriages have made an estimated 6 million trips in traffic in the past 30 years, most ending up in Central Park. Four horses have been killed in collisions with motor vehicles, with no human fatalities." That's much better than the multitude of automobile accidents in the city. Or, the amount of courier accidents while weaving in and out of traffic on their bicycles. He also noted that "the horse carriage trade is a “humane industry that is well regulated by New York City’s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs.” This past weekend, picketers paced outside his NYC home protesting his support.

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