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Peggy Parker – 1988

One oppressively hot July day, I walked into a carriage horse stable.

Up a steep ramp to the second floor were about twenty horses, all confined in narrow standing stalls. Ventilation was non-existent, two tiny window fans were not working. There was no bedding, urine pooled around mounds of manure at horses’ feet. The stalls had no water or salt blocks. The communal watering-trough was bone-dry. The heat and odor was overwhelming.

The lone attendant showed me his all-black horse, “Misty,” whom he had purchased a few weeks before for $300. “She was cheap, had a big bump on her forehead. She’s my night horse,” he informed me. A “night horse” is used after dark, and is often unsightly or unfit.

Only three weeks later, Misty was dead. She had come back to her stable at 5:30 a.m. bleeding from the nose and mouth. She collapsed and suffered for an hour before a vet was called. The diagnosis was heat stroke resulting from dehydration. Apparently, Misty had been driven all night on city asphalt, but never given water. She was destroyed and her body dumped on a pier.

Misty’s short life and death in the canyons of New York, like the fate of so many other carriage horses, went unnoticed.

We are dedicated, however, to bringing simple humane treatment to these helpless creatures, and not only improving their working and living conditions, but also the safety of the public.

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