Horse Care

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Intro | Giving Back | Horse Care | What Vets Say | Union Support

How the Horses Are Cared For

New York City has a strong and effective regulatory apparatus that ensures the Central Park carriage horses are healthy and content. Five NYC governmental agencies provide oversight and enforcement of the city’s horse-carriage regulations, which are the most expansive of their kind in the entire country.

The city licenses the carriage drivers, inspects the vehicles and stables, reviews equine medical records, and dispatches veterinarians to investigate any reported incidents or concerns. The horses have the same veterinarian as the New York City Police Department’s vaunted Mounted Police Unit – and owners and drivers dedicated to their wellbeing.

Outside horse veterinarians who have visited the stables, reviewed operations, and checked on the horses have all concluded they are receiving the food, shelter, medical care, and appropriate physical activity that horses need to thrive.  

Here are some NYC Carriage Horse Facts

  • Receive at least 5 weeks of vacation on pastures per year. Many spend several months on farms.
  • Can only be “on-duty” and available for rides a maximum of 9 hours a day. On-duty time includes the hours horses spend standing at rest on Central Park’s hack lines waiting for customers.
  • Do not work in harsh storms, extreme cold, or high heat: temperatures below 19 degrees or above 89 degrees.
  • Wear blankets while standing on the hack line in inclement weather: when it is 40 degrees or below outside, or rainy with temperatures 55 degrees of below.
  • Receive at least two veterinary exams per year.
  • Receive routine vaccinations, de-wormer, and teeth floating.
  • Receive hoof trimmings/new shoes every 4-6 weeks. Shoes are specially equipped or treated to prevent slipping.
  • Have large box stalls that allow them to easily turn around and lay down.
  • Have 24/7 stablemen that frequently muck their stalls and routinely provide them with clean water/hay.
  • Receive regular grooming by their owners or stablemen.
  • Weigh on average 1,500 pounds and can pull carriages with ease. They are domesticated animals of various breeds that were developed by people over centuries for pulling work.


For more information on our campaign to support this industry contact Frank McCann:  or call him at 917-488-8314.