Thursday, 2 April 2009


Outside my hotel when I was in New York was not (as I would have liked) a useful Yellow Cab rank, but a carriage rank, where the horse-drawn vehicles that take people for a ride through Central Park plied their trade.

While waiting for a Yellow Cab to hove into view, I often stopped to look at the horses as they patiently stood in the sub-zero cold waiting for a fare. On one occasion I captured this moment that is the subject of our latest...


I'd like to know your suggestions for what the horse is thinking or saying.

The closing date for entries is 10 April.


MichaleenFlynn said...

Horses out in "Sub-zero cold"?


What type of hallucinogenics were you on? LOL

First of all, if we ever get below zero here (which is VERY rare, and hasn't happened recently) it would be from wind chill, and it would be at night. And it would be HUGE news. Even 'single digits' forecasts generate HUGE news.

Furthermore, the carriage horses are not allowed to be out in temps below 18 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for your pic, that is one cute horse, enjoying a nice scratch.

Brian Sibley said...

Well, all I know is that when I was there (Jan 20-24) Central Park was under a blanket of snow that took three days to even begin to melt (you can see photos here) and the low temperatures were HUGE NEWS...

Incidentally, there's a photo on the web, taken in Brooklyn that week, of a petrol station sign incorporating a thermometer that reads 14˚F at 16:00 hrs.

Of course, rather than 'sub-zero', I should have said 'below freezing' and - taking 32˚F as freezing - that they most certainly were!

As for the picture, I know the horse was just having a scratch, but it looks (to my weird sense of humour) as if it was scrutinising the bike, hence the request for a caption along the lines of similar competitions on this blog.

Anyway, thanks for the clarification that led me to your blog, which is fascinating. Next time I come to NYC maybe we can meet and take a carriage ride together through (hopefully) a rather warmer Central Park! :-)

Anonymous said...

I can believe it. The horses are worked illegally when the weather is too hot or too cold. That's right, the law stipulates how hot/hot cold, but the law is completely disregarded. Just check youTube and the snowstorm of Dec. 19. Also see tourists overcharging. This "industry" is disgusting and needs to be shut down. Cash only, overcharging, no revenue to city, and the horses--well, they suffer a lot. Then they're done. No telling what the horse is thinking.

Brian Sibley said...

I don't normally post anonymous comments and it was not my intention with this post to open a controversy but clearly this is a subject that raises a lot of strongly-held feelings.

Details of the opposition to the Central Park carriage trade are reported here on YouTube and MichaleenFlynn's blog counters some of the accusations that have been made.

This competition topic was innocently instigated and several amusing (and totally uncontroversial) entries have already been received. I hope more will follow.

Brian Sibley said...

I have certainly opened a can of worms and I don't regret it if it also opens my (and others') eyes to what is clearly a serious - and hotly debated - topic.

A reader has sent this link to a disturbing blog,Horsewatch NYC.

Brian Sibley said...

SHEILA writes...

It's interesting that your light-hearted comp has conjured up some strongly worded responses: it's good that an innocent remark can highlight matters of concern for those of us who were previously unaware of them. So, well done!