Beware of the Tactic
Recently, anti-carriage groups have been posting photos of incidents. We will be the first to admit that, yes… incidents happen. Sometimes a horse is walking and it trips and falls, just as you or I would trip and fall. You know what happens next? The horse stands up and walks back to the barn, we call a vet, the vet clears the animal, and it can go back to work that day.
However, the anti-carriage groups across Charleston, and the country, have continued to use pictures of “collapsed” horses from years ago. We place quotations around the word “collapsed” because by definition this is a strong word for what these images show. The definition of collapsed goes as follows: to fall down and become unconscious, typically through illness or injury. First of all, when our horses fall down, they are not unconscious, nor are they ill, nor are they injured. The horses are smart enough to stay still and wait to be unhitched from their equipment before being helped back up to standing.
Not only does the anti-carriage group terminology exaggerate these incidents, their groups across Charleston, and the country, continue to use old incident pictures from years ago. They continuously highlight several images that elicit the greatest reactions, the pictures where the horse is on it’s side looking distressed. They never show images of the horse standing back up, walking back to the barn, and when necessary taking a few days to relax on the farm outside of the city.
When it comes to reacting to posts of carriage horses on the ground please proceed with caution. As members of the carriage industry, we strive to limit incidents as much as possible, but acknowledge sometimes things happen. It’s up to the public to recognize that the recycling of images of “collapsed” horses makes it appear as if the industry often has serious incidents, when it reality, this is not the case.