Glee star goes undercover to expose abused NYC horses

Glee star Lea Michele went undercover to expose what horses who pull carriages in New York City go through and the horrible conditions in which they live. She’s asking people to boycott horse-drawn carriages so these horses can have a chance at a life like other horses, to walk one day in pastures filled with grass and live in stalls with proper bedding and enough room to lie down. Watch the video below to get a full understanding of what these horses endure.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Shakedown • January 6, 2011 @ 10:01 AM

    What video??

  2. Shakedown • January 6, 2011 @ 11:02 AM

    Oh the video finally appeared, it took forever. Good on Lea Michele for outing the abusive treatment of these poor animals. I had no idea that horses could be kept anywhere within city limits, never mind on upper floors of abandoned industrial buildings. This is sad……what a life for them…..or I should say, NON-LIFE. I really hope everyone who travels to New York City will make it a point to not only boycott carriage travel, but also to spread the word around about their treatment. Maybe tons of peeps should email the Mayor of New York City and complain about how these animals have been treated for far too long. It’s criminal.

  3. Diane • January 6, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

    Very sad.

  4. Linda D • January 6, 2011 @ 1:09 PM

    This is almost as bad as beating or starving them. They need to learn what it is like living that kind of life. People that are in the business of horse drawn carriages should have to live at least a month doing what the horses do. Same hours, same type of quarters etc. Maybe if they did the situation would change. The horses have to be depressed. They need to have a grass paddock and some time they can relax with other horses. Their stalls need to be bigger and they need better food. They DO NOT need to be in the exhaust 24/7 and shouldn’t be used every day. People get 2 days off a week and horses should have more. Yes some of these men do love their horses but they need time to just be horses some of the time. The fumes and concrete is bad for them. Give them a break. Yes, I am a horse lover and it hurts to see them like that all of the time. People get holidays so give them some too. You will have a better horse for it.

  5. Sharon Wild • January 6, 2011 @ 1:26 PM

    It’s just like the conditions in Black Beauty all over again! It’s the new millenium, horses are animals and deserve to be treated properly. I hope someone can put an end to the abusive treatment and unsuitable conditions!

  6. Danielle • January 6, 2011 @ 1:50 PM

    I don’t live anywhere near NY and had no idea this kinda of treatment went on for such a splendid animal!! It’s disgusting! It should be criminal! Where is the law? This treatment and living quarters need to STOP!

  7. Shakedown • January 6, 2011 @ 2:02 PM

    If anyone wishes to email the Mayor of New York City to express concerns about the way their carriage horses are housed, worked and kept, this is contact link for Michael Bloomberg, the mayor. Please don’t hesitate to send a complaint. htt…p://
    It might also help to include the video link made by Lea. I’ve emailed this information and the link to the Mayor’s office and the video link to everyone on my emailing list. Please do so as well, and encourage everyone on your list to write the Mayor and have something done about this. We can all help make a difference for these poor horses.

  8. Shakedown • January 6, 2011 @ 2:04 PM

    If you can’t click on this link for Mayor Bloomberg, you can copy and paste it into your browser.

  9. Shakedown • January 6, 2011 @ 2:08 PM

    Sorry, just erase the dots between the two t’s and the p at the beginning and it will work. I don’t know how the dots got in there. Resending….

  10. Renee Adams • January 6, 2011 @ 2:35 PM

    Where is the Humane Society in New York..How sad that these beautiful creatures are treated in such a manner!!!I had no idea that the housing of these lovely animals was a cubby hole.I will make sure i pass this info onto to all who were perhaps thinking of a horse-drawn ride through NY…Once more man proves to be the cruel & unjust human being(human -with my tongue in cheek)

  11. Renard • January 6, 2011 @ 5:29 PM

    Mayor Bloomberg’s daughter is a Grand Prix rider (Georginia Bloomberg), hopefully he’ll listen and make changes if enough people write him.

  12. Mary • January 6, 2011 @ 6:23 PM

    Post this videeo on your Facebook the more people who see it the more aware we will become of how these beautiful animals are treated. It gets pretty hot in NYC in the summer months and pretty damn cold in the winter.

  13. Irony • January 6, 2011 @ 7:32 PM

    Man its going to be funny when horses are banned in NYC and the dozens of horses that currently work in the city are shipped to the Glue Factory. What? You guys really think someone is going to pay to keep these horses in some pasture? Ha!

  14. Karen • January 6, 2011 @ 8:01 PM

    Are you out of your mind? To bad you don’t have any ‘horse sense’ becaus if you did you’d know horses must work to stay healthy. The lies you’re telling will cause hundreds (or more) horse to be slaughtered because of you ignorance. Take to horse owners, people who know and love horses and maybe, just maybe you’ll begin to understand and educate yourself.

    Anyone re-posting this piece of fraudulant information is causing harm and no good will come of this.

  15. Horse Lover • January 6, 2011 @ 8:35 PM

    These horses have it so much better than the ones in the custody of “Voices for Horses” and “Another Chance 4 Horses” otherwise known as AC$H….

  16. Con Nguy • January 6, 2011 @ 8:43 PM

    There are over 80,000 unwanted horses slaughtered in North America a year. Depriving a horse of a job means you are most likely depriving it of a life. NYC has regulations that carriage horses can only work so many hours, must be turned out at some point in the season, and have regular vet care and coggins tests.
    There are more people who think a horse can just live wild in a field and eat grass that do harm to a horse than a commercial equine business.
    Instead of taking the word of some so called ‘star’ better to google an interview with a certified vet.

  17. Trinity • January 6, 2011 @ 9:38 PM

    I’m truly sorry this “research” has been posted. There are laws against carriage horses working in heat over 89F or below 18F. Carriage horses have water all day – there are buckets full under the carriage, plus every horse passes by a trough on EACH trip.

    They are well cared for. Protected with MANY laws and have less vices and problems than sport-horses. They get turnout, good feed, regular vet care, and love. If you see a carriage horse with their head hanging while standing around they are RELAXED, a relaxed horse lets their head droop. They also NAP standing up people. If they are angry or upset, they don’t stand like that. God people. Get over yourself and find someone else to pick on.

  18. Angie • January 6, 2011 @ 9:55 PM

    @ Trinity…

    They can’t work below 18F?

    I’m sorry, did you even watch the vid? Did you see the horse WORKING in the snowstorm?

  19. Unicorn • January 6, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

    These are beautiful animals who are doing their jobs. If you actually pay attention, these horses are in beautiful shape, have plenty of water and bedding in their stalls. They may not roam the countryside all day long, but city horses never did and they have existed for hundreds of years. If PETA would get their heads out of their asses, they would realize that the actual problem on our hands is the hundreds of horses who are abused and headed daily for the slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico. These horses in NYC have it pretty good.

  20. Julie K • January 6, 2011 @ 10:50 PM

    “Shes asking people to boycott horse-drawn carriages so these horses can have a chance at a life like other horses, to walk one day in pastures filled with grass and live in stalls with proper bedding and enough room to lie down.”

    What planet did she just beam in from? What millionaire with unlimited funds is going to take all these horses and pay for their upkeep? These animals are loved by their owners. Yes, they work for a living. THEY ARE WORK HORSES. IF YOU TAKE AWAY THEIR WORK THEY ARE DOGFOOD.

  21. society's consciousness • January 6, 2011 @ 10:51 PM

    So Lea Michele wants the horses to relax on an easy chairs or sleep on a comfortable bed, unnatural but ok. She then uses video from Feb. 2007 (4 yrs ago) of an abused horse and talks about conditions that do not allow horses to stretch their legs but don’t they need to rest their legs after stretching them while pulling all the overweight tourists around. If you open your mouth, check the facts, use relevant and substantiated information, don’t make claims that animals do not have easy chairs to garner sympathy.
    FACT: If you do not use it, its useless so it disappears. If the carriage horses did not work and you do not see stray horses running around like cats or dogs then you know they end up and Menu and Canine Foods being made into cat and dog food. Check it out.

  22. Con Nguy • January 6, 2011 @ 11:16 PM

    @ Angie: You do know that it has to be closer to the 30’s to snow….When it’s 18-20 you usually get freezing rain, and sleet. By the way, wild free horses….they live in snow, rain, heat they don’t live in a tropical paradise like the Black Stallion on his island.
    I’m not going to go out and hug a horse, but I’m also not unrealistic and going think there someplace over the rainbow for all of them either. Too many horses/dogs/cats already being slaughtered for no other reason than no one can afford them.

  23. Rita • January 7, 2011 @ 2:53 AM

    Good For You Lea Michele for doing what you did. This sort of thing Shouldn’t be happening in the First place. Why aren’t they being treated humanely? If you want to change this sort of thing, then we all should be able to set up an organization that is run by Us Caring People, so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. Then We inspect all these jobs that have to do with animals and make Sure everything is the way it should be.

    Here in my City the same thing is happening but I’m 90% sure that they aren’t treated as cruel as in nyc, so I vote with my $$$ and Not go on a carriage ride. Then I Don’t contribute to Any1 suffering! How could I Feel that I would have a joyous and exhilarating experience, when in the background the horses only suffer?? When I see a carriage go by, I feel so sad for the horses! How come can any1 think that horses can walk on cement??

  24. Renard • January 7, 2011 @ 10:19 AM

    There are plenty of rescue places that will take these horses. If not in the U.S., then here in Canada. I know of several and as well, people who take in retired horses just because they live in the country, have the land and like to have the horses as pets (pasture ornaments, as we affectionately call them). I own a horse. He is on pasture every single day. Those of you who say these horses get turned out to pasture — where? Central Park? There’s no pasture land in the city of New York. They would have to trailer them out to Connecticut or New Jersey and that costs money.

  25. lambage • January 7, 2011 @ 11:52 AM

    so one or two companies out there mistreat their animals, I’m not buying into this article or the bat s#it craziness of yet another over sensitive actor

  26. Tammy • January 7, 2011 @ 1:36 PM

    You go girl! Get the message out there! Its about time someone spoke up.

  27. Terrence • January 7, 2011 @ 2:25 PM

    I’d like to address some of the comments from those who don’t think these horses are in dire straits. Yes, horses can sometimes sleep standing up. But they need several hours to lie down (whether sleeping or not) within a 24 hour period because their legs need the rest. And yes, it’s good for horses to work, but most horses work for an hour a day. The rest of the time they’re in a paddock where they can run or lie down. For a horse to stand on its feet without the ability to lie down or rest at any time during a 12 hour period is inhumane. And it doesn’t take a millionaire to give an old horse a home. A horse just needs water and hay. Retired horses don’t need grain. And in the summer, if there’s grass in their paddock, not even that much hay (hay isn’t expensive, and it’s easy to grow if you have an extra field or two at your farm).

  28. Nessa • January 7, 2011 @ 6:57 PM

    Well, that’s a good message. But if you want to see some horses in bad conditions watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet. I totally agree with Lea Michele but I’ve seen it where horses are on farms and still not treated properly. They’re in a field and they get surrounded by mud, their hooves aren’t taken care of, they don’t have clean water and they don’t have proper food to eat. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world. Animals are always being abused by human beings.

  29. Valentina • January 7, 2011 @ 7:04 PM

    I board my rescued from slaughter horses, and volunteer at a draft horse rescue in Ma. They take in retired city carriage horses. They’ve received horses from NY City, and Philadelphia. These horses are and were in excellent condition upon arrival to the rescue. They have no vices, love people, and get noticeably excited when harnessed to give a hay ride, or sleigh ride. They are turned out all day, and stabled/blanketed at night. They do not lie down all day, they stand. They are kept in a herd of about 32, all types of horses. This rescue in question is full…so tell me, if you ban the carriage industry where will they go? Are all the people that think it’s cruel going to adopt these horses? The rescue I volunteer at is run by former carriage drivers. They treat these horses like gold. Anyone who has ever had a horse knows that domesticly raised horses need to work, wether it be carriages, farm work, riding. Truth is PETA wants them all free, well maybe PETA should get involved in the absurd mustang round ups in the west. I think being chased by helicopter for miles is a hell of alot more abusive then walking around the city. And the standing with the head down… this is how horses NAP. The horses at the rescue stand in the sun and do this, they also have the ability to decide to be in or out at night, these same horses will CHOOSE to stand out in the snow, letting it pile on their backs, when they have shelter they could go into. Horses that spend several winters on the east coast grow massivly thick coats…Research the overall carriage industry, look at safety records compared to pedestrain deaths in the cities, these horses get care…You take their jobs away, then what?

  30. Jamie Klarke • January 7, 2011 @ 7:53 PM

    Girrrl you need MARTHA herself on board with this…
    WHY ARE THERE STILL CARRIAGE RIDES IN NY, THIS ISN’T 1800. IT’S AN ANTIQUATED NOTION OF A TIME LEFT BEHIND THAT SOME STUPID PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KEEP ALIVE AT THE EXPENSE OF AN ANIMAL’S HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. THE HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE HAS BEEN USURPED BY A MUCH BETTER ADAPTATION OF PUBLIC TRANSIT… the RICKSHAW. If a workhorse were out in sweltering heat it would search for shade. And not many horse-keepers would be working a horse in fridged temperatures without retiring them to a comfortable stable, on ground level. This is on of the biggest fuct-sandwiches i’ve ever seen. If the average tourist wasn’t so stupid this would have been shut down long ago.
    At least some people are trying to make it less fuct.
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada has a donkey and horse sanctuary. Send a few up here. Like Renard said.


  31. michelle • January 7, 2011 @ 9:53 PM

    please post this video on your Facebook and Twitter to spread this horrible things they did on those poor horses. please save these beautiful innocent animals from the greedy heartless people.

  32. Amanda • January 7, 2011 @ 10:47 PM

    Man I am sick that people do that to horses, I have been on a cairrage ride but I live in the country so the horse are heathly and happy, when the owners do not look after their animals, were they are force to live a terrble place, make me sick, I am glad that someone is speaking out about this.

  33. Jodie • January 11, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

    Do you have any idea about what really goes on in a stable? Adult horses DO NOT lie down to sleep! Where do you think the horses of today have come from? They were bred to work for humans and it is only in the last century that they became a luxury not a necessity. If you get people to boycot the carriage rides, those animals will no longer have a use and WILL BE PUT DOWN! It is expensive to house, feed and vet a horse and if their owners can no longer make a living with them, they will be killed. If you want more regulations, sure, go for it, but a boycot will be the death of them all.

  34. Katie • January 12, 2011 @ 10:34 AM

    Jodie, you’re the one who has no idea. I have a horse and over the 10 years since I first bought him, I have seen him lie down to rest on a daily basis. He especially likes to lie down in the morning and on sunny days, will lie down for hours, basking in the sun. At 16, he is an adult horse. When I first got him at six, he also laid down because every horse, no matter what the age, needs to lie down for several hours a day to take the stress off their joints. A horse that never lies down will not have legs that will be able to support them if that goes on long enough. It may be expensive to keep the horses in downtown NYC, but on a farm, horses are not expensive to keep and many people do, just as pets. They do not have to be put down. Those carriage horses could have many uses if they were moved to the country — riding schools, pets, trail ride horses (they’re probably extremely quiet and well-behaved). This wouldn’t mean the end of their lives, but the end of the worst part of their lives if they were sold to people who could care for them properly. There are a lot of people with big hearts who care for unwanted horses and find them good homes. I know several people who do that, including a trainer who (for free, because she loves horses) trains abused, neglected and/or unwanted horses to be quiet riding horses, then finds new owners.

  35. TruthBeTold • January 14, 2011 @ 1:56 PM

    Every time I think I’ve seen the extent of human cruelty, another example is thrown in my face. WHY do we think we can treat other living creatures this way? I can only hope and pray that karma exists and the perpetrators of these horrendous injustices suffer a similar fate in this life or their next. How sickening it is to be part of this pathetically weak and horrifying race called human beings.

  36. Jackie • January 18, 2011 @ 1:58 PM

    I may not know much about horses but I think she might have done better with her pitch. For honestly it didn’t seem like she was talking about horses but was going. Okay now pretend you have skinny legs and are forced to carry five hundred pounds every day and all you can do is crap in your bedroom after a hard days work and you don’t have hands to clean up your bedroom of this shit and no mouth to go hey I can’t do this here!.

    Also other people are right, if you boycott. Things will only get worse, so if I ever go to NY I most likely will take one of those carrage rides for I know that the horse is going to live for another day. Also I doubt NY is as cold as Canada and I’m sure that they actually offer blankets for when it gets too cold for them. For if you have to bundle, so would the horse.

  37. mmabett • April 25, 2011 @ 1:32 PM

    Save all animals from the cruelty of humans. Speak to your local politician. Animals need rights.

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