Walk. Not ride. Stop carriage cruelty
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As a local I enjoy walking Front St. and seeing the river on one side and local shops and restaurants on the other. It's a place I am proud to call home. However, that pride is shattered when straight down Market St. is a very public display of animal cruelty. Horse drawn carriages are a thing of the past. Their transportation is unnecessary in Wilmington NC. I grew up on a farm and I rode my first horse before I could walk. I understand and respect these animals and growing up I always remembered to put their needs before my own. After a trail ride you unsaddled your horse, rinsed off (hooves to back so their body temp. doesn't change too quickly) fed and watered them and put away their tack before leaving the barn. This went without hesitation because it was my job to look out for them. On our rides they looked out for me. Now, I am trying to look out for these horses. Even though they have on shoes, horses are naturally sensitive to hard surfaces.North Carolina Cruelty to Animal Statues 14-360 states that by definition "cruelty" and "cruel treatment" includes unjustifiable physical pain. A tourist attraction designed for a speechless and obedient horse to walk on 120 degree black pavement, past cars and through crowds of people in order for the owner to make money, is unjustifiable. To justify it would imply an animal can be pushed to it's limit. A limit that we as humans created for them. We decided what hurts and doesn't hurt them. So when is it considered unjustifiable? When the physical pain can be seen to the public eye though open wounds or showing ribs? Or is it when the long thick main is pushed back to reveal the eyes that are screaming for help? It's time to shut down the horse drawn carriage rides in Wilmington NC. It's time to help these horses find a life of peace.
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