Well, they are for horse drawn carriage operators at least. The city of Montreal in Canada has just withdrawn its licensing for horse-drawn carriages and removed the vehicles from its historic streets, thanks to horse welfare concerns.
Having worked for nearly five-years in the tourist carriage industry, we fully understand and appreciate the concerns people have for horses participating in this type of work, and that’s why our carriage tours have always placed horse welfare at the core of everything we do.
#1. Our horses only work when we have a tour booked. This means no standing for hours in all weathers waiting for clients. In fact, they only come out of the field half an hour before we pick up the passengers, meaning they are always happy, well fed and fully hydrated.
#2. We have one carriage and three horses all able to pull it. This means if one of our horses should be feeling under the weather for any reason, they don’t work and we use a different horse.
#3. We only accept summer bookings during the early morning or late evening, meaning our horses are not hot, stressed or tired when they participate in carriage work.
#4. We only choose routes which are flat, with good footing, so our horses are never asked to pull more than they are capable of, and comfortable doing.
#5. Our carriage is a modern reproduction of a Vis a Vis model. This means its considerably lighter than traditional historical carriages, (and much more comfy too!), it not only rolls well, but has modern features such as brakes, double rear springs, etc.
#6. Our harness is the only Biothene/leather Amish made harness in Bulgaria. It was made to measure in the US, using the knowledge gained over hundreds of years of working with heavy horses and is designed to fit perfectly with no pressure points.
#7. Plus of course, our horses live out, as a herd in a natural setting, have locally sourced forage and all-natural feeds, with professional and regular hoof and veterinary care.