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  1. #1
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    Smile Belgian city uses drafties for garbage collection

    http://www.nieuwsblad.be/article/det...MF20110623_196

    Sorry in gobbledygook language, but you can view the piccies .
    Kinda cool and pretty green. I wonder if more towns/cities will follow.
    The city purchased the drafties & trained them specifically to help in the collection of 800 public trash cans, resulting in now only needing 2 trashtrucks vs the previous 3.
    4 cityworkers are in charge of the care of the beasties and they will be used 5 days a week it seems.

    Whilst I'm not in favor of the carriage horses used to show tourists around in many Belgian cities, this idea I actually do like.



  2. #2

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    http://translate.google.com/translat...n&hl=&ie=UTF-8

    There's google's semi-translation.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Oh analise this is so cool, didn't realize you could get that done like this.
    Thanks!



  4. #4
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    Oct. 25, 2007
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    Default

    The google translation is very cool.

    Its also so cool that the Dutch are using horses like that, and I hope they retire them or sell them before they get too old.
    What a great training program and if they continue to recycle them, many folks can get well trained driving horses who will be mighty bomb proof.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  5. #5
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    What a wonderful idea. There are a couple large prison farms in Louisiana that use drafts for garbage collection and other routine farm chores. They also use draft croses as line horses- horses ridden by mounted guards who accompany inmates into the prison farm fields for work details.

    I think horses are a great green alternative for short distance hauling. Much more green than using diesel or gas powered trucks. Some British breweries have actually begun using horse-drawn wagons to deliver beer to pubs close to their particular brewery again.

    And I see nothing wrong with carriage horses and other working horses whether they and drawing carriages full of tourists like the draft mules in the New Orlens French Quarter, or the bride or members of the bridal party, or people going on wagon trail rides.

    Draft horses have been bred for centuries to work. It is a shame that people can't seem to grasp this simple fact. As long as these horses are being properly cared for, and are not being abused, I don't see any problem with horse-drawn vehicles carrying tourists, whoever or whatever.



  6. #6
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    I think its great too to use horses for work.
    However, what I have at issue, is what happens to them at retirement...a retracting rod or a slit to their throat?

    I just think animals that are raised, trained and work closely for humans deserve better than that.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  7. #7
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    I don't know. Some horses get retired in Belgium, but by far not all.
    It's not uncommon to take a horse to slaughter when it cannot perform it's duties anymore. But we are talking small facility slaughterhouses, horse would be taken there privately, not mass transport and the procedure would be relatively clean.
    Euthanasia is also more commonly accepted there vs in the US for horses that can't perform their jobs anymore.
    Land is scarce, retiring isn't as much an option as it would be here, although it is possible and happens more nowadays then 10-20 yrs ago I'd say. An oldie will get a better change at retirement then say your 7yr old youngster gone lame beyond repair.
    I'm not so sure if an early end bothers me that much, provided the horse had a good quality of life.
    I agree they deserve better and in an ideal world I'd like every horse to be able to live their lives out roaming green pastures after serving us humans so kindly, but sadly it's just not possible.

    What I don't like about the carriage horses for tourists, in some cities it's a privately owned deal, the horses are not owned by the city, so the owner him/herself decides how many days the horse puts in, the care etc. I have seen some working the cobblestones with a lost shoe noticeably lame, white foaming sweat & visibly knackered, coz the owner wanted to make a full day's of money for example and so on.
    Regulations thank goodness are good and animal protection organisations like GAIA try to be on top of things quickly.

    Back to the garbage collection idea, I really like it, horses are city owned and cityworkers, specifically trained are responsible for the care of the beasties, so it's going to be well determined how they are cared for and what amount of work is expected.



  8. #8
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    Hmm - wow. Without touching too much on the "anti-carriage horses" here, I have to say I'm appalled. After driving a horse on the streets, giving tourists rides, I can say that not all carriage company owners are evil human beings who don't care about their horses (of course this is in the U.S.)

    The horses I drove were given ample water and shade breaks (off the street) while they worked. When I drove them home to their farm, it was a thirty-acre farm split into two pastures: one for one horse, one for the other. Both had their own barns, and were grained daily as well as treated like the owner's "kids." The four other carriage companies treated their horses similarly (only one didn't.)

    When the one carriage horse was retired, she just became a pasture puff.

    As for the green garbage pickup - I couldn't tell if that was a solar panel on top (perhaps for the safety lights?) I did see, however, that the driver and the bag-handler had helmets - that was cool.
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  9. #9
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    Hydrophile, no need to be appalled, I am not anti-carriage drivers. There are many owners that take care beyond all standards of their horses and I should have mentioned that, re-reading my post it's indeed quite onesided, I didn't mean to address the carriage drivers like that. There's horses taking tourists round in Bruges in their Easyboots, because those owners are concerned about concussion with caulked steel shoes trotting on cobblestones. Don't get me wrong the majority of them are well cared for, but like in any discipline there's all types.
    Hence enforced regulations are necessary and those are in place, but at times I have seen things I would have preferred not to.



  10. #10
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    Carriage driver are easy targets because they work their horses in public. Just last week there was a story about two men in Louisiana arrested for animal abuse because they abandoned a dead horse they claim was "trampled" in the trailer by other horses after he became lame on a trail ride.

    Many, many pleasure horses suffer needless injury and even death because of ignorance or lack of caring on the part of their owners- BUT it's the carriage horses and their owners who get the most "bad press."

    Maybe people just assume that because their owners/ drivers are making money with their horses, that somehow they don't care for them as well as others people don't "make money" with their horses do. Or maybe people still have that "Black Beauty syndrome," from Sewell's book that portrayed the life of a fictional English horse back before there were motor vehicles. They just assume that people who make their living with carriage horses are out to squeeze the last bit of value and work from them before the horses litterally "drop in their traces."

    As far as what happens to carriage horses when they are too old or too injured to continue work- well, what do you think happens to thousands of race horses, event horses, trail horses, show horses and yes, even dressage horses in the same predicament?

    Just as Sewell's classic so aptly portrayed: There are horse owners who love their animals and try to do what's best for them as far as their circumstances and finances will allow, and then there are horse users who use them up and throw them away.

    Most carriage drivers, even those working for privately owned companies, that operate in major cities have a whole series of regulations they have to deal with in order to operate there. The regulations are in place just because there are people who will overwork a horse out of ignorance or lack of concern for the animal's welfare. They are also there because well-meaning people who don't know beans about working with horses over-react to everything including horse poop and piss.

    But since a carriage horse is a major investment, most drivers I know take very good care of their horses, if not out of love and concern, then out of concern for conserving a major asset in their business.

    And FYI- From what I know most carriage horses that can no longer stand the demands of working as city carriage tour horses, but are still sound for light work, are in great demand as special event carriage horses like the horses who "do" weddings, etc. because they are steady and reliable. And there are retirement farms like Blue Star that still work the horses sent to them, if they can work, but provide that final good home.

    The only retired carriage horses "at risk" are those who are no longer sound, but then most horses in any discipline who are unsound are usually the ones at risk of being sent to slaughter or put out to pasture without proper care because of the expense involved in keeping horses and expense involved in euthanizing and disposing of their remains.

    I know vets are "in business" too. But ever wonder why they charge so much so euthanize an injured or old horse? The drugs are not that expensive, but their they see their time as valuable and if they are busy euthainzing someone's old horse "at cost" they can't be rendering other services at full price to other horse owners.

    In most states, attorneys, who are members of one of the most maligned professions, are required to do some "pro bono" work. Ever wonder why doctors and vets are not required to do the same?

    Sorry to have gotten "off topic" but the "problem" of horses who can no longer work is a very difficult one that doesn't have any "easy" answers.

    As far as the heavy horses, which are what most carriage companies have gone to using because of their docility, they are more expensive to keep that "regular" horses. Because of their size, they require more feed. Some farriers will not even work on them, or if they do, they charge extra. Some vets also charge more, too. Just saying.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieslot View Post
    Hydrophile, no need to be appalled, I am not anti-carriage drivers.
    I realize that tone cannot be conveyed online - no worries. Just wanted to speak up for the responsible carriage drivers/company owners out there
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  12. #12
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    Are people nowadays that shortsighted that they don't realize how vitally important horses pulling carriages, tows, and wagons were to our not so distant ancestors survival in life?

    Let me answer my own question; Why yes, they apparently are. Horses pulling carriages kept their biological predecessors alive and reproducing enough for them to be spawned in this modern era and able to look down their noses at the past/history.

    Cars haven't been around for all that long. What.would.you.do to survive without them if you had to? Easy to look down something when your blessed enough to have been born out of it..

    PLEASE!

    ETA: In regards to the 'disposal' of the workhorses, horse owners of ALL types do inhumane things to get rid of animals. Totally not justified to target only carriage horse owners.



  13. #13
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    Carriage horses in NYC and other major urban areas are the most scrutinized of equines. While there are always a few bad apples in any horse activity, most of these horses are well-cared for and in good condition. The radical animal rights activists are not going to approve of any working horse. It's "exploitation," don't ya know?



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by equidae
    ETA: In regards to the 'disposal' of the workhorses, horse owners of ALL types do inhumane things to get rid of animals. Totally not justified to target only carriage horse owners.
    Yes, very true. It's a problem worldwide really, and it's is not linked to discipline whatsoever.
    I think the question was asked here, but with the realization that it isn't isolated to carriage horses at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by equidae
    Are people nowadays that shortsighted that they don't realize how vitally important horses pulling carriages, tows, and wagons were to our not so distant ancestors survival in life?
    I don't think people are, hence it's so cool to see those carriage show up in urban areas doing jobs usually performed by some motorized environment polluting vehicle.
    I hope more such initiatives will follow .
    In the end the succes of those projects depend on oversight & regulations, to weed out the ones that may not have the animal's welfare in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by HydroPHILE
    I realize that tone cannot be conveyed online - no worries. Just wanted to speak up for the responsible carriage drivers/company owners out there
    Thanks. I really meant this thread as a happy thread. And absolutely the majority of carriage drivers take good care of their horses, there's just the bad apple here & there as there is in any horserelated discipline. And like bayou_bengal said, carriage drivers are 'out' there more, hence more scrunitized by the public eye, so if anything if abuse is in place it would get noticed faster than at some backyard facility.

    Quote Originally Posted by bayou_bengal
    The only retired carriage horses "at risk" are those who are no longer sound, but then most horses in any discipline who are unsound are usually the ones at risk of being sent to slaughter or put out to pasture without proper care because of the expense involved in keeping horses and expense involved in euthanizing and disposing of their remains.
    Indeed, reality as it is.



  15. #15
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    Default High speed internet in Vermont, thx to Belgian draftie :)

    And another draftie put to work, this time in Vermont, US .

    Google's semi-translation (thx analise, putting my new learned skill to the test )
    http://translate.google.com/translat...MF20110627_198

    Original article with pics : http://www.nieuwsblad.be/article/det...MF20110627_198
    Definitely well cared for, see pic 4 .



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