A happy medium for carriage companies and Charleston locals

Charleston horse carriage companies are creating dangerous situations for not only the horses but also the residents of Charleston by offering year-round carriage tours.

If the horse carriage companies would  only provide tours during the holiday season when weather is cooler and there are fewer people driving and walking around downtown, this could be a good compromise for both the animals and the city.

As the noted No. 1 tourist destination the past few years, Charleston is one of the most heavily visited cities during spring and summer.

It’s no coincidence then that it is also when the most horse carriage accidents occur as  horse carriages and traffic do not mix.

Nor do horse carriages and overcrowded sidewalks.

There have been 22 horse carriage incidents since February 2016, 17 of which took place between March and September.

Most of the incidents were caused by either the horses getting spooked or heat exhaustion.  

Not only do the horse carriage companies create hazardous traffic situations by doing tours in the busiest time of the year, they also put the horses at risk of passing out from heat exhaustion by forcing them to carry around 15+ tourists at any given time.

Some animal rights advocates are against the horse tours completely because of the risks to the animals and believe tours should be banned year-round.

The tour companies maintain that the carriage tours are no great risk since horses have been used to carrying around people and cargo for centuries.

There is also an argument that the horses are treated better now than before, especially since they get to take “vacations.”

But perhaps one of the main worries about getting rid of the tours altogether is the danger of stripping Charleston of some of its traditional Southern charm.

But if the horse carriage tours only took place during the holiday season, this could be a compromise for everyone.

It would be much less crowded without so many tourists, safer for the horses in the cooler temps, and it would keep the charm, possibly making it even more of a novelty since it would only be during the holidays.

by Madison Shaffer


  1. Poor horses!

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