Monday 8 June 2009

The Horses of Luxor

My heart bled for some of the horses I saw in Luxor when I was on holiday there recently. There were many. All were pulling calashes and being ordered to walk, trot or canter on the tarmaced roads, often in blistering heat. While some looked sleek, well-groomed and well fed, many looked haggard, with their ribs and bones noticeable under their harnessed bodies. Some were obviously limping. I couldn’t bring myself to ride in one of these horse carriages, thinking that I might be contributing to some poor beast’s hardship.

This is one that looks well cared for and happy enough, although it’s owner has made no attempt to find shade for it during this stop.

Not too sure about this one.

But I didn't dare try to take pictures of the really grotty ones, for fear of those lethal looking whips the drivers carried, and often used.


zorlone said...

Poor horses... I empathize with you Jean. Whenever I see a "kalesa" (horse driven carriage) with a sickly horse, my heart bleeds in agony. :( I only pray that their owners would feed them and care for them the best they could.


Lillian Robinson said...

I can't believe we still have all the carriage houses in New York. Tourist money trumps common sense. Horse advocates have been battling, but so far to no avail. Sure it's romantic to ride through Central Park on Christmas Eve in a horse-drawn carriage,but does that make it right?

Unknown said...

Thanks you DocZ - unfortunately, some people just don't.

Lily - I don't think horse carriages per se are a problem. It just depends what loads they have to pull, how they are cared for and what hours they have to work. It was very long hours in Luxor. I did once see some carriages in Central Park. The horses looked ok but I don't know how long they have to keep at it.

Linda D said...

It's a horrible dilemma. Like you, I wouldn't want to add to a horse's suffering by taking a ride in one of these carriages. But what would happen to the horses if their owners couldn't make some money from tourists? I'm wondering if there are any animal welfare groups in Egypt?

Unknown said...

Linda - sorry to be so long replying. We did find an animal rights group. I'll try to cover it in a blog post sometime soon.

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