Of all the cities that boast horse carriage rides as an attraction, Charleston certainly ranks toward the top of the list. In fact, Charleston earned the number one spot on Travel and Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Cities” list in 2016. And though all reputable carriage tour companies treat their horses with the utmost care, the Charleston Animal Society is pushing to start an independent study to weed out the few companies who may overwork their horses.
The tourism commission of the city has already approved of the proposal — the ultimate objective is to finally resolve the longtime argument as to the horses’ abilities to withstand weather conditions in addition to pulling carriages full of passengers.
The tours have an obvious appeal, as they are a primary attraction for the many tourists that pass through the city. And funds from tourist attractions provide much of the city’s income as a whole — according to a Gallup survey from 2014, about 57% of Americans over age 65 make time for regular trips or vacations, and retirees are known for visiting cities with rich histories such as Charleston’s.
And aside from the profitability of the industry, it’s important for everybody to be able to take an enjoyable vacation every now and again. About 53% of employed U.S. adults come back feeling refreshed after a vacation, and a study done by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University revealed that 95% of parents agreed that their kids appeared happier while on kid friendly vacations — horse carriage tours are just as much of a novelty to children as they are to adults.
There has to be a solution, and Kurt Taylor, Animal Society legal counsel member, wants to find it. He voiced the general overview for the study, which will be conducted and subsequently reviewed by professionals from established universities. He has also stated the Animal Society’s intent to fund the study itself, however, other sources of funding may be used as well. Regardless, the study will strengthen the carriage tour industry as a whole while protecting the proud and graceful animals that make it all possible — the horses.