End of the Line for a Havana Tour Horse

caballo

 

Photo feature by Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — There once was a horse that carried tourists around Havana in a coach every day, making good money for his owner. One day, at around noon, he had enough: the hot sun beating down on Havana’s coast finally defeated him, and he collapsed on the scorching avenue of fatigue.

His owner, startled, asked for help and, with a hose from a nearby hotel, sprinkled the poor animal for more than an hour, in the hopes he would get his strength back and resume the tour. Pity, the horse simply could not get up and ended up on a veterinary assistance truck.

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17 thoughts on “End of the Line for a Havana Tour Horse

  • April 14, 2016 at 4:43 pm
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    The horses at Parque Central are part of the Cooperativo which do not allow horses to work more than every other day. This horse/carriage is not part of the Cooperative as the carriae would have their name and number on it.

  • May 9, 2015 at 11:06 pm
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    I was on a shuttle bus to the old quarter and we passed this pitiful scene. We returned in a cab to our hotel and the driver said the horse had died.

  • May 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm
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    Take it easy on the assholes, they’re people too

  • May 8, 2015 at 5:12 am
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    Cuban horses are worked too hard. The lack nutrition and are expected to work endless hours in high heat. Whenever I am in Cuba I always feel sorry for lots of animals there. The horses, mules and donkeys are mostly underfed and overcharged. Poverty of the owners is one issue, but that doesn’t excuse cruelty against animals.

  • May 7, 2015 at 8:04 pm
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    ? …Tasajo is traditionally made from horse.

    Lighten up..the world around us is full of enough ugliness. Sometimes you need to laugh at it.

  • May 7, 2015 at 3:18 pm
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    You can’t blame the tourists. The horse’s caregiver is solely responsible for the horse’s well-being.

  • May 7, 2015 at 2:43 pm
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    Did the horse revive after s/he was taken away? In any event, thanks for showing us the suffering of this horse, graphic as it was. I hope it provokes HT readers to support the Spanky Project and the other good causes mentioned below.

  • May 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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    People everywhere need to be educated, open their eyes, stop being so self-involved and see the suffering of animals at every level. These operators, like Ringling circus, Sea World, swim with dolphins, ride elephants in Thailand, etc. abuse and exploit animals only because there are enough idiots to pay for their exploitation. Poor horse, poor all animas. Stupid people.

  • May 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm
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    The most major of all problems are the asshole tourists who ride the carriages. If people were not so stupid and ignorant, animals would not suffer.

  • May 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm
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    This cruelty continues only because of the asshole tourists who ride the carriages…all over the world. If people were not so stupid, animals would not suffer.

  • May 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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    Asshole.

  • May 6, 2015 at 6:53 pm
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    In Cayo Coco, there is a man uses his horses for tourists. On the rough
    rocky beaches those horses carries tourists of all sizes big and small on their back everyday/365
    days a year. All of them were rather skinny horses. Some of them have noticeable arthritis or actual leg injuries that the
    owner knows about but he was unwilling to take care of, or acknowledge
    when I asked. I confronted him and showed him how the horse was walking.

    I highly regret that I took horse back riding as one of excursions that
    was offered by resort where I stayed. At the end, I gave him extra tips
    and told him to take care of the leg of one
    particular horse named
    Negro. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t done anything since. And I’m afraid
    that one day Negro is going to be the horse in those photos.

  • May 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm
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    Heartbreaking.

    ….I know this sounds cruel but, Tasajo anyone?

  • May 6, 2015 at 12:50 pm
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    Heartbreaking!

  • May 6, 2015 at 9:45 am
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    Poor guy. Most of these Hansom carriages are based in Havana’s Central Park in front of the Parque Central Hotel. These horses stand in the hot Havana sun all day. Like most living beings in Cuba, human and non-human alike, these horses are likely undernourished and under-hydrated. I hope the animal recovered.

  • May 6, 2015 at 9:20 am
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    A major problem for the tour horses is a lack of shade. The areas designated for them to await paying customers, in most cases, have no shade.

    A Cocheros Cooperative has been formed to lobby for better conditions.

    The Spanky Project, a Canadian organization, has been helping Cubans help their animals since 2003.

    They are increasing their support for the equine community. Providing farrier workshops and ongoing deworming sessions for the Tour Horses.

    Check out their blog for the first edition of CLINVET a Cuban veterinary “zine”. It features some of the Spanky Project’s work with horses in Cuba.

    http://spankyproject.blogspot.ca/2015/02/clinvet-first-edition.html

  • May 6, 2015 at 9:06 am
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    A major problem for the tour horses is a lack of shade. The areas designated for them to await paying customers, in most cases, have no shade.

    A Cocheros Cooperative has been formed to lobby for better conditions.

    The Spanky Project, a Canadian organization, has been helping Cubans help their animals since 2003.

    They are increasing their support for the equine community. Providing farrier workshops and ongoing deworming sessions for the Tour Horses.

    Check out their blog for the first edition of CLINVET a Cuban veterinary “zine”. It features some of the Spanky Project’s work with horses in Cuba.

    http://spankyproject.blogspot.ca/2015/02/clinvet-first-edition.html

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