Stop tourist carriage ride in Spain: Help yourself and the horses – and walk!

WHEN I’m in Palma I always feel sorry for the horses pulling the old-fashioned carriages for the lazy tourists to take in the city. What might seem like quite a romantic idea is in realty animal cruelty. 

Recently there was an accident between a bus and a horse and carriage in Alcudia when the bus clipped the back of the carriage and the terrified horse fell to the ground. I don’t know the outcome for that poor horse, but they just don’t belong on the streets next to buses and the crazy drivers.

I panic when I have to drive alongside some of the drivers here, as it’s literally a free for all on the roads, so I feel so sorry for the horses. In Palma there is always a queue of horses which look knackered and about as enthusiastic as a man taking his final walk from his cell on death row!

These horses are forced to work in extreme temperatures, dodge traffic, and pound the pavement all day long whether they are fit enough, or not, to do so. They often develop respiratory problems due to exhaust fumes and they can suffer painful leg problems from walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time.

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In light of this latest incident, the animal-rights party, Progreso en Verde, is again calling for an end to horse-drawn carriages and for electric carriages to replace them, which sounds like a great idea. Not only could these poor horses see out their days as they should in the countryside, but electric is the way forward for all modes of transport, especially the outdated horse-drawn carriage.

Come on people! We don’t live in the Dickensian era. And if you want some romance and to see some culture I recommend using your own legs and taking a wander around the endless tiny streets of the Old Town in Palma where you can stop off to enjoy a romantic meal at in the many of the picturesque squares or side streets and help the much-needed hospitality industry, which like that horse, is on the floor!

One of the best ways to see any new place is to use the hop on, hop off buses. Whenever I travel to a new city I find these buses the best, and cheapest, way to see as much of it as possible. They are relatively inexpensive and you have the option to spend as long, or as little time at any of the places of interest, plus you get an audio guide included so you actually get to learn a little about what you’re looking at. 

So next time you’re in Mallorca, or any other place which flogs these poor horses in the name of tourism, please just take a look and see for yourself the state they’re in and whether it’s really fair on them to be dragging anyone’s lazy ass around town. 

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