Horses and Heat Waves: How Did City Horses Fare in the Old Days?


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) set out water buckets for the working horses on hot days in New York City. The ASPCA also built water troughs with running water around Manhattan to be sure the horses had water on hot summer days. The horse fountain on Sixth Avenue in midtown is supposedly still there. A fountain in Central Park built just for horses cost more than $100,000, which was a fortune in the late 1800s when it was erected.

What a treat! The ASPCA built a horse shower on a New York City street. The horse stood under it and water poured onto him. This might have taken some getting used to at first. Notice that this horse doesn’t have blinders on. His bridle doesn’t have a noseband, either.

They lined the pipe up with the horse and then let it shower over his head. The ASPCA also had a campaign to provide a straw hat to every horse that worked in New York City.

As recently as 1935, the ASPCA’s Brooklyn Dog and Horse Parade entries included 500 dogs and 252 horses that lives in that borrough of New York City. Brooklyn had the largest dog population of any city in America, according to the Brooklyn Public Library, which cared enough to archive photos of the parade.

The recently restored horse fountain in New York’s Central Park.( photo)

by Fran Jurga | 22 July 2010 | The Jurga Report at Follow @FranJurga on for more horse health news!

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