Inside A Stable Where Central Park's Carriage Horses Live

horse stable

Photo: Matthew Kassel/Business Insider

Clinton Park Stables, located on 52nd Street near the Hudson River, is one of four carriage-horse stables in New York City. The carriage industry has lately been saddled with controversy, as activists have pushed for legislation that would ban horse-drawn carriages in the city altogether.

For now, though, the business is still rolling along.

And last week Stephen Malone, a carriage driver who keeps his horses in the Clinton Park Stables, took us through his morning there and showed us around the building.

Click here to meet his horse, Paddy, who is about to retire after a decade on the job >

Clinton Park Stables is located on 52nd Street near the Hudson River.

The stables opened in 2003 and can hold 76 horses and 38 carriages at a time.

In the morning, carriages line the sidewalks as horses are harnessed and drivers make their way to the hack lines at Central Park.

Stephen Malone, 42, will celebrate his 25th year in the carriage-horse industry this May. He is the spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York.

Malone said that many customers choose which horse they will ride based on the colours of its get-up.

Drivers feed their horses different mixes of oats, corn, and alfalfa, depending on the horse's disposition. Malone said that oats make some horses too flighty.

When Malone arrives in the morning, a stableman will harness his horse and bring it down to the street.

Most of the stalls at Clinton Park Stables are eight by 10 feet.

Paddy, a Percheron draft horse, has drawn Malone's carriage for 12 years.

Malone chooses to wear a top hat, bow tie, and jacket to match his formal, red-and-black carriage.

A standard carriage ride costs $50 for the first 20 minutes plus $20 for every additional 10 minutes.

Drivers store the horse's feed in buckets that hang from below the carriage itself.

Paddy, who is 17 years old, will retire next month.

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