Waterford businessman, Shane Kavanagh from Waterford Shire Horses, spoke on Déise Today to assure people of the safety of the horses working with Winterval‘s Horse Drawn Sleigh.
This comes amid concerns expressed online and on Tuesday’s Déise Today of the possibility of horses slipping on concrete surfaces in John Roberts Square. One woman claimed she saw a horse slip and risk bumping into her child.
Discussing the possibility of accidents, Shane said, “the cobbles are a new design on an old idea, and they are designed for horses walking on them and pulling loads.”
The condition of the horses was also raised as many felt that having the horses on a hard concrete surface could possibly be harmful to the work horses.
He went on to say that “the horse shoes are designed to walk on these surfaces and they have small fins on the bottom to lock into the joints between the stones.”
On the issues of having the horses pulling the carriage, Shane said “with people seeing the horse sweat we have to remember that they’re doing their job and they need exercise… and that these horses have been bred over thousands of years for exactly this job and we have somewhat forgotten that”.