Most days I passed one of the popular horse-drawn carriages which had taken up a pitch at La Lonja whilst the Placa de la Reina space is being dug up. Whilst not an animal lover as such, I do respect these working beasts and was disturbed at the obvious lack of care given to this particular horse.
I do not normally take much notice of these carriages, but noted one day that the horse had just left a deposit under the carriage. The driver, I guess is required by law to clean up, used a dustpan and brush to clear it.
He cursed the horse, and then secretly jabbed it in the ribs with the handle of the brush, causing it to start. This was totally unwarranted, and thereafter I took some interest in this animal.
I noted that the horse was tied up to a post, the knot always being purposefully high up, so as to keep the animal from moving its head or body. In the temperatures rising to 39 degrees, no water was ever seen given to the animal, and none was seen on board the carriage. A hydrant was a few feet away, but only seem used when the driver wanted to wash his feet.
The surplus water ran down to the feet of the animal in the road, but could not be reached because of the tie rope. As the sun went round, there was no shade remaining, the driver being too idle to move the carriage around the corner, next to the government building.
The driver had by this time disappeared into a nearby bar, so I lowered the knot to enable the horse to drink the muddy solution. I had to suppress my desire to level the driver (such is my usual instant remedy), as the repercussions would surely have been to the animal.
I would like to urge visitors not to use this carriage (number 36, the driver wears a silly yellow cap), and to have a careful look at any other horse and carriage before use.
I would like to suggest that some kind of effort is taken to encourage an animal welfare officer to go and inspect this animal, and educate the rather stupid driver on his responsibilities.