The investigation showed that carriages are often overloaded with passengers and horses are forced to work with rubbing harnesses, causing sores to develop, fester, and become infected. Multiple horses with bleeding, open wounds were documented.
Several horses were observed pulling carriages with shoes that were ill-fitting, which can lead to lameness and other issues. Access to water for the horses during their work shifts is questionable, since the only freely available source has been turned off since July 2013. (Please see full length report for more details...)
Respiratory problems are also a concern as this video, taken June 1st, 2013, clearly confirms. The footage shows carriage horse "Misty" (owned by Fantasy Stables) struggling to breathe and being left unattended for an extended period of time.
A formal complaint was filed with the Equine Health Section of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Misty was checked by a veterinarian, who determined that Misty suffered from a condition known as anhidrosis. A horse with anhidrosis is unable to sweat effectively, causing body heat to quickly rise to dangerous levels. The veterinarian advised that she was not fit to be used as a carriage horse because of this condition. According to public documents, the horse was removed from the working horse group on June 17, 2013. However, Misty apparently was observed working again on March 1, 2014 . According to the Department of Agriculture, a veterinarian released her back to work. What happened? (Click here to read the statement of DVM Marcella regarding Atlanta carriage horses)