UPDATE — The Krewe of Oshun rider who was caught beating the horse he was riding was cited for animal cruelty and has since been moved to the Louisiana SPCA. the horse, nicknamed “Buddy,” because he’s so friendly and outgoing, is safe and sound, being treated like Carnival royalty.
SPCA staff just got the horse Tuesday, so they have to wait for a full vet checkup, but say so far “Buddy” seems to be doing just fine despite the mistreatment we saw in that video of the rider that went viral.
“The horse has never been in a parade before this so this horse is not trained to do the different back and forth and knowing what that rider is asking for” says Beth Renfro with the Louisiana SPCA.
SPCA staff say this recent case of animal abuse will likely raise questions regarding the future of having animals on the parade route.
NEW ORLEANS - The Humane Society of Louisiana is calling for an investigation after a rider was caught on video beating a horse he was riding in the Krewe of Oshun parade over the weekend.
The video, which was shot by Kelsey LaBore and posted publicly to Facebook, quickly went viral.
In the video, which carries a disclaimer for violence and strong language, “a rider is seen striking his horse repeatedly on the side of its neck with a clenched fist, kicking it in its side and yanking violently on its reigns, trying to get the horse to obey his commands,” according to the Humane Society.
This kind of abuse is exactly the wrong thing to do, according to Carousel Farms owner Bonnie Barry.
“When a horse is kicked by it’s rider it is for forward movement,” Barry said in a Humane Society press release. “When a rider pulls on the reins it it is to stop or turn a horse. When both signals are applied at the same time it causes the horse frustration and pain. If you yank on a horses mouth it can hurt and injure the soft pallet. Depending on the type of bit that is in a horses mouth and applying to much pressure/yanking can also damage the horse's jawbone and cause an excruciating amount of pain for the horse.”
It can take months of hard work to properly prepare a horse for a parade, where loud music, flashing lights, and large crowds can all induce panic.
Members of the Humane Society are calling for local authorities to look into the incident.