June 30, 2015
New York City Tours & Sightseeing | M2M Tours – Manhattan’s Horse Stables
A Behind-the-Scene’s Tour of Midtown Manhattan Stables
SO! I’m walking across 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, on my way home from a tour, and I see what appears to be a truck with bales of hay on it. For a girl that was raised on a dairy farm, this seems totally incongruous – IN A CITY?!! In the biggest city in the United States?!
I quickly whip out my phone and snap photos, one after another, as it goes by me. And OH MY! To a farmer’s daughter – even the smell of the hay is divine – what a trip down memory lane!
I realize, of course, that this truck is on its way to the Midtown horse stables, used for the famous
Carriage Rides in Central Park. These stables, located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, were all originally built as horse stables in the late 19th century. All of the horses are stabled on the second and third floors of the building, which are accessed by walking up ramps designed for this purpose. The building and its stalls are configured with the comfort and safety of the horses in mind – which includes windows for ventilation and natural light.
A 24-hour stableman is on site so that the horses are never left unattended. Each stable has a proper
emergency evacuation drill in place in the event of an emergency, and all carriage stables are required by law to have full sprinkler systems – the New York Fire Department inspects each building annually.
The NYPD Mounted Police Unit, which has its own stables nearby, consists of only 75 Mounted Officers,among the 40,000 personnel in the NYPD, dating back to 1871 when the first Mounted Officers served in the Civil War Cavalry. The police horses are stabled in a ground-floor ‘custom barn’ located within a luxury, 32 story apartment building named Mercedes House, after a Mercedes dealership, the other ground-floor tenant in the building complex.
The state-of-the-art facility provides special flooring soothes legs weary from a long day’s work, ten-foot high doors offer easy passage, and a high-tech ventilation system that not only control barnyard smells, dander and dust, but also keeps the horses, which are used to living outside, comfortable. The clatter of horseshoes on blacktop is a part of the ambiance of Midtown Manhattan and, of course, so is the intermittent sight of a truck full of hay.