With the new year, new rules will go into effect concerning the city's carriage horses. The rules were proposed by the Health Department yesterday, and according to the NY Post would include many regulations already imposed on taxi drivers.

There will be a public hearing regarding the proposed rules on February 3rd, and if they go into effect it will give horses five weeks of vacation a year, make it illegal for them to work after 3 a.m. or in hot (90 degrees or more) and cold (under 18 degrees) weather. In addition, there will be a no smoking policy for drivers and riders, and drivers will not be allowed to use cellphones, cameras or music players (which may cause distractions).

The rules are all based on findings by an advisory board comprised of both animal advocates and members of the horse-rental industry. At least one driver was happy with the vacation rule, but a tourist chimed in saying, "What does a horse do on vacation? Will they put their feet up? In the wild they'd just be running around anyway."