View Full Version : Common hansom cab horse breeds?

02-17-2012, 08:08 PM
My Google-fu is weak today- I cannot find any good information on the breeds of horses usually used to pull NYC hansom cabs.

Logically, I'd imagine they're mostly draft-mixes (is that even the right term for mixed-breed horses?) with, I dunno, some Morgan thrown in there?

Any help would be fantastically appreciated, for, Dawkins knows, this one sentence that has very little bearing on anything else wouldn't be complete without exhaustive research... :Shrug: :D

Thanks so much!

02-17-2012, 08:16 PM
Do you mean like now? Modern times? I think they might be drafts or draft crosses. Belgians, mostly? I'm not in New York, I've only been there once. But, I am a horse person. :)

02-17-2012, 08:21 PM
Yeah, at present.

I remember seeing a lot of draft horses, but I don't know if most of them are, or not, and I can't possibly finish shaving this cat writing this book without the absolutely correctest information.

02-17-2012, 09:06 PM
Whatever is cheap that will pull the weight. All a registered horse would get you is a piece of paper that isn't even useful for wiping the horse's butt.

A fair number of them are picked up at auction in Indiana, actually.

Depending upon the size of the hansom, you're looking for a horse weighing roughly 1500 pounds. Real drafts, in the 1800 - 2000 pound range, eat more then a smaller horse, running up costs. Smaller horses aren't strong enough long-term and are more likely to suffer breakdowns. Looks are helpful, because a nice looking horse (to someone who has only seen the horse in front of Wal-Mart) attracts customers.

Probably if you looked at breeds, you'd be seeing something like a Thoroughbred cross with Percheron, Belgian, or other draft. Morgan or Quarterhorse are other possibles. Hackney is another possibility.

But go to some of the auctions in your area. There could well be a Hansom Cab operator among the bidders. But the mid-size horses are the ones that they're using. (The lighter carriage horses that you see with the Amish in your area aren't quite heavy enough for a Hansom, although I'm sure some of them are used.)

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

02-17-2012, 09:47 PM
Thanks so much, Jim. This is exactly perfect!

I can't bring myself to go to a livestock auction- reading the auction reports on FHotD (http://fuglyblog.com/) is brutal enough. Shipshewana is nearish, but I know I'd just end up leaving with a broken heart and an SUV full of beautiful $80 horses that legally are not allowed to live in my garage.

But this is great, and now I can finish this sentence.