Benny Boyd

City eyes regulations for horse drawn carriages

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Next time the holiday season rolls around, Christmas lights might compete for attention with a new mane attraction.
Lockhart city staffers are working to draft ordinances that would include regulations for horse and carriage operations – a common sight in some central Texas cities during festivals and the holiday season. Once a draft is prepared, it will go before the Lockhart City Council for consideration and approval, City Manager Steve Lewis said.
Lewis said the lack of existing regulations made it impossible for the city to grant a permit to a horse-and-carriage operator who had expressed an interest in offering rides during the Light Up Lockhart tree lighting in December.
“We didn’t have a regulation to address that,” said Lewis, who took over the city manager position in October. “We have regulations for pedicab operators, but none for horse-drawn carriages.”
Lewis said staffers were reviewing sample regulations from other communities like San Antonio and would use those as a starting point.
“They’re all online and pretty similar,” Lewis said. “The carriages themselves have to be in clean, working order. There’s a section about horse treatment and health and how well they can deal with sights, sounds and movement of riders.”
The new laws would also contain language about not impeding the flow of automobile traffic.
And, of course, cleanliness would be addressed to make sure the streets stay poop free.
“We’d require the diapers to be used,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the new laws would not address earlier discussions about allowing horseback riding in town.
“That issue is in a completely different arena,” Lewis said.


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