I was never really a fan of carousels.

The creepy music, the oddly painted horses, the general spin motion; it all adds up to a pretty traumatic experience as a kid.

However, one carousel in particular is causing a stir as it is using real horses instead of fake ones.

The fairground-style ride was founds at the Shunagliu Wanda Plaza shopping centre in the city of Chengdu, and shows four horses harnessed to metal frames and made to walk around on the platform.

I mean look at that; I’m from Blackpool so I grew up seeing people ride donkeys on a beach but making horses walk around the same circle is cruel.

Apparently, revellers are charged around 50RMB (£5.60) for a four-minute ride, while the horses are expected to work four hours a day. A sign near to the ride reads:
Different from traditional wooden horses, you can really experience the fun on horseback and let your child indulge. Let you and your child be brave.”

According to Shangma Equestrian Club, which owns and operates the ride, there’s trainers onsite all the time and the ride ‘is a good way for them to get exercise’.

A manager told the Beijing News that this ride isn’t cruel to animals.

He said:

“If we don’t tie up the horses, how do we control it and ensure people’s safety? This location is not a pasture, we can’t let the horses run wild.”

As you’d expect, many people are appalled at seeing the carousel, with one woman telling local press:

“I thought it was an ordinary carousel. Look carefully, it is a real horse. If you want to ride a horse, you can go to a professional riding stable.

“It is too much to tie the horse here. The horse has a life and it is not a toy. This is too inhuman.”

Another added: “Do not try to justify animal abuse. You are making money out of mistreating animals.”

A third wrote: “If you want to ride a horse, you can go to a professional riding stable. The horse is not a toy. This is too inhuman.”

As sad as this is to see, there actually isn’t much authorities can do to stop it as there’s no laws preventing animals in China from being used as amusement rides.

About time they changed the law?

I wouldn’t expect it in a hurry.

Images via Asia Wire/CGTN