The Hoosierist: Tight Rein

Carriage-animal labor laws, traitorous street names, and luxury suites. Ask The Hoosierist.

Q: Are there rules about how hard they can work those carriage horses downtown?
Vicky R., Indianapolis  
A: The handful of companies offering rides all vehemently state that they go far beyond the standards of horse care mandated by city ordinance. Which is good, given that what they’re required to do for their equine friends is pretty sparse. The city, in a masterpiece of vagueness, says that carriage operators “shall maintain their horses in good health abiding by the rules of good animal husbandry.” Interestingly, a lot more space is devoted to poop-handling. Each carriage must be equipped with a manure-catching receptacle slung under the horse’s backside, and drivers must carry a special odor-masking chemical to pour on horse pee. On another note, coachmen are prohibited from soliciting customers “in a loud tone of voice or in any manner to annoy.” So that’s why we don’t have carriage drivers up in our grills screaming, “Hey, buddy! Carriage ride! Twenty bucks!”


Q: Why are so many of our roads named after other states and not Indiana-related entities?
Owen F., Indianapolis  
A: Our oldest streets bear so few Hoosier references because there were precious few Hoosier things to name them after. Our capital was platted just a couple of years after the state’s 1816 founding, on a stretch of undeveloped land that sat roughly at the intersection of No and Where. Surveyor Alexander Ralston spent months schlepping through that wilderness, laying out a mile-square grid for a notional city and naming many of its primary arteries after other states. If Ralston had named our roadways after the landmarks surrounding him at the time, Indy residents might today cruise to work along Malarial Swamp Boulevard or Excellent Spot for an Ambush Lane. Which wouldn’t do much for property values.


Q: What kind of special amenities can you get in a Lucas Oil Stadium suite?
Laura O., Fishers  
A: When it comes to stuffing their faces, the denizens of Lucas Oil Stadium’s 139 luxury corporate suites aren’t too different from folks in the (comparatively) cheap seats. Greg Hylton, vice president for the Colts, says pizza, hotdogs, and other stadium fare hits the suite spot for most high-roller guests. Although there is a dim sum cart that trundles around during games. And if rooting for the Colts leaves you sore, there’s also a complimentary chair massage for anyone who wants one. Anyone who’s in a suite, that is.


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This article appeared in the September 2015 Issue.