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The bizarre fairground-style ride was spotted 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 a motor-driven platform.
Punters keen to have a go are charged around 50RMB (£5.60) for a four-minute ride. 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."
The horses are reportedly made to walk around the carousel for four hours a day.
According to Shangma Equestrian Club, which owns and operates the ride, there's trainers onsite at all 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."
But some shoppers have reacted in horror after seeing it, 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."
After clips were shared online, one commenter wrote: "Do not try to justify animal abuse. You are making money out of mistreating animals."
While another 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."
And Zhou Bo, an equestrian manager from Tian Xiao said that the carousel ride isn't a good way for horses to get exercise. He said horses should walk out in the open under the supervision of a trainer who can check that they're OK.
"If it was my horse, I would never do this," he said.
How ever you feel looking at these horses, Zhou Ming, who works at a Chinese wildlife rescue centre, pointed out there is no law which states that animals shouldn't be used for amusement rides such as these.
This isn't the first time such a merry-go-round has been spotted, back in 2014 a similar set-up, using three live horses was spotted in Taiwan.
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