A Horse and Buggy Is Our Alternative Transportation

Forget electric vehicles and methane-powered cars. Old-fashioned horsepower—as in "horse and buggy" horsepower—is one woman's preferred mode of alternative transportation.


| November/December 1974



030 horse and buggy - cover

The Amish of Cattaraugus County, NY were such an inspiration she had to have a horse and buggy too.


PHOTO: SHAUN ANN EDDY

Our family homestead is located in western New York's Cattaraugus County and, intentionally, near an Amish settlement. My husband and I made that choice because we admire our neighbors' gentle lifestyle and value the products and services they offer. We're especially grateful that skills and crafts forgotten or abandoned by the "English" still flourish here and are eagerly taught by our Amish acquaintances.

One particular aspect of Amish life has long fascinated me more than any other: the driving horses and the big, black-top buggies. Meeting such a rig on the road was always a delight. I loved to see a flashy, long-legged team, manes whipping and hoofs pounding in tempo, streak into the village with an Amish family bound for supplies.

The beauty and thrilling sound of a driving horse and buggy were enough to convince me that this was my "alternative transportation." My husband, always more practical, hesitated to buy anything so unlikely ... until later, when circumstances gave my notion some solid backing.

At that time we were driving two automobiles. One was maintained by the company that employed my husband and didn't cost us a cent, but our own 1966 station wagon was running on luck. Finally, when a major repair was necessary, we decided to sell the old machine and buy a buggy for me.

I'm sure our decision came easier because we live in an area where horse-powered travel is common. Everything the buggy owner needs is available here, even the right traffic conditions. Local motorists expect to meet old-time turnouts on the highways and back roads, and the State Highway Department has put up signs alerting non-area drivers to their presence. All that helps, of course, but even in a non-Amish community anyone who wants to should be able to put together and use a rig like mine.

"Get a Horse!"

I owned several riding horses during my farm childhood and had a general idea of their care and training. A driving animal, though, serves a different purpose which has to be kept in mind when you buy one.

hannan.ahmad.790
3/4/2014 4:22:15 AM

I apologize for being a little too aggressive, but that was an old tale when the people did not know a lot about economy. In a period when the grass that horses eat is heavily dependent upon oil prices around the globe, the story looks pretty old. Rather the use of these animals in http://cheltenham.pw/ like events are turning out to be better sources of income to http://betmclean.com/. This is a rather old-fashioned approach with some resemblance to the cat-rate-ring tale.


hannan ahmad
3/3/2014 9:40:49 AM

I apologize for being a little too aggressive, but that was an old tale when the people did not know a lot about economy. In a period when the grass that horses eat is heavily dependent upon oil prices around the globe, the story looks pretty old. Rather the use of these animals in http://cheltenham.pw/ like events are turning out to be better sources of income to http://betmclean.com/. This is a rather old-fashioned approach with some resemblance to the cat-rate-ring tale.






mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!

LEARN MORE