Don't Drink and Ride
By Leslie Potter
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
During a family road trip as a kid, I remember driving past an ice cream shop where a group of riders had stopped for a snack. This blew my mind at the time. I’d never thought about people still using horses for transportation like that, and the idea of being able to ride a horse down to the store to get some ice cream seemed like the ideal summer afternoon to me. Frankly, it still does.
A trio of riders from Steamboat Springs, Colo. would likely view my ice cream afternoon as child’s play. On Dec. 10, these riders decided to grab some dinner, hit a few bars, then take the horses to a Safeway grocery store before heading over to a local pub. The problem is that they didn’t just tie their horses up outside at the hitching posts that I like to imagine still exist outside every business in Steamboat Springs. They rode their horses through the automatic doors into the Safeway, and then later into the pub. Check out the video from the Denver CBS affiliate.
That’s cute and all, and I’m sure it got them the attention the craved, but they must have known this was not going to fly. Using horses as transportation? Fine. But when I want to go to the grocery store, I use my car for transportation and I park it outside. I don’t drive it in the store. More importantly, I have to imagine the floors in that Safeway would be slippery under a horse’s feet. The aisles in a grocery store typically aren’t designed for a fully-tacked equine. And while I know it’s an odd concept to those horse owners out there who have no qualms with cleaning a stall and then eating a sandwich without breaking for Purel (and who among us hasn't?), some people might not actually want barnyard animals traipsing around the place where they buy their food.
The barista at the Starbucks in the Safeway seemed willing to play along, but things turned ugly when the riders decided to continue their pub crawl. At one of their final stops, one of the riders rode her horse in through the pub and was promptly asked to leave (yes, there is video). Meanwhile, one of the other riders got into a fight outside the bar, leading a bar employee to call the police. That rider was later arrested when police finally did catch up with the group (he refused to dismount at the officers’ request, so they tased him.) Apparently the other two received no charges.
I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking it, too. Those horses are so CALM! It’s like they’re used to this sort of thing. I guess if you have riders like that, you probably see it all. And because I know you’re curious, SteamboatToday.com reports that two of the horses are Tennessee Walkers and the other is a Paint/Morgan cross.
I’m all for having fun with your horses, but this crosses the line. All’s well that ends well, though, and fortunately no humans or equines were hurt in the making of this saga. Even the guy who got tased and arrested was quoted as saying, “It was a great ride right up until the very end.”
Glad you had fun.
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