Bloganuary #14 : What is your preferred mode of travel?
A Horse of Course. From a very young age I have had a passion for horses. While living in Colorado, I traveled many miles over mountains and through valleys trying to find cattle and enjoying the scenery. The town I lived in still today, has cattle drives down the road when cattle are moved from one pasture to another or up to the high mountains for summer grazing, and back to the ranch for winter feed and calving. Along with the cattle drives, it was not uncommon to see the local “horse trader” in town with is team of blacks and wagon, tied up at the local bar after going to the grocery store.
Mr. Green was a well known horse trader, buying and selling horses as well as raising cattle, who also happened to be an alcoholic. He lost his driver’s license due to drunk driving. So, when he wanted to visit the local bar or buy groceries, he would hitch up his matched set of black horses to an old wagon and go to town. When he arrived at the bar, he would tie the horses to the parking meter, put in his money for parking and visit the bar. One day, the police decided to give him a ticket on his way home, as he was intoxicated. When they got the wagon to stop, they gave him a ticket for driving while intoxicated, thinking this would get the team and wagon off the roadways. Mr. Green opposed the ticket in court. His defense – he was not driving since he did not have his hands on the reins to the horses. He was laying down in the wagon, not holding the reins, not driving therefore the ticket was invalid. Mr. Green when he was ready and intoxicated, would untie his team of horses, climb into the back of the wagon and tell them to go home, of which the horses would start walking towards home. Mr. Green was not charged with driving while intoxicated. He continued to drive his team of blacks hitched to the wagon to town, then let the horses take him.
While I would enjoy riding my horse to town to pick up a few groceries, it is impractical. The people in the area where I live are not ranchers or horse people. A horse tied up outside the grocery store would create an attraction. There is a liability of having a horse around strangers, especially if someone chose to pet the horse or put their child on the horse while you are inside. The people do not know the proper rules or etiquette involving a horse.
Currently, there is a ring of thieves in the area stealing riding horses out of pastures. I would run the risk of someone walking away with my horse. It is an interesting aspect in Texas, a major cattle producer and the number one producer of horses in that a lot of animals are stolen due to the way they handle livestock.
In Colorado, I had to have a brand inspection or inspection of the animal everytime I purchased or sold an animal. Texas is not so. If you take a cow or horse to the local auctions, you do not have to provide proof you own the horse or cow. If by chance you discover your stolen cow or horse has been sold at auction, then you have to hire an attorney and take the seller to court to get your money for the animal at the price sold at auction, not the actual value of the animal. In Colorado, you had your animal returned, and the buyer had to get his money back from the thief. So it is better to be safe, than lose an animal.
I travel by automobile more specifically a truck. I have a truck as my income does not allow me a pleasure vehicle and a work vehicle. I need a truck to pull the stock trailer while transporting sheep to or from the farm. I also need it to pull a trailer when we purchase hay or to haul grain. I do not drive more than necessary.
Traveling to visit family, I like an automobile. With an automobile I can see the varied majestic landscapes along the path of travel. I drive slow, and stop often. I enjoy seeing small towns and visiting historical markers. I have the freedom of choosing my path and direction that other modes of transportation do not offer.
Airplanes are faster, but they land in big towns or cities. You are not offered any historical information of the areas you travel over, there are no historic architecture to see, or old homestead or fancy farms. You do not get the opportunity to stop and enjoy the area you are flying over.
I enjoy the trail riding in our area, a slower pace with the ability to watch the wildlife and slow down for conversation. No busy city distractions and noise. My friend, my horse and wildlife are an excellent way to enjoy a day.
I think the journey should be enjoyed. A slower and chosen path is pleasant for my travel.