The last few years have given way to fast and growing evolution in the transportation world. From dockless bikes to dockless scooters, vehicles summoned on wireless phones, fancy new buses, and weatherproof Metro platforms. It’s a great time to be alive.
I, however, have always had the feeling of belonging to another place in history and thus have taken the horse as my preferred mode of transportation.
Planning My Trip
Recently I took my horse Chester down the old town road in the middle of my village in New York and rode the East ghost Coast Greenway to visit the nation’s capital for the first time. The trail is optimal for people on bikes or just running but there are some segments where a fellow can ride his faithful steed.
Some ask me why I would take a long an arduous journey by horse instead of some more modern mode. Taking Chester has opened route possibilities, and a fresh perspective of places like the C&O Canal on the W&OD trail, or the stream along the Bluemont Trail. I can sit up high and move through the swaying branches of the trees or feel the meditative solitude under the light of a full moon. Besides, I have plenty of time to kill.
While it’s true that equestrian travel is a long-lost art, there are a few of us out there who gladly take to our saddles. It’s how I met my best friend Ichabod from Connecticut, one October night centuries ago on the trail back home.
The story is either hilarious, or awkward, depending on whom you ask. Ichabod was riding home from a party late one stormy night and at an intersection by Wiley’s Swamp I accidentally scared him so he galloped off in the same direction I was riding so it looked like I was following him but really I wanted to get my pumpkin home from a carving party because the innards were spilling out and making a mess on my vintage cloak and saddle. We’ve been riding buddies ever since then.
Trails for Everyone
Despite my small community and great adventures, I can’t help but feel that I am not always wanted on the trails. Joggers and young children sometimes see me and scream in terror. Dogs howl and cats hiss on the tops of walls. I’m not sure if it’s Chester’s red eyes (it’s genetic) or my old-timey clothes but I do get a lot of weird looks sometimes.
It’s a real headscratcher, but it hurts my feelings and makes me homesick for my village of Sleepy Hollow. The vibe there is phantasmic.
More Than a Mode
I’ve always been a sentimentalist, but I really think more people would benefit by slowing life down and traveling by horse. For me, it’s not just a more fun way to get around, it’s a spiritual experience, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to live life to the fullest.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners