Giddy-yap! BikePortland kicks off local horse and buggy movement

Foalsil fuels, not fossil fuels.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/HorsePortland)

Step off the bike pedals, folks. There’s a new mode of transportation in town.

We all love biking. But we’ve gotta admit…it can get a little tiring sometimes. There are days where I feel like just kicking my feet up and relaxing a bit.

So, we at BikePortland have developed the perfect solution: a horse and buggy sharing program. Just download an app, scan a QR code on the horse’s back and hop in! Biketown, Lime? Are you listening? This could be a pretty big money-making opportunity for you guys.

“We don’t have time for this,” a Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesperson said when we asked them what they thought. “Please find something else to do.”

We’ll take that as a maybe ;).

Everyone knows how much people driving cars in Portland love getting “stuck behind” a bicyclist going 10 miles per hour on a neighborhood greenway. Well, how about a row of horses trotting along at four mph? I can think of no better way to get people out of their cars than making it impossible to drive without having to be at the whims of large mammals that have taken over the streets.

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Foals before freeways.

There’s a lot of nostalgia for the Portland of yore nowadays. How far back do you want to go? We used to be a horse and buggy town. Hell, the Elk fountain that’s causing such a hullabaloo was originally meant as a place for horses to quench their thirst as they carted people around the city.

Well, forget simply reconstructing a historical monument: let’s take it all the way back to 1900! This would be the perfect chance to put up even MORE fountains. If we can get Portland to a 25% horse mode share by 2030, do you even know how many fountains we’d have an excuse to put up? We could have one on every corner. Every architect and sculptor south of the Columbia River would be swimming in cash.

In order to make horse and buggies accessible to all, I’ve heard tell Rep. Earl Blumenaeur is considering adding a horse rebate to his e-bike tax credit proposal.

There’s really only one main problem I can think of. But, hey, Portlanders love compost and gardening, right? Everybody could use some more, ahem, fertilizer.

We’ve never really considered how car culture makes horses feel obsolete. Ever since the days of Henry Ford’s assembly line, we’ve alienated the beautiful creatures and relegated them to mere racing animals. I can think of no better way to honor their worth and combat climate change at the same time.

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HiHo Silver
HiHo Silver
8 months ago

Yeah, those horses should really pony up!

Alan Love
Alan Love
8 months ago
Reply to  HiHo Silver

Should I be paying for their expensive horse lanes with my hard earned tax dollars? NEIGH!

FunFella13
FunFella13
8 months ago

Big Horse plays a strong role in reducing bike access in our local trails: they set the rules because they’ve got the money. I am already at danger of a stomping on fertile loam because “he’s just not used to bikes”. To subject bicyclists to such a danger in the city is one step too far.

Not to mention the double standard set by horse owners on the matter of picking up after animal waste. Why must dog owners pick up after their dogs but horse owners are free to leave horse dung in the middle of the trail? If you think auto exhaust is an olfactory nuisance, just you wait until Big Horse has taken hold of our streets.

Just Neighing.

Roberta Robles
Roberta Robles
8 months ago
Reply to  FunFella13

This is actually truer then you think. On some backcountry trails, horses and ponies have right of way over hikers. It’s hard to maneuver a horse and pony trail train. Get the duck out of the way or you may get kicked across the freeway.

joan
8 months ago

Not a joke: a horse joined the Friday Night Ride a few years ago. Surely someone will come in to comment about this soon.

Serenity
Serenity
8 months ago
Reply to  joan

Wish I’d seen that!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin
Reply to  joan

Was it the same dude in the photos in the story? It was so cool when he came to Mini Bike Winter and just rode around with us like it was NBD.

FDUP
FDUP
8 months ago

Josh D!

Dave
Dave
8 months ago

Will e-horses be allowed on the roads too?

Lisa Caballero (Asst. Editor / SW Correspondent)
Editor
Reply to  Dave

And what about adaptive horses, not everyone can get their foot in a stirrup.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago

I once knew a woman in the forests of Minnesota who raced dog sleds in the winter. For summertime practice she used a specially modified old Volkswagen Beetle (minus the engine and most of the parts) hooked to her dog sled team on back roads.

Does this ride allow for dog teams or oxen?

Josh Mahar
Josh Mahar
8 months ago

SOunds great, I mean, Springwater Corridor already has the infrastructure for them with some of the crossing signal buttons

https://goo.gl/maps/BfUCSsnDr2CDonaJ8

(At least that’s my working assumption of why there are these ridiculously high crossing buttons. Anyone know the history there?)

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
8 months ago
Reply to  Josh Mahar

The Springwater Trail is already being used by horses. You can see evidence of this pretty much any day of the week behind Powell Butte. And sometimes near Boring. Just try not to ride through the “evidence”.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
8 months ago

Back in 1894, environmentalists of the time were raising the alarm that, if something wasn’t done, cities would be buried in nine feet of horse manure in fifty years time. This is actually true.

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Great-Horse-Manure-Crisis-of-1894/

FDUP
FDUP
8 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

good thing they invented the bicycle +/- automobile. No link but earliest cars were electric until they ‘discovered’ oil and had to develop a market for the ‘black gold’ as it was called in the Beverley Hillbillies theme song.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
8 months ago
Reply to  FDUP

gas cars had enough range to actually go somewhere too

EP
EP
8 months ago

With all the pickup trucks in town, I figured there were ranches and horse corrals all over, but so far I haven’t seen a single one?!

Not sure who the rider was, but there was a horse on the WNBR a few years back. Yeeha!

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago
Reply to  EP

There used to be a small one in Powellhurst-Gilbert. Try 2815 SE 90th Pl.

EP
EP
8 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Ha! I had a friend who lived just up the hill from there on Clinton. Definitely a strange little world over there. Not sure if they have horses anymore, last time I went by it was looking a bit rough.

JaredO
JaredO
8 months ago

Hay! Gotta rein in these puns, or we’ll be saddled with a bunch of groans. This is such a filly post.

Serenity
Serenity
8 months ago

Brilliant!

Cindi F.
Cindi F.
8 months ago

Be nice if we could get cops on horseback. Just in Miami….they had ’em. City was very clean and nary a tent.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  Cindi F.

The Portland Police Mounted Patrol Unit disbanded in 2017 due to lack of funding: https://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-mounted-patrol-unit-retired-history/

Quintin E. Jones
Quintin E. Jones
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Figures. All cops, even cops on horses are considered “bad” in Portland.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago

And thusly you have slain the straw man.

Quintin E. Jones
Quintin E. Jones
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Nah, addressed the real issue of lack of police staffing in Portland.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago

Nah, the real issue is pervasive tribalistic, binary thinking/lack of nuance.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago
Reply to  Cindi F.

Out here in NC they still breed and raise horses that can handle the noise and smoke of gunfire and cannon, for Revolutionary War and Civil War re-enactments that have all the noise of battle while firing blanks.

soren
soren
8 months ago

Recent studies suggest that many, if not most, horses experience lameness (usually caused by pain) when ridden.

One recent study out of many:

The RHpE was applied retrospectively to video recordings acquired in a standardised fashion. Seventy-three percent of horses were lame (≤ grade 2/8) on one or more limbs; 47% had gait abnormalities in canter. Ridden Horse Pain Ethogram scores ranged from 3 to 16/24 (median 9); rider skill score ranged from 2.5 to 8/10 (median 4.75).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7341225/

PATRICK
PATRICK
8 months ago

As automobiles were first introduced to cities, it was thought that cities would become CLEANER (no dung) and more pleasant (no ornery horses).