Horse breeder Stephanie Kirchner directs her trainer on the main road through her hometown of Schupbach, near Limburg, Germany, Thursday, May 19, 2022. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, causing prices to rise in gasoline, Kirchner uses the trainer or rides a horse to a small stud where she works as soon as possible. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
SCHUPBACH, Germany (AP) — Stephanie Kirchner’s commute to work has gotten longer but, she says, cheaper: She left her SUV at home and switched to real power.
Kirchner, 33, a stud farm owner and horse trainer, says she decided “it couldn’t go on like this” after fuel prices spiked following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Since I also suspected that harvesting hay and everything else would become much, much more expensive, we thought, ‘we need to save some money,’” she says.
So she decided to travel about 6 kilometers (3 1/2 miles) from her home in western Germany by horse-drawn carriage. This turns a 10-15 minute one-way trip into an hour.
But Kirchner calculates that, given the fuel efficiency of her Toyota SUV, she saves about 250 euros ($264) a month if she can use horsepower every day.
His carriage, pulled by two horses, is popular with children and a few others. But “of course humanity is restless and some people get annoyed if they can’t get past me fast enough,” Kircher says.
She acknowledges that her response to rising fuel prices is not for everyone.
“I can’t put a horse in a parking lot,” she said. “I think a lot more riders would if opportunities were created for the horses.”