Thoughts & Views: Get a horse!


No, I am not speaking about American Pharoah, although he has been in the headlines. (Congrats, Pharoah, on the recent Haskell win.) I am talking about your regular, run-of-the-mill equines. Society would benefit greatly were they to make a comeback.

This occurred to me as I watched the news coverage of last week’s N.J. Turnpike closure, resulting from a fatal crash in Linden.

The Pike at a dead stop for hours and hours and . . . Motorists were sunbathing on the shoulder of the highway, or having picnics. I think some may have planted and harvested gardens. Young children grew into adulthood.

And it wasn’t just the Pike brought to a halt. Drivers desperately attempting to find alternate routes created traffic jams all over North Jersey well into the evening. You know something’s really wrong when you’re sitting in traffic on a clogged Harrison Ave. or Rt. 21 or Rt. 3 because of an accident in Linden.

My modest proposal: Get rid of the cars. Bring back the horses.

Just think of all the advantages:

1) A resurrection of horse travel (single riders and carriages/ buggies) would solve America’s oil problems immediately.

2) With less dependence on fossil fuels, global warming might be controlled.

3) Gas stations need not go out of business; they could be converted into stables.

4) Horses are quieter than cars. No more roaring engines, honking horns, screeching brakes. Only the soothing sounds of clip-clop, clip-clop and an occasional neigh.

5) Towns would save a fortune in winter, since there would be no need for rock salt. Of course, streets would still have to be plowed, for the sleighs.

6) No more stinky auto fumes.

7) Yes, there would be stinky manure all over, and some municipality would adopt a pick-up-after-your-horse ordinance, but manure, when collected on a regular schedule, could be controlled. And having been collected, it could be used as fertilizer (or perhaps converted into a biofuel?).

8) More fertilizer would be needed since we’d also need more farms for hay and straw and oats.

9) More farms would mean fewer McMansions. (Reference to the hideous homes now occupying what had been bucolic acreage in our state. Take a ride northwest sometime.)

10) The only motor vehicles allowed on the roads should be fire trucks/engines, ambulances and police cars. They’d reach their destinations faster. And the police and public would no longer be endangered by criminals careening along highways at 100+ mph.

11) Yes, there would still be drunk riders, but collaring the offenders would be simpler. Drunks tend to fall off horses.

12) Kearny needn’t worry about enforcing nose-in parking in municipal lots. Horses have to be parked nose in, so the reins can be tied to the meters.

13) Horses don’t get flats.

• • •

Speaking of the Haskell (see first paragraph): Were you, like me, worried about Mr. Jordan? The beautiful gray was in the front pack, when he dropped back. Suddenly. As if something bad had occurred. I found out he finished seventh in the field of eight. But I didn’t hear any reports on what had happened.

Then I found the website, where several people expressed concerns, e.g., “Anyone know if Mr. Jordan is alright? Seemed like something happened to him for him to drop out if it suddenly like he did.” And: “I’m wondering the same thing. Can’t find a peep about it.”

Then another poster answered: “Plesa [the trainer] said: He came out of the race fine, and he doesn’t really have an explanation for his performance. He has endured a grueling campaign and will probably get a 30-60 day refresher on the farm to just be a horse.”

Sportscasters should realize that people can be as concerned about the “losers” as the winners.

Learn more about the writer ...