German woman uses horse power to save money on fuel

A woman in Germany has made a big change to her daily commute to work that saves her time but saves money.

Stephanie Kirchner now leaves her vehicle at home and uses real horses go to work. She rides a carriage pulled by two horses.

Kirchner is a 33-year-old horse trainer and farm owner. She says she has no choice. Fuel prices rose following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She also expects running her farm to become more expensive. So, she said, “we need to save some money.”

Horse breeder Stephanie Kirchner prepares her horse at a small stud farm near Limburg, Germany, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Kirchner now uses the horse-drawn carriage to travel about 6 kilometers from his home in western Germany to work. This turns a 10-15 minute one-way trip into an hour. But Kirchner estimates she could save about $264 a month by not driving her vehicle and using the “power” every day.

Horse breeder Stephanie Kirchner drives her horse-drawn carriage down a road near her hometown of Schupbach, Germany, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Horse breeder Stephanie Kirchner drives her horse-drawn carriage down a road near her hometown of Schupbach, Germany, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The carriage and its horses are popular with children and other people. However, she admits that some people are always in a rush and can get “bored” if they can’t get past it fast enough.

Kirchner drives his coach through a village near his hometown of Schupbach, near Limburg, Germany, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Kirchner drives his coach through a village near his hometown of Schupbach, near Limburg, Germany, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Kirchner knows his response to rising fuel prices isn’t for everyone. And she encounters some difficulties. Parking, for example, can be difficult to find for his horse and carriage.

“I can’t put a horse in a car park garage,” she says.

However, she adds that “a lot more riders would do it if Opportunities were created for horses.

I am Anna Matteo.

Associated Press writers reported the story in Germany. Anna Matteo adapted it for VOA Learning English.

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words in this story

carriage – nm a wheeled vehicle

bored – adj. feel or show angry irritation

Parking Garage – nm a building where people usually pay to park their cars, trucks, etc.

opportunity – nm a favorable combination of circumstances, time and place: a chance for greater success