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Back To Horse and Buggy To Save Money On Fuel? | What The Hell Files

Poor thinking sold as effective problem-solving.

Image Licensed to Lucia Grosaru | 2022

Gas prices skyrocketed pretty much all over the world as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the economic sanctions that followed the aggressor state.

People try to adapt to the new financial reality and while many find reasonable solutions that they can implement at least temporarily and see good-enough results, there are also those who only feign finding a solution when in reality they’re just adding to the crap pile and get praised for it by similar minds.

One of the latest such contexts was presented by the German DW News platform, on their Twitter account.

“Turning back time, a woman has swapped the speed of her SUV for real horsepower to rein in her rising fuel costs”, is the video’s caption.

Making the mistake of clicking Play, we then find out about a woman named Stephanie Kirchner, farm owner and horse trainer, who decided as a consequence of the high gas prices, to stop using her Toyota Hilux and go for a horse and carriage instead.

She tells us how trips that used to take her 15 minutes now stretch for an hour, but that’s worth it because she is saving around 250 Euros a month.

Great, right?

An elegant, environmental and purse-friendly solution to the crazy fuel situation.

Yeah… No.

You see, while I may understand that both Miss Kirchner and DW News may enjoy the attention the story is getting — why wouldn’t you use a world tragedy to your advantage, after all? — the overall packaging of a Dr. Quinn-esque lifestyle is nonsensical from a financial perspective, unsustainable from a social one, and absolutely despicable when it comes to the way it treats animals.

Here’s Why The “Horse and Buggy” Method Is Not A Solution To The Fuel Pricing Crisis

  • It’s animal abuse. There’s one thing to take your horse for a ride so that they can enjoy some time out in nature, and there’s a whole other thing to have them carry your shit from the supermarket every week for example. What’s next? Have the horses wait for you in the heat or rain while you’re sipping your Starbucks latte?
  • You’d be the moron blocking traffic. Sure, as the DW video tells us, the lady enjoys her slow-paced life — I wonder if the horses feel the same though — , yet, in a full narcissistic fashion, they forget about all the other people who have to share the street with her. What are those individuals supposed to do? Oh, that’s right, drive slowly AF behind her buggy, and look for a moment to pass her. Repeat for tens of vehicles during that amazing hour while she’s on her way to… wherever she goes. Result: burdened or blocked traffic. So that the lady could save about 10 Euros on that day. Now, add 10 more buggies from people who want to save money on gas… Yep, it’s stupid.
  • It’s hypocritical. You know how Western Europe and other Western countries used to mock countries in Eastern Europe because “they’re so poor, they’re still using horse and carriage”? It’s OK if you have no idea what I’m talking about. You’re probably living in the West. I remember it because I live in Romania, one of the countries mocked because some of its farmers still use the horse and carriage method to move around and take care of their land. I remember how I considered that the entire production team from Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” must be just a crew of jerks for falsely representing Romania in the agenda-based show — making it look bad because they chose a distorted lens and stuck with it. Russian guide and everything. Plenty of other international shows did a much better job at showing the world what Romania has to offer, but I digress. I just find it hypocritical that now the same behavior is seen as a solution, a way to “turn back time”, enjoy a “slow-paced life”, save money, and the environment. It’s not about the arguments, it’s about the story they’re trying to sell.
  • It doesn’t save money. Kirchner said she’s saving about 250 a month with her method. What they didn’t tell you is how much it would cost to take care of a horse, and mainly to purchase it and build the initial environment for it. Horse Racing Sense estimates an initial cost of $10000 — $ 15000 (first-year cost) and then places the horse ownership yearly cost to $6000-$7000 (per year after the first year). That’s about $500 a month or 468. A lower estimate comes from Money Crashers. They place the low range of horse ownership costs at $2,419, meaning $200 to $325, or 187–304 per month. The website even states that these prices are “on par with a car payment”. So, tell me again, what exactly is this woman saving money-wise?
  • It’s overall not realistic. Even the video mentions it — Miss Kirchner “knows her solution isn’t for everyone”. Of course it isn’t. One would have to not only afford the initial and yearly payments, but also know how to work with and take care of a horse. And could you even imagine having to be somewhere on a strict schedule, maybe even several times a day, and relying on your horse to get there? Yeah, me neither.

Overall, I find it a stupid take to a very serious issue.

I am sick of “stories” like this one being sold as both amazing thinking — you should learn from this woman or something — and entertaining, relevant content.

It’s none of those things.

It’s the kind of content that encourages individuals to think they have a say in fields where they have no idea what they’re talking about.

It’s how we ended up with several ideologies being considered progressive.

It’s time we wake up and use our brains.

On another note, I am happy that several people caught the stupidity of the message and called it out in the comment section.

More of that, please, and maybe we’ll go back to quality content at last.

P.S. I also call BS. I think, were we to follow Miss Kirchner when the cameras are off, we’d soon find her back in the Toyota and rarely going back to the horse and buggy that made her “famous” for a minute.

Thank you for reading.

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Lucia Grosaru, M.A. Psy.

Lucia Grosaru, M.A. Psy.

Psychology MA. Assertiveness and Critical Thinking Advocate. Author of PsychologyCorner.com.