Hi Folks! You gotta love this Philly.com story of a young man, 16, who gets to school the old-fashioned way: By horse. His name is Roby Burch and he lives in Gladwyne, a Philly suburb along the Main Line:
Burch, a sophomore at the Haverford School, has been riding Jet, his big white Percheron, four miles to and from school since early this month. In his blue blazer and tie, jeans, boots, and spurs, he’s an urban cowboy who’s bringing the flavor – and aroma – of the West to the elite private school.
It’s a nice way to start the day,” he says as he saddles up the 12-year-old gelding in a stable at his family’s Gladwyne estate.
Yes, I know: estate. Must be nice. But the boy feeds the horse himself and mucks out (or whatever the word is) all the horse’s business. He’s responsible. He’s worked with horses before. It’s cool. But perhaps even cooler is that the headmaster at his school, Joe Cox, did not object to his student’s mode of commuting:
With liability such a worry that some schools don’t allow tag at recess, cupcakes at parties, or parents into buildings without background checks, you’d think Cox might recoil at such an unconventional idea.
The headmaster admits his first thoughts were: Is this legal? And where are you going to put the horse? The answer to the first was yes and to the second, well, Burch already had a place in mind – a plot of land right next to the headmaster’s house.
“My wife’s not too excited about it,” Cox says, noting the increased dust and earthy smells.
But after getting the green light, Burch helped build a corral next to the house, across the street from the school’s athletic fields.
A horse is a horse, of course, of course. But riding one to school just reminds us how cool it can be to buck the trends, assert some independence and ride off happily into the sunset. Or homeroom. Whatever. — Lenore