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Denied Through The Drive Thru
 By Winniefield Park   •   28th Apr 2017   •   1,114 views   •   0 comments
Have you been tempted to ride your horse through a drive-through at a fast food restaurant? Or, maybe you have done it. In most places, itís perfectly legal to ride your horse down the side of a highway, but once you get into an urban area, you might be running afoul of a law. Once you get into a town, your horse might not be as welcome. Many towns donít allow horses on side streets except for special occasions like festivals and parades. And if you ride your horse through the drive-through at a fast food restaurant, you might not be welcome either.



Itís not unusual to see news stories about someone riding or driving a horse up to a drive-through window. The reaction is often that it is a novelty and both the restaurant staff and any onlookers find it fun to see. But, Some riders and drivers have met with a less enthusiastic reaction. One couple in Selkirk, Alberta discovered after twenty-five years that they were not allowed on the streets they rode to get to their favorite take-out restaurant. It isnít just that they might prevent a hazard on busy streets. Lots of accidents happen in the lanes of a drive though, and if the restaurant is at all busy, a horse might get crowded by vehicles putting everyone in a potentially dangerous situation.

Even though horses are allowed on highways, the parking lots and lanes of most fast food restaurants are private property. That means they can make the rules about how they serve their food. They may have a policy that they will only serve people in motor vehicles at a drive-through window. They generally wonít serve anyone on foot, on a bicycle, and although you might have your horse hitched to a vehicle, they will not serve you. Itís their call, as they are the ones responsible if an accident does happen or they have to clean manure out of the drive-through lane.

That doesnít stop people from trying it out though. A woman in Manchester, U.K. was fined after trying to go through the drive-through and was refused service. So she tied the horse outside but took her daughter and her pony inside. While inside, the pony left a pile of manure. The fine was given for upsetting the other customers and the staff. A traveler in the U.K. also ran against the law when he tried to go through a McDonald's drive-through. Citing racism as the real reason he wasnít being served, staff countered that health and safety concerns were the behind the policy of not serving someone riding or driving a horse.

In some places, the restaurant staff and law enforcement seem to be more relaxed. In Colorado, apparently, you can ride up to a Taco-Bell window and place your order without incident. And in Wyoming, you can take your goat along with your horse to McDonald's and order a sandwich. And if one restaurant wonít serve you, another down the road might, at least thatís what one U.K. woman found when McDonaldís wouldnít serve her, but KFC did.

Iíve never tried to ride a horse through a drive-through, largely because there isnít one within twenty miles of where I live. Have you tried it? What happened?
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