SELKIRK, Man. — Hold your horses before you go galloping through a drive-thru in Selkirk, Man.
A couple who have been riding their horses in the city for more than 25 years have recently discovered it's illegal.
Jackie Siemens and Kenny Rach have spent many Saturdays sauntering on their mounts to get some takeout at one of the many drive-thru restaurants in Selkirk.
But city officials say horses are not allowed on city streets, except when permits are obtained for special events and parades.
Chief administrative officer Duane Nicol says the city has concerns about the mixing of vehicles and horses on roadways, and it wants to make sure motorists and pedestrians are safe.
He says if people are caught riding on city streets, they will be asked to mosey on.
Siemens says she was surprised to learn that, saying people seem to really get a kick out of seeing the horses pull up to the drive-thru window.
“It brings smiles to their faces," agrees Rach. "We have lot of people stopping. It makes them happy. Especially with the old people because they haven’t seen that since they were young.”
The couple, who orders and eats everything from drinks to dinner on their horses, spent months training their horses, Fiona and Voodoo.
Siemens says they've been trained to handle traffic, lights, painted lines and noise, and have never had any negative incidents or complaints.
"You just need to be experienced and be calm all the time and know your horse,” she says, adding they've been doing this since 1989.
Many locals say it would be a shame if the horses were no longer allowed to ride through the city, though one rancher in Clandeboye who rescues horses says they do not belong in an urban setting.
Bonnie Riddell says horses can be frightened, and she worries what could happen to a child if the horse got scared in the wrong moment.
"You get kids, they are excited, they run up to the horse, and now the horse is scared," says Riddell. "Or they go behind the horse and the horse is scared, kicks somebody, so it is a real concern."
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