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German woman swaps SUV for real horse power to save money on work commute

Stephanie Kirchner steers her carriage on the main road through her home town in Germany (Michael Probst/AP)
Stephanie Kirchner steers her carriage on the main road through her home town in Germany (Michael Probst/AP)

A German woman said her journey to work has become longer – but cheaper – after leaving her SUV at home and switching to real horse power.

Stud farm owner and horse trainer Stephanie Kirchner, 33, said she decided “it can’t go on like this” after fuel prices jumped following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Since I also suspected hay harvesting and everything else will become much, much more expensive, we said, ‘we have to save a little money’,” she added.

Stephanie Kirchner steers her carriage on a road near her home town in Germany
Stephanie Kirchner steers her carriage on a road near her home town in Germany (Michael Probst/AP)

So she has switched to travelling the journey of three-and-a-half miles from her home in western Germany to work from car to horse-drawn carriage.

That turns a one-way trip from 10-15 minutes to as much as an hour.

But Ms Kirchner calculates that, given how much fuel her Toyota SUV consumes, she saves about 250 euros (£212) per month if she can use horse power every day.

Stephanie Kirchner steers her carriage through a village near her home town
Stephanie Kirchner steers her carriage through a village near her home town (Michael Probst/AP)

Her carriage, drawn by two horses, is popular with children and some others. But “of course humanity is hectic and then some people are annoyed if they can’t get past me fast enough”, sae said.

She acknowledges that her answer to rising fuel prices is not for everyone.

“I can’t put a horse in a parking garage,” she said. “I think a lot more horse riders would do it if opportunities were created for the horses.”

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