The telltale twitch of a horse’s ears may be your only warning before a truck roars by from the rear and shakes the canvas-covered buggy you’re riding in on the shoulder of the highway.
With no rearview mirrors or windows, and the cacophony of hooves hitting the pavement and rattle of the mostly wooden cart masking sounds that would alert you of traffic coming from behind, the ride Amish take every day can be frightening to someone more used to driving in a Buick than a buggy.
Enos M. Hershberger, an Amish man living in DeKalb, gave me the opportunity to experience buggy travel on a recent clear morning. He welcomed me aboard for a trip from the village of Canton — out County Route 27 and Sykes Road — to visit a farm where he was doing some business.
If a vehicle is passing at 50 or 60 mph, it pulls the carriage, he said. “You’ll feel the suction of it.”
This is one of the most vivid accounts of the danger of riding in a horse-drawn vehicle I have read–probably because the reporter actually took the ride himself.