February 14 marks a special day for love for most of the world. Like many people, UMHB students also celebrated Valentine’s Day as a chance for loved ones to express themselves.
For about two hours during the evening and night hours on that special day, couples who wanted a spin around campus received carriage rides.
The sponsor of this event was the newly created Crusader Riding Association. This is the first semester the members have actually been able to go out and ride the horses.
Senior English major Sara Lewis explained how the 10 members of the organization have the means to ride the horses.
“We found a barn with horses, and the lady gave us a very generous deal on that, but we still have to raise money. So we did the carriage rides as a fundraiser, and I think it was pretty successful,” she said.
Milo Johnson, the owner of the carriage ride business and the man who actually gave the rides to students, has been providing the buggy service for about 15 years. He has been around horses ever since he was a little boy and has been riding since the age of six.
“I had seven (horses) but now I’m down to two at the moment and one nice donkey named Joyess,” he said.
The horse pulling the carriage around campus on the night of Valentine’s was named Parnell and was 12 years old.
Sophomore psychology major Jenny Binford went on the carriage ride. She enjoyed the ride and getting to pet Parnell.
“I thought it was a good way for an organization to raise money,” she said. “I went later at night with my boyfriend, and it was a really peaceful thing to go do. The weather was also a plus, so that was good, too.”
She believed it was a great way to enjoy Valentine’s Day with someone special.
“I think a carriage ride is such a loving way to express to the person you love that you love them,” she said. “The horse was sweet, the driver very nice and talkative. All in all, it was a great way to finish up Valentine’s Day.”
New to riding, Lewis is happy that she had a chance to go outside on a beautiful day and ride a horse. She likes how the carriage rides turned out because that means more money for the riding club. Out of 24 possible rides, the riding club sold 15 and raised a total of $150.
Senior education major Joanna Schildwachter was another student who took a carriage ride.
“I went earlier in the evening, so the sky was really pretty,” she said. “It was a unique way to spend Valentine’s Day.”
For most, carriage rides or horseback riding is a peaceful experience. For Lewis, it’s something more. A way to calm herself from school.
“It is mostly a de-stressor,” she said. “It just takes your mind off things.”