Mark and Jack follow the rules of the road

We caught up with Mark Rohr and his horse Jack on Oct. 6. They were on one of their regular jaunts through Goshen, where they are often gifted with apples and carrots. "I just wish there were more people that would ride through town," he said. Rohr shared some of his horse sense with us.

Goshen /
Oct 06 2019 | 09:59 PM

Jack and I ride through the town of Goshen once a week. Jack is a horse that I purchased at another farm several months ago. He had many issues, one was that he was very frightened of many things.

I have been working with horses for over 50 years and own a farm on the outskirts of Goshen, Rohr family farm. Many people really don’t understand horses. Horses are not meant to be in a stall and rode around a ring. They are meant to be outside and experiencing the world around them.

If you want to have a horse that you can travel anywhere with, then that horse has to be desensitized. Actually it’s an injustice to the animal if you do not teach him not to be afraid . Ninety percent of the time the horse hurts itself or someone else because it is afraid or doesn’t understand what’s going on around them. So it is very important to put your horse In an environment it is not familiar with. It allows them to develop confidence and helps them to understand and not be afraid.

I ride my horse through the town of Goshen because I want him to be familiar with cars, noise, motorcycles, strollers, and bicycles, and to understand the rules of the road. Horses are allowed to be on the road, if they’re on saddle, from dusk till dawn. Actually, cars are legally obligated to stay away from the horse, and in New York State, they’re not allowed to blow their horn within a certain amount of feet of the horse.

There are many things I do with Jack to prepare him for what he is going to be dealing with when he rides in town. One of the things I do is weld studs to the bottom of the shoes so that he can grip the pavement to prevent slipping. The other things I do is train him and condition him so he can deal with the stress, like any professional athlete.

I personally love to ride through Goshen. I love Goshen. It is like a Norman Rockwell painting, and Goshen loves horses. I just wish there were more people that would ride through town. While Jack and I are traveling through the streets, the children come out, and they are so excited and their parents are excited too. They stop in the street and say to me that’s just wonderful. I love to see the look on their faces and the joy that it gives everyone to see the horse on the road. It is a great reward for me and Jack. People actually come out of their homes and bring him apples and carrots.

So if you see Jack and I riding through the town of Goshen, we are more than happy to stop and let Jack say hello.

"I love to ride through Goshen. I love Goshen. It is like a Norman Rockwell painting, and Goshen loves horses." -- Mark Rohr