When rolling down someone’s driveway, it’s courteous to lay off the gas pedal.

By Kelli Neubert

February 24, 2017

Little critters of all types might be crossing the driveway, so please drive slowly. Photo by Kelli Neubert.Little critters of all types might be crossing the driveway, so please drive slowly. Photo by Kelli Neubert.

Horsemen, cowboys and others that live a Western lifestyle seem to be even more extreme about their quirks, habits and pet peeves than most. We have to have our reins hung just right, our latigos put up a certain way and even our hats shaped in a particular manner. Sometimes there are habits that cross into superstitious territory (“I only ride buckskin geldings with their mane on the left side”), and sometimes there are codes we follow because they just plain make sense (“Leave a gate the way you found it,” or “Don’t pet my dog!”).

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Now, maybe I’m just getting crotchety in my ripe old age of 31, or perhaps I’m just more aware of this issue now than ever before, but I have a pet peeve that I feel needs to be addressed. And if you follow my advice, I’m certain that it will do nothing but improve the relationships you have with anyone you visit.

Drive slowly in the yard.

I understand that this extends beyond the horsemen and cowboy community, but for the sake of this conversation, I’ll use rural logic.

First off, there is the great danger of running something or someone over. Between young pups, old cats, kids and chickens, there are generally creatures of all shapes and sizes on someone’s place, and a little caution can save a lot of heartache. There are also often pieces of equipment such as welders, lawnmowers and other gadgets, and there’s no sense in blowing through in your diesel pickup when it’s possible that something may be in operation. Regarding the simple matter of risk vs. reward, it’s never worth it to cross the entry cattle guard and press the gas pedal down.

It's courteous not to arrive at someone's place in a cloud of dust.It’s courteous not to arrive at someone’s place in a cloud of dust. Photo by Ross Hecox.

I always cringe when I see a guest of mine speed down someone’s private road. There is a level of respect and thoughtfulness shown to the property owner when you creep through their yard. Most driveways that I’ve visited are gravel or dirt, and nobody I know likes to get pelted by tiny rocks or inhale a cloud of unnecessary dust, just because a driver is trying to save 25 seconds.


I’m not saying it doesn’t bother me to see reins hung sloppily on the rack, or that I won’t fix a mane when it falls onto the wrong side of a horse’s neck. But I’m willing to let a few annoyances here and there slide, because life’s too short to get stuck on the small things. Heck, I’ll even let you pet my dog!

Just keep it slow through the yard. 

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