Sunday, June 9, 2013

Buggy Etiquette

       You may be thinking this blog post is about how to behave while riding in a buggy.  When I was a nineteen-year-old, single man I took my very first buggy ride.  I had become friends with an Amish family and asked one of their daughters some questions about what Singings were like.  She invited me to come along with her to a Singing the next Sunday.  She suggested I come early enough for Church and stay until evening and go to the Singing.

       When we climbed into the buggy and started down a gravel road, their horse lifted its tail and began to drop, what we in the Kalona area call "buggy exhaust" on the road.  Let me just say I wasn't used to that view!  I let out a chuckle and those teenage girls looked at me to see what was so funny.  Immediately I knew that this was part of everyday life for them and I felt like a city slicker!
       Now, years later, when I give wagon rides to friends, I am surprised that they laugh when my horses lift their tails to take care of business.  I guess it is all what you are used to!

       I actually want to address the issue of how to act around buggies.

 1) When you are in an area with horse and buggy people, please remember that they are only going a fraction of the speed of a car.

2) Remember that horses have a mind of their own and no two horses' minds are exactly alike!  A horse can act up at anytime about something as simple as a plastic bag blowing out of a ditch.  Pass carefully!

3) Understand that Amish are not trying to attract attention.  They are just living their everyday life in the way they have grown up living it.  I'm like you, very curious about it, but at the very least give them some respect and don't treat them like a circus attraction.

4) Don't ask, "Can I take your picture?"  Amish have strict rules about having pictures of people.  Every Amish group has their own rules and some Amish people have different standards.  Some may not mind you taking their picture but that is rare.  That is why I only take pictures with no faces showing.

(Those pictures in my blog of our cover photo shoot have non-Amish actors in them.  That is why those pictures were taken with faces showing.)

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