Rolla man commutes on horseback to save on gas

Saturday, June 14, 2008 | 5:11 p.m. CDT; updated 12:14 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ROLLA — Here’s a novel way to beat high prices at the pump: Ride a horse to work.

Roy Snelson of Rolla recently began riding Rusty and Twister to his job as a 16-year veteran plumber for Missouri S&T.

“My intent is to save money on fuel,” Snelson said.

Snelson, who lives 13 miles from his job, plans to ride his horses once or twice week to work, to offset the $6- to $7-a-day fuel costs he incurs for the commute.

“In a month’s time, I’ll probably save a couple of hundred dollars,” Snelson said.

On the first day of his commute by horse, Snelson said he left home at 6 a.m. and arrived at work at 10 a.m.

Snelson said he sees more on horseback than he ever did in his vehicle, including a deer in a neighbor’s yard as well as trash on the side of the road.

Snelson said he takes both horses, Rusty and Twister, because they are “green-broke horses,” meaning they’re not completely broken-in for a long ride to work. He swaps one for another whenever the horse gets tired.

His manager at Missouri S&T told him he would put up a pen, or a corral, to hold the horses while Snelson was at work.

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