Teens on Horseback Refuse to Leave Without Coffee after Starbucks Drive-Thru Refuses Service


An Anthem, Arizona, teenager has learned the hard way that taking a horse through a drive-thru isn’t always as easy as it looks on the internet.

The teen, Aspen Cline, had seen others across the internet riding off into the drive-thru lane, successfully getting their food orders on horseback.

In a spur of the moment decision, Aspen knew that was what she wanted to do for her birthday with her horse, Flash.

So she and another friend rode over to the local Starbucks for a treat.

But when they arrived, the barista told them they would be unable to serve them.

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“We weren’t given a reason. Just, ‘we can’t take your order.’ My friend and I were going to get frappuccinos for us and a cup of whipped cream for the horses,” Aspen said.

The barista neigh-sayer later explained she was simply caught off guard by the large animal where a car would have normally been.

A Starbucks spokesperson also backed the employee’s judgement, explaining that the drive-thru was for cars only for safety reasons.

Even so, the spokesperson went on to say that if they were given a bit more notice in the future, they would be happy to serve “all creatures.”

Tandy Cline, Aspen’s mother, was upset by the situation, saying she and her daughter watched videos on the internet of others on their horses galloping right on through the drive-thru without issues.

“She didn’t ask for money, she didn’t ask for games, she just simply wanted to go to the lake and go to Starbucks,” Tandy said of her daughter’s birthday gifts.

“It’s her favorite place and so we figured out how to make it happen for her and we see it happening with other places, with other people.”

Tandy said she would definitely be reaching out to Starbucks in hopes that they’d provide a better experience for Aspen.

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“We support Starbucks because they’re very accepting, so we were kind of disappointed we got thrown to the side from such a great company,” said Tandy Cline.

And they definitely weren’t horsing around. Shortly after the story made headlines all across the country, a Starbucks District Manager got into contact with Tandy, offering to serve them and their horses.

The manager came across town bearing carrot gifts for the horses, and at 11 a.m., the mom and daughter duo were welcomed at the drive-thru window.

“I was really happy because Starbucks seems they’re very caring,” Tandy said. “We’re really happy that they took the time to reach out to us and to make two small-town girls feel like we mattered.”

“It was really nice to see that somebody cared enough to make this happen and to decide to go out of their way to make this happen for two small-town girls who just wanted to ride their horse through a drive-thru,” Aspen said.

Reports say the pair’s next stop is the McDonalds drive-thru, where they will pick up Flash’s favorite snack of chicken nuggets.

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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