Bryan Richardson recently submitted a photograph via the Horse Hubby Facebook page, writing “She asked me to pick something up from the shop on the way home from work.”
Bryan raises an important point: when you enter into a relationship with a horse person, every vehicle you own will at some point in time be a barn vehicle. Your car will never be clean again.
Growing up, I remember how clean my father’s vehicles always were. There were rules: clean shoes, no eating in the car, and no animals. When I first met Elisa, I didn’t have a vehicle. We lived 1.5 hours apart, but this distance was overcome through regular car rentals (cheaper than owning a vehicle of my own, for how often I needed one). When we were engaged, however, and I readied myself to move up to the farm, I needed a vehicle of my own.
I like things clean and organized. I remembered my fathers rules, and wanted to maintain my own vehicle in as prestine a condition as possible. (I hear y’all laughing already). Here are a few things that I quickly realized, which led me to resign myself to the fact that, married to an equestrian, my vehicle will never be as clean as my father’s:
- Your car will always be full of animal hair, even if your car’s interior never sees an animal – your wife is covered with animal hair. If you ever want your wife to join you for a car ride to anywhere, you can expect your car to quickly look as if it has been inhabited by a stable of horses and a dog sled team.
- Your wife loves fast food. You will use the drive through. In-car eating is bound to happen – this may not be a big deal for many people (particularly for Americans), but I can count on one hand the number of times that I had used a drive through and eaten in a vehicle prior to meeting Elisa. Now that we are married, I can’t say that we use the drive through regularly, but I can’t say that we use it irregularly either. I have also been advised that you should never be without an abundance of ketchup packets and napkins. Elisa is a fast-food Boy Scout: she’s always prepared, and she wants to make sure that I am also.
- If it will fit, you’ll be asked to haul it – My 2012 Mazda3 hatchback has had to be very versatile. I have used it to transport horse feed, hay bales, and farm equipment. ‘Klaus’ (yes, my car has a name) has proved his worth many times. At first, the prospect of hauling feed and hay in my vehicle made me anxious, but I soon learned that it was going to happen, whether I liked it or not, and so have embraced it as an essential part of my new life.
Like Bryan, I have had to learn not to be frustrated when asked to ‘bring home dinner’ (i.e. feed and hay). Instead, these moments are opportunities to take a photograph and laugh at a life I never thought I would live. Thank you for sharing, Bryan! We’re in this together.