Your Car Will Never Be Clean Again

In Opinion

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.”

Photograph courtesy of Bryan Richardson
Photograph courtesy of Bryan Richardson

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.

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