I have written before about how what seems perfectly normal to us ‘horsey’ people can be completely bizarre, or seem a bit odd to those people who haven’t found the joy of having a four legged best friend.
Take our cars for example, I often see posts on social media joking about the state of our cars and houses but how our stables are spotless, horses shiny and tack gleaming. The things we keep in the car is a classic example of what might seem normal to us but not to others. For a long time I had my boy on DIY and was always looking for those extra little ways to save some money. For a while I was lucky enough to have access to a local company who manufactured windows and gave their shavings away for free and once a week I used to pop down to pick up a few bags.
One weekend after a shopping spree with a friend, we returned to the car and while putting the bags in the boot I realised that she was standing staring into the boot with a slightly horrified and shocked look on her face. For there staring her in the face was what one might be forgiven for thinking was a classic serial killer kit….. several large plastic bags, a roll of duct tape, numerous plastic tie wraps and a shovel!
Thankfully there was also a significant number of stray shavings surrounding this paraphernalia so my explanation was a plausible one and she quickly laughed it off, however I did make a mental note to hide said equipment, just in case I was ever stopped by the police, not sure how convinced they would have been that I wasn’t on my way to bury a body in the woods!
In my younger years I worked on a stud farm down in Wiltshire and used to regularly drive to see friends in East Anglia on my days off. On one such trip I was casually driving down the motorway, singing away to my heart’s content, enjoying my little road trip and happy to be on the way to a couple of relaxing days with friends. I was aware of being overtaken by a minibus, not really paying too much attention to it as there was nothing out of the ordinary about this, however this minibus pulled in front of me and slowed right down, so I pulled out, overtook it and pulled back in to the inside lane. The bus then proceeded to do the same thing a further three times, which being a young girl in my twenties was starting to concern me. However on the third time I glanced to see that the bus was carrying a number of young men, all jeering and yelling and pointing to the car. Concerned that I might have a flat tyre or something wrong with the car, I slowed down, opened the windows to see if there were any noises, checked my mirrors and all my dials on the car and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was only on a final glance at my rear view mirror that I realised my mistake. There on my parcel shelf in full view for all to see were my spurs, dressage and jumping whips, a lunge line and a lead rope, again nothing particularly odd to you and I, but to a group of young men who clearly think with their hormones it was clearly something to get excited about.
There was also the occasion that I sold my first car, not realising until the money had changed hands and the car was on its merry way that in the boot, tucked down the side was a catheter and syringe, something I had borrowed from the stud farm’s maternity unit to syphon oil out of the car after over filling it with oil and had completely forgotten about. No-one ever contacted me about it and thankfully I never saw them again so didn’t have to face the interrogation or inquisitive looks.
To you and I there are probably a hundred things that seem completely normal, however remember that hanging in museums the world over are historical items of tack, bits and riding equipment that people think were used for torture devices or weird tools for making random things that no one truly understands. So the next time you have a car full of boots, jackets, tack and equipment, don’t worry if you find yourself having to explain what all the leather and chains are for!