Monday, December 19, 2011

Rider Confessions

My car smells like a tack room.

I know that to horse people, this is no big deal, so maybe I should clarify.  We have been putting our cars in the garage at night, because scraping frost off the windshield in the morning is not fun.  My husband is very sweet and less deterred by cold (He can wear shorts and move the cars in the cold.  Not me!), so he has been moving my car into the garage for me.  The first time he did this, he walked into the kitchen and said,

"Did Harley use your car as a bathroom?"

So maybe "smells like a tack room" is not the right description.  You might be thinking of freshly cleaned leather or the subtle, sweet aroma of horse cookies, but this would not be accurate.  Actually, I do not know how to describe the odor in my car, but it is bad and the problem seems to be coming from my trunk.  I own one horse, but one saddle pad is just not enough.  Apparently, the lesson goers at the barn did not think it possible to have so many pads and only one horse, so I noticed that my pads started migrating to the wrong side of the tack room.  Who can resist a quilted, navy pad with silver piping anyway?  I decided that the safest thing to do was to put my spare pads in the trunk of my car, along with the spare tire.  Some of them were clean, others not so much.  Honestly, I did not notice any odor migrating from the trunk until a few weeks ago.  I went to retrieve my trimming rasp (my trunk doubles as a farrier's box) and discovered that it was hiding under a damp saddle pad.  This was strange for two reasons:

  1. I had only used that pad once the entire summer and
  2. I did not put a damp saddle pad in my trunk.  Come on.  I do have limits.
This means that my trunk must have leaked during rainy November.  I drive an older Honda Civic, which is not exactly an ideal barn car and definitely getting on in years.  A leaky trunk is very likely.

And smelly, now that there are damp pads in there.  Or were.  No, I did not clean out my trunk.  Again.  I have limits and cleaning my car is very, very low on the "to do" list.  The truth is that none of the pads are wet or damp, so they must have air dried during the past couple weeks, slowly diffusing their noxious vapors into the cabin of my car.

My tack room on wheels.  Honda calls the color "Inca Pearl", but I call it "Metallic Mustard".
So let me rephrase.

My car smells like a really, smelly tack room, BUT
I cannot move "clean my car" up on the "to do" list,
because I have to ADD "do horse laundry". 

For the time being I should reframe from offering rides to nonfamily members.  As for family members, a tack room/farrier box/smelly car is part of the territory.  Sorry!

Dressage Civic


  1. I keep a bottle of of Bye-Bye Odor in the garage and mist my floor mats all winter. It works very well and is safe for fabrics, dog beds, etc. It might be worth buying in your situation. :0)

    Here's a link:

    Definitely a problem all of us mobile horse owners must deal with!


  2. My husband is allergic to horses (really I think it's hay, but whatever) and since my car is exactly like yours - filled with horse stuff - he refuses to get in it.

    This just means that if we go somewhere together I get chauffeured!

  3. Thanks for the link, Karen. I will check it out!

    smaz- That doesn't sound so bad, when you put it that way. :)

  4. I always have to mention that when non-horsey people want to carpool. "I am happy to drive, but my car smells like horse. I am neither joking nor exaggerating."

    My husband can't stand it, but that just means he drives when we go places, which is fine with me. (More gas to go to the barn! Win!)

  5. *laughing* Hmmm...I am seeing a trend.

    Smelly car = Chauffeur privileges

    It seems we are being rewarded for the wrong thing here. ;)

  6. I can so relate to this story - I have dirty saddle pads in the back of my car as we speak (write). Glad I'm not the only one! Love the decal.

  7. My husband likes the smell of sweaty tack, hay and clean horses, so I'm not too worried :) - but if we go somewhere together, unless he is dog tired, he drives, so I don't get scolded for a horsey car AND I get chauffeured! Win, win!!!

  8. Carol- You are in good company here!

    HammersArk- And you are one lucky lady!

  9. I probably wouldn't notice. I honestly don't know if that's good or bad....

    Metallic Mustard, that's funny! I love the decal too! Subtle but nice.


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