Every woman who has a horse has been faced with the dilemma of choosing between driving a car and then finding you and your horse dependent on others to go to events or groups rides, or driving a truck. For those who want to have an active show career, driving a truck is the clear choice, even with the more frequent trips to the gas station and the bumpy rides around town. It just makes sense when moving hay, horse equipment, jump poles, barrels, bags of grain, and dirty blankets to have a truck to transport more than just the horse. I have been a truck driver continuously since the early 80’s, first in a Suburban, then a truck I called Romeo, followed by Juliet of course, and my most recent truck Angel, which was white and blessed by the universe to be free of traffic violations. She was luxurious–heated seats, sun roof, Bose stereo system–all perfect for me and waiting in the used section of a Cadillac dealer’s lot. We shared 175,000 miles together. Once when my horse had a bit of impaction colic, the truck pulled him in his trailer around the block of a potholed country road to get his intestines moving again, and he recovered. I have chosen not to have a personal horse over the last nine years, and so in fact, my original reason for having a truck is no longer valid.
My truck moved me from a tiny house in a crowed community to my newer house with a big fenced yard where I can work with dogs and horses, and acres of woodlands surrounding it. My truck carried artwork, flea market finds and furniture back from Cape Cod for me and and my friends. Angel carried me to TTouch clinics up and down the east coast, and to Craniosacral courses when the entire back was full of equipment for the class and the seats were shared by several dogs. She never left me stranded anywhere and proudly bore my PETPT license plates. As much as we hate to realize it, our cars are not live things, but we do get attached to them; they are a constant through years of our lives that carry us through change.
Angel, my truck of nearly a decade, was pronounced full of rust on the rocker panels at inspection last week. This is a very expensive repair, so it was clear that though the engine was running perfectly, it was time to get a new car. I found someone to buy my truck and fix it up for someone else to use for trips to the dump, driveway plowing or towing a small boat locally. Maybe even a horse woman will find it to make short trips to horse events in our area. Fortunately, my parents were trading up for a new car, and their Buick was offered to me. It is a typical “little old lady situation” of being an older model with low miles, and it just makes sense for me to gratefully accept their car.
I drove it back from New Jersey, and it has all of the same features of my truck, just not the truck bed. It is indeed an adjustment, but I have to say that the comfy ride and maneuverability are a nice change. I told my friends that I feel as though I have lost “street cred” when I pull up for a barn call in this car, but they have reassured me that even farriers and vets we know drive cars. I named the car Snowflake, as inspiration for it to handle well on the icy winter roads here in Massachusetts.
So let this post stand as a tribute to the many women with horses who have had and lost trucks, or who have ventured into truck driving later in life. Our trucks are not our horses or dogs, but they still share a role in our lives with our animals, and we appreciate them so much.