Unhorsey friends might bemoan their messy cars (the odd trainer here, a crisp packet there), but you know they ain't got nothing on a riders' wheels. We meet the riders who really know the meaning of messy...
‘I had a mouse living in my car’
“I had a mouse living in my car for a couple of months. I think the remnants of breakfast porridge bowls kept him going and the amount of rubbish in my car made for quite a mouse-friendly environment.
“I used to commute up to Birmingham from Bristol quite regularly and sometimes he would pop out into the passenger footwell… The first time caused a shock but I came to look on him quite fondly as my little travel companion! My husband, however, did not.
“So eventually I bought a humane trap and set it in the boot with some of his favourite porridge and honey… The next morning the trap had been triggered but no mouse was inside. He obviously took this as a sign to move on though, as I never saw him again. (Sad face)” Sarah Boon
A sports car full of hay
“My car is full of the normal whips, boots, wellies, head collars and feed but my strangest response I’ve had was turning up to the yard with my sports car full of hay. The things you have to do for your horses… I had to drive home with the roof down to blow out all the stray hay — it was somewhat messy.” Sarah Farmer
‘I had a surprise hoovering her out…’
“Here is Martha the 1989 Austin Mini earning her keep, carrying four hay nets and two rugs on the boot lid/in the boot. On the back seats I had my riding gear, and on the passenger seat and footwell were buckets of feed. One of the balanced buckets on the seat may have tipped over and a load of sugar beet and chaff went in the door pocket. I didn’t notice and I had a surprise when hoovering her out three weeks later…” Eleanor
‘I found a month-old bag of tomatoes’
“In this picture my car has two saddles, six bags of feed, a tote sack of haylage, 3/4 of my wardrobe, 10 rugs, God knows how much rubbish, my dog and seven-year-old niece in it. Oh and me! I cleared the front out for its MOT and found a month-old bag of tomatoes someone had given me — and that’s just the start of the mouldy food over the years… It’s bad, I know!” Michelle Offen
‘The mouse was attached to a horse rug and had solidified’
“My first car was a small Peugeot 205 famed for being capable of carrying four bales of hay from the field to the yard. The most interesting moment was one lunchtime when I offered my friends a trip to McDonald’s and my friend (who spent every evening and weekend polishing his car) climbed into the back and announced he had just found a dead mouse in the back.
“The mouse was attached to a horse rug and had solidified — it clearly decided the rug was a nice place to sleep and then I had moved the rug to the car. I now have a pickup truck which is capable of carrying loads more spare rugs (suitable for hiding new purchases in the back!) — but I now make sure any rugs collected from the yard are placed in the back and not the cab… just in case!” Rebecca Markillie
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‘It’s fair to say not many people ask for lifts with me!’
“This is my tiny smart car filled up with feed. Under this are my wellies, a pair of trainers, some coats, some normal shoes, under the seats I found some old crisps, some lost (furry) sweets, also some melted glued together Haribo, lots of mud and stones from the yard drive, some broken CD cases, dog poo bags (always handy!), some hair bands, a two pence piece (that’s how rich I am!) and to make sure I never smell at work… Some perfume! It’s fair to say not many people ask for lifts with me!” Louisa Spencer