New Is Always Better?!

I remember very well when Barney Stinson talked about his theory that new is always better. Last week, I eventually got a new car. Indeed, it is not only a new car to me, it IS a pretty new car, less than a year old. May I remind you that Opi died two months ago and in the meantime, I was really trying hard to find the optimal car for Hafl and me. See, that is the problem: I am not just buying a car for my personal pleasure or getting to work, I need a car to tow a horse trailer, meaning that there is a ton of restrictions. So it took some time to find something that would work as a commuter car and towing hero likewise.



And there was the fact that I really liked Opi, he was a good car. Well, he had his flaws (did I mention that the handbrake did not work properly or that from time to time my steering booster was not boosting anything let alone those hundred times when I needed assistance - I guess it might have even been cheaper for the automobile club to hire me and provide me with a company car than always being towed away...). Sure, after more than ten years on the road there was a bit of rust, there were some dents but all in all, he was in good shape. And most important: I knew all of that, to every detail. I knew how to park on a steep road without a fully reliable handbrake and I knew how he behaved on snow. I knew he was thirsty but in return, he felt like a tank on the road. His awkward steering angle made me feel like driving a lorry and God beware, in some cities around Europe, this Diesel engine would have been banned already.

Now that Opi has gone (and he literally has, he might get a second chance somewhere you don't want to know), it was time for Grisu. That's the name of my new car. And he has huge shoes to fill. First thing I checked the handbrake, second, steering. As soon as I realized that this works, I just got an idea of what more my new car can do. He cannot drive alone yet but with all the technical equipment available to me now, I feel like an astronaut. There is a rain sensor, there is a built-in GPS, the side mirrors have their own life and OMG I have a feature called sky view,  a glass sunroof. He is by far less thirsty than Opi and sure, I could go to any German city with ease. I have no idea what my automobile club will do now without the work I used to provide to them.

But here's the point: is new really always better? From a technical point of view, yes, also, from an ecological one. But then there is the heart, and that is the most difficult critic to convince. We tend to link emotions to our belongings, and even more: moments. The one time I drove down to Milan for more than 500km just to see one of Christo's installations? Opi was there. The one time I drove Hafl up the mountain during heavy snowfall where I learned that car and trailer can only go sidewards when they want to go up on a covered road? Opi was there. When I had yet another breakdown at a horse show? Opi was there. When Hafl needed to go to the vet? Opi was there (just not last time). And no matter what, I loved him. We got used to each other. Many told me that nobody would buy such a car, that only so few of them drive around. That I should get rid of him because he was becoming old.

When I think of Hafl and all the issues we had over the last nine years, not only once there were people who told me that I need another horse, one that can go further up the dressage ladder. A fancy warmblood, able to do Grand Prix. And even so often I thought of how easier my dressage life would be with another horse. But new is not always better, it is just different! And there might be issues with the new horse, actually, it is very likely. Will there be issues with Grisu? Of course! I mean already now many tell me that I should have gotten another car, a German car, a more prestigious one. I start comparing him to Opi and miss all of those hidden compartments Opi had or the trunk that felt so much bigger despite the numbers that tell me that they are the same.

It takes time to get used to new stuff and even though they might seem way better on paper, it takes time to form a team. That goes for cars and horses alike. Even more, when you have to rely on your car because you have your horse in the back.

Hafl likes Grisu I guess. I introduced them and Hafl did not kick him so I guess they will be okay. Thank God I just had to replace my car and not my horse.


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