Friday, July 12, 2013

And On to Another Generation

Kristen was 10 and I was 6 when we met riding horses a hundred years ago.  The two of us spent many hours a day taking care of our horses, training, going to horseshows, and working at Red Lobster together (to pay for said horseshows) creating a life-long friendship both at and away from the barn.  When each of us graduated from high school and headed for college our horses were sold and our tack and equipment were given away or boxed up and stored hoping for use at a later time.

Much to Kristen’s chagrin, her 9-year-old daughter Emily caught the horse bug about a year ago.  A friend of hers took a weekly lesson at a nearby barn and brought her along.  That’s all it took, Em’s hooked.  Although she’s still just taking a lesson or two a week and everything she needs is provided by the barn, she’s beginning to want horsey-things of her own. 

Kristen and I met up a couple of weeks ago and she told me about some of the things she had recently bought.  We reminisced about how pricey riding clothes and tack are, sounding more and more like our parents complaining about how much riding costs.  Kristen had given all of her equipment away several years ago and now wished she hadn’t done so.  Emily desired a saddle of her own, but mom couldn’t justify spending the money when she’s still only riding a  of days each week.  “I still have all of my stuff,” I told her.  Kristen’s eyes widened, “You still have your saddle?”  I nodded.  I told her they could come take a look and take what they wanted.

I cleaned out and organized my garage one day last week and pulled out the boxes and bags in the corner of the garage.

stuff 252I knew my saddle and boots had been saved, but I found things I was surprised about too.  I saved my helmet and gloves, crops and spurs, a bridle and four bits, two horse blankets, and a couple of buckets.  What I found most fun in those buckets though was an apron full of my braiding equipment for when I used to braid manes and tails on the local horseshow circuit.  What possessed me to keep it all this time (other than maybe wanting to take advantage of the $30-$40 payment I used to get per horse), I have no idea.  But it gave us a good laugh this afternoon when we went through it all with Emily.

stuff 251 When I first went through everything, I was feeling a bit nostalgic and not so sure I wanted to give it all away quite yet.  But realistically, right now riding isn’t something I have time or money for, so I can’t think of a better person to have it…a little girl who LOVES to ride.
stuff 253

A saddle of her very own!

18 comments:

  1. Why is her own saddle so important. Is it a girl thing ?.

    It's almost funny looking at the European saddle in L.A. when I've ridden the western one here in Tipperary for much of my youth.
    Hard to tell her size, or her dam for that matter. Both have long arms, so the young un should be able to keep them low, instinctively. She has a good wide stance too. Good straight back. It'll help to keep her little tushie in the saddle as she'll keep a balance, most times. The mother and kid are standing in 'exactly' the same way.
    Is she getting new stirrup leathers as the old have dried out ?.

    It seems you had in mind to return to the riding, or someone was hoping you would.

    What's a Packrat. :-D Only asking. }:-)

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  2. I'm TOTALLY a packrat!!! Someday I'd like to pick it up again, just for fun, but who knows.

    She has access to saddles at her lessons, but often the schooling saddles are adult-sized and/or you often don't get the same one each time you go. It's harder to get in your groove in a different saddle each week. But ya, I think it also makes her feel "cooler" having her own saddle.
    I was actually really surprised in what good condition the saddle was in when I took it out of the bag. It has not been opened since I was 17. I'd half expected it to be a dried out mess, especially in our dry dry climate. I took really good care of it though and I guess that paid off. They'll have to check all the straps to be sure everything is still intact. But it looked to be in pretty good shape.
    A western saddle? That surprises me. I would have thought the western style would be poo pooed across the Atlantic.

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    1. Yep's, two of them. And very ornate they are too. I preferred the cavalry saddle, it's a bit longer in the seat but in the European style. Very stable, which I never found the Western saddle to be, regardless what people say. I really hated the stirrup. You always felt that when putting your boot in it there was a question if it ever came out again. Grand if you're in open Arizona, not so much when jumping our field boundaries.

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    2. Oh, ya, the western is designed to keep you heavy in the seat and from flying out when the horse breaks from one side to the other when herding something or running around a barrel. Middle and lower body movement is really restricted in those saddles. Jumping is nearly impossible, and could be painful. :) I've ridden in a McClellan before, kind of a combo between the two. It was fine, but still, I'm most comfortable in the jumping saddle.

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    3. Naw, the MaClellan is far nearer the Spanish saddle. What we had was a version of this http://www.cowanauctions.com/auctions/unsold-item.aspx?ItemId=106607
      Unbelievably comfy for horse and the plank on it.

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    4. Very similar to the English saddle isn't it. You can see where it evolved from that or vice versa.

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  3. I am sure it will go to good use. It is hard to give up parts of our youth but on to a new generation is good.

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    1. The things are definitely going to a good home.

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  4. I think you found the perfect person to give it all to.

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    1. Yes I agree. Made me feel better about getting rid of it.

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  5. I love that!!! Perfect person to give it to so it stays in the family!

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    1. Exactly! And I know it will be used and loved.

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  6. Now that is sweet!
    And look at her happy face :)

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    1. Oh my yes. She was so excited. She asked me to go watch her ride next week. I can't wait.

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  7. aw.. things came to a full circle. She must have been thrilled.

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    1. Thrilled. I got a picture yesterday of her cleaning it and getting it ready, excited to use it. :)

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  8. I miss riding horses. That was sweet of you to give her your saddle.

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