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.
I 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.
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.
A saddle of her very own!