Don't get me wrong, I would ultimately pick a fat lame horse in a pasture that I could walk around bareback on over no horse at all - but let's be serious part of my horse obsession is a horse-gear obsession and even that has taken a hit with being preggo and watching from the sidelines.
So I've had to get creative, idle hands and all..
First off, I am forcing myself to "rediscover" all my crap. All my bridle bits and pieces, all my saddle pads, all my everything. Everything has been cleaned, organized and thoughtfully put away again. My garage is literally bursting at the seams since so much of the stuff that I used to organize/maintain myself (like wash buckets and fly spray and first aid items) are handled by the barn both at home and away at shows now.
(Note, or everything has redirected to Gus' barn...)
Secondly, I am having to relish every moment that is available to me. Whether it's oiling new stirrup leathers, or giving the mare kisses - my opportunities and obligations have both gone down to the point that I feel like I'm now doing everything with the deliberation and focus of a Buddhist monk. (or at the very least an fairly OCD pony club kid).
So, when something as momentous as a new fricking saddle happens I have to figure out how to stretch out the tack-ho-ery even when I can't actually play with my toy.
So far I have been oiling it with all of the misplaced maternal hormones I can muster. It arrived darker than my previous saddle (yay), but with a really trendy ombre fade on the flaps (less yay). So I've been dabbing at it with darkening oil, slathering it with conditioner and rolling the flaps six ways to Sunday. It's looking and feeling really good... I just need a few more passes to darken the grain leather along the bottom of the flaps.. but otherwise we are in business!
|Apparently I cannot center the saddle in frame...|
Fearful of what sort of mold or gigantic spider nests could have been percolating for the last decade, I wisely asked The Boy to retrieve it for me and sacrifice his fingers to any possible nastiness inside.
Turns out that $50 monogrammed saddle cover that I begged for in 8th grade has done it's job well and aside from looking even more like cardboard than I remembered - the thing was in decent shape.
This, my friends is what $109 at the local feed shop (tack stores were WAY too expensive) will buy you. Actually, it would buy you this fine saddle, a bridle that dyed your ponies ears purple when she sweat, some stirrups and "leathers" along with a horrid nylon girth. In doing the mental math I figured out I made this purchase in 1993... which means this saddle is now legal to drink.
|it just *looks* uncomfortable|
|in need of some TLC|
Such a time warp to spend time with that saddle, I instantly remembered all it's weird (read: cheap) quirks like how the billets on one side are significantly thicker leather than the other, or how the left sweat flap is sewn on with the rough side of the leather facing up instead of down... Or the weird seams on the welting where the "saddle makers" switched to a new piece of leather instead of using a continuous hide...
Also the smell. This saddle smells different than all my other tack - it always has. Memory lane, holy smokes..
Anyway, it was also pretty cool to be handling both the (ancient) no-name saddle and the new full calf CWD at the same time. Turns out there is a difference in craftsmanship and quality - made all the more obvious by a side by side comparison. Even the horse illiterate husband could tell that they came with extremely different price tags...
And that is how you waste a Sunday afternoon being a Tack Ho without actually being able to ride, or even purchasing anything new.