Archive for the ‘shopping in the local economy’ category

Me, the frustrated old lady, whines….

July 9, 2011

July 9, 2011

Today I felt like a dowdy, past middle aging woman fooling herself into thinking she could add “refinement” to her horse by teaching him to side pass.

I just can’t get it. I’m too clumsy. I am not clear with my body and I confuse Jigs. Worse still, he does know how to do it; he just plain refuses to.

Jigs isn’t mean. He doesn’t crowd my space. He doesn’t try to smack my knee into a tree or knock me down. He doesn’t run off with me- he’s slow and lazy and eats his way through the trail. He walks crooked.

I know I’m the problem.

I’m one of those aging women desperately trying to reconnect with their youth through horses.  Rather pathetic. There’s a whole industry built up around our fantasies. We read the books; go to the clinics; buy the magic tools. Most of it is hogwash and doesn’t work.

But the truth is I love Jigs. He is a great horse. I trust him with my grand boys. He listens to me most of the time. He’s fun to be around.

He’s the bright spot in my life.

So what if I’m a past middle age dowdy almost old woman trying to teach a horse to side pass for the first time?  Maybe one day we’ll figure it out together.

Jigs’ New Saddle

March 6, 2011

Three years; three saddles. Oh man. I hate saddle shopping.

The wonderful Tucker I bought for Pepper four years ago was too narrow for Jigs so a year ago last November, I sold it and bought an Aussie saddle that was supposed to be fitted to the tracings I sent to the manufacturer. It never fit right.

Tuckers are much easier to sell than Aussie saddles. While it was cool riding the down under way, it isn’t as popular as all the marketing-internet hype makes it and they have very little resale value- even one that was $1300 new.  It’s now sitting in a consignment shop.

Oh, Did I say, I will NEVER buy another saddle on line? The aussie saddle did not resemble the expensive tracing done by a professional saddle fitter that I sent them. It was way too narrow at the withers. The saddle company said that I was putting it on him too far back, but when I adjusted to what they said, it got worse. White blotches started along his spine behind the withers.

So for 6 months, I rode in a bareback pad. Poor guy had me bouncing all over the place.

Yesterday, two of the ladies at the barn and I trucked our horses down to the tack shop an hour south. Who knew buying a saddle could be so interesting? That saddle trees are all very different?

I was really impressed with the time the fitter spent with each horse. He was kind and even gave me a bit of a training session which, I’m afraid to say, was needed; Jigs was jigging.

(Of course, that didn’t stop Jigs from unbuckling CJ’s halter and causing a commotion in the parking lot when we were in side oh- ing and awe-ing over the saddles.)

He called Jigs a cow pony and really seemed to like him. He mentioned that good cutting horses are low to the ground. He recognized the split ear as a brand. It made me feel good someone else saw that Jigs is special.

The trail saddle we ended up with seems to fit both Jigs and I. Despite the rain, we tried it this morning, trotting up and down the driveway. I felt more centered in the saddle and was able to sit without bouncing. Someone commented that my seat looked better and Jigs appeared more relaxed. “Ahhhh. She’s not bouncing on my spine.”

I hope this is the last saddle I buy.

There is a lot to be said for buying locally from the smaller retail shops.  The bars were so different from manufacturer to manufacturer. Even with the best write ups, you can’t SEE the differences on-line. Jig’s has a flat back and the RW Bowman fit the best. Lucky for me it was the one I liked the best and in my price range.

Having the ability to try out the different trees with someone who could explain them made buying the saddle less stressful. I came away with information I would not have learned otherwise.  And, I helped the local economy.