Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Clothes Horse, My Tack Room, Myself

Happy Saturday everyone!  Hope you are enjoying your day off.  Cowgirl Slim is off today, too.  It's her nephew's first birthday party.  Sounded like a good reason for her to be off to me.  Besides, the little tike is having a cowboy themed party.  How could I say "no" to that?  That's ok, she's going to work tomorrow so I get a day off, too.  Rose and I are here holding down the fort and I'm teaching lessons.

Thursday, I said I'd tell you more about draft horse tack.  I know a little about it because I have a ridiculous amount of it.  Why?  Because Tar is a clothes horse.

But, I promise, I won't get technical about it.  That way it stays interesting!  You don't really want to hear about draft horse tack measurements anyway, do you?  I didn't think so.

Tar, my 1600 lb. Percheron, has the closet of a clothes horse--you know, those women who shop til they drop.  It's unbelievable.  I have four saddles just for him.

Yes, it's ridiculous.  Tar is my baby. I was a complete sucker for him when I bought all of this stuff--although my family helped by giving him gifts!  He was an only grandhorse, too.  He still is.  Santa still brings him peppermints for Christmas.  The other horses are part of the business, but Tar is family.

I'm better about not spoiling him now.  But, I'm still overly emotionally attached to him. That's what happens when you only have one horse.  You are much more likely to get overly emotional about them and buy them everything under the sun.

You have to undo all of that spoiling eventually.  Treating your horse like he's a king is not conducive to good behavior long term.  I'm working on that.  The un-spoiling takes a lot longer than the spoiling, trust me.

Since I had Tar first, and didn't have all of these other horses, he has everything. I had to rent three tack lockers at the boarding barn for his stuff.  The trainer used to make fun of me.  But, I only had three lockers then--because I didn't have his fourth saddle yet!  Good thing that fourth saddle came later.  The trainer would have had a field day with me!

Tar's "closet" is actually my personal tack room.  This will give you a little peek at what's important to me. You are free to giggle if you'd like.  It probably means you're not a horse person, but that's ok.  I'll still be enjoying my private tack room anyway.

I'm going to swoon over my tack room a minute.  I love it!  It's cedar lined. I don't want bugs getting into all of the nice blankets and saddle pads.  It has tons of shelves and built in saddle trees. It's in my private portion of the people barn, across from my bedroom.  It's away from the business side of the people barn to prevent general access. Why?  Because my personal tack is really nice.  I earned it.  I don't want just anyone messing with it.

If you're a horse person, you understand.  You earn better tack as you go. Still, no matter how much nice tack I worked myself into, having my own tack room is a luxury I never imagined.  Of course, I never imagined I'd have my own farm either.  I was just very happy to have my own horse.  But a private tack room, that's "chopping in high cotton."
I have a private tack room for another reason, too.  I learned my lesson about letting every one on staff have access to my personal tack.  No, nothing got stolen, thank goodness.  But, something got "downsized," big time.

I came in one day and one of Tar's bridles, which you can image is very large, had had enough holes punched in it to fit one of the Pasos. Remember, Pasos are very small.  An extra large bridle made into an extra small bridle.  I was not amused.

I have plenty of Paso tack.  I have no idea why that employee felt he needed to make a draft horse bridle fit a Paso.  But, that's what he did.  That's when a personal tack room went from being a luxury, to a necessary decision.

Tack is an investment. You "earn" better tack as you go.  Just like most people wouldn't invest in a $3,000.00 bike for their six year old, you shouldn't buy your six year old a saddle with that kind of price tag either.  So, at this stage of the game, I've earned some pretty darn nice tack.  Having someone unnecessarily "adjust" it, is not an option.

Some of the tack I've bought myself, and some of it has been gifts.  And, yes, some of my saddles are worth bigger money than others.  But, it's all nice.  And, I'd like for only people who understand that to get their hands on it.  Cowgirl Slim understands.  She has the greatest access to my tack room, but she still isn't allowed to ride in my tack on any regular basis. She has her own tack in the farm tack room.  She's earning her way to better tack as she goes, just like the rest of us.

In my tack room, I have six saddles and a whole lot of other stuff.  There are blankets, saddle pads, ropes of different lengths for different purposes, bridles, bits for different purposes, Tar's own personal brushes, and on and on and on.  I like my stuff.  I wish I had more time to use it.  I spend a lot of time managing, and not nearly enough time riding and training.  But, it's there in a safe place when I need it.

Among my saddles, I have two that aren't for Tar.  Shh!  Don't tell him!  He still thinks he's the king!  There's my nice english saddle I told you about yesterday.  Plus there's a semi-Quarter Horse bars western saddle.  Semi-Quarter Horse Bars are not places to go drinking, rather a measurement.  A saddle that size fits 80% of horses.  It's a nice multi-purpose western saddle.

I have two saddles that are for Tar, but will also fit other horses.  At 1600 lbs and 16.5 hands, Tar is a small Percheron.  I know that's hard to believe!  The first of these "shared" saddles, is my King Series synthetic saddle.  It's a light use saddle.  But, when my Dad gave it to me, I'd just broken my left arm.  A 15 lb. saddle is a lot easier to handle with a broken arm than the average western saddle.

Well, of course I was still riding with a broken arm, why not?  Ok, don't let me get back on that horse person topic.  Let's finish looking around my tack room, instead.

The average western saddle weighs 36-42 lbs. The multi-purpose saddle I told you about earlier is probably 36 lbs. In the 42 lb. category is my Circle Y cutting saddle. A cutting saddle is used with cutting cattle.  It's made to allow you to stay in the saddle when moving quickly cutting a cow away from the herd.  I don't use it for cutting, I simply like the way it fits me.  It's my favorite saddle ever.  It was RW's.  He sold it to me for about 10% of retail.  In reality, since it was his, it's priceless.

Finally, there are the two saddles just for Tar.  Let him think it's all four.  He doesn't need to know I use two of them on the other horses, ok?

In Tar's "dedicated saddle" wardrobe, there is a custom made rancher's saddle.  It's made for comfort, designed for a rancher to ride in all day while he's mending fences.  Just as with english saddles, there are many different types of western saddles too, each with their own purpose.  This saddle was a Christmas gift from my husband four months before my accident.  I have very mixed feelings about it, but it's too nice to get rid of just because he was a jerk.

Finally, in Tar's wardrobe, there is an Australian saddle.   It's an odd looking bugger.  Looks something like a cross between a western saddle with its horn and an english saddle with it's girth and seat. This was the fourth saddle Tar added to his wardrobe.  Now, here's the part that let's you know he's a clothes horse--he's never used it!  You know those women clothes horses who have tons of things in their closets they've never worn?  Well, this is Tar's version.  It's nice, it was a good deal, draft horse saddles are hard to find...see I had reasons!

Tar would like for me to add that, among his saddles, is not an english saddle.  He's said it'll make his butt look big.  Maybe he's a little vain, too? What a character my big fella is!
I don't use Tar's "dedicated saddles" now, since I'm not riding him.  But, draft horse saddles are hard to find.  It's why I hang on to them even though they are just sitting for the moment. Besides, I earned them.  It's my prerogative.

Well, this is more than you've ever wanted to know about a tack room.  Be glad I only told you about the saddles!  But, I enjoyed telling you.  It's like the woman who goes through her closet showing you her favorite shoes.  You may not have enjoyed the experience if you're not a shoe person, but she did.  Same concept.

Have a great Saturday!  Hope you've got some nice early Spring weather in your area.  Thanks for reading.  Bye.

No comments:

Post a Comment