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My Good Saddle

Good Day!

One of the best things about travelling is getting home and sleeping in your own bed. Although, I must admit, that most of the beds I sleep in on my travels are as nice as our bed at home, because of the current “added value” trends at business class hotels. What a great marketing strategy for business travelers! For many road warriors, the beds at the hotels may be better than their bed at home. Some even offer a “pillow menu”, but nothing can replace the comforting feel of your face on your very own pillow.

I do not take my pillow with me on most of my business trips (because my suitcases are stuffed full of product and there is no room), but I do carry my saddle almost everywhere I go. Do you carry a pillow when you travel? My dad takes his because he doesn’t want to sleep on a pillow someone else has drooled on. Good point Dad!

Just as your face craves the feel and shape of your own pillow, my bottom-side and legs feel that way about my saddle. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I did NOT take my saddle with me this past weekend and my bottom-side is complaining about it. Since I was only going for one day, and since lugging a 50# saddle bag through airports and expo halls is not exactly a piece of cake, I left my saddle at home.

Although the saddle I rode in for three hours on Sunday was very nice, a Circle Y trail saddle, it was much too big for me, both in width and length. Combined with the fact that the horse I rode was quite lazy and not used to having to work in an arena, let alone demonstrate collection and lateral movements, my seat and legs got a tough workout. It made both my muscles and seat bones sore.

I was very happy to come home yesterday and ride in the familiar comfort of my own saddle. I am actually pretty spoiled when it comes to saddles. For instance, I have one saddle for traveling (which stays packed up most of the time) and one I ride in at home (both Circle Ys), in addition to many other fine saddles that I have accumulated over the years. Another thing I learned from my dad is to never sell your best horse and never sell your good saddles. I have sold a lot of “best horses” in my life, since that is part of how I make my living, but I tend to hang onto the good saddles—some of which were passed on from my dad.

Some of our saddles have been relegated to adorn the living room, leaving more room for the working tack in the barn. And believe me, the living room saddles are way cleaner than our working saddles! I have a hard time getting rid of tack—even broken stuff (of which there is plenty after 30 years of training horses). It’s funny, because I am really good at cleaning out clutter and junk from my house, but not from the tack room. Do you accumulate tack or do you get rid of the old when you bring in the new?

I’ve been trying to get my tack room reorganized little by little and work my way through spring cleaning. A couple weeks ago I threw away some medicines that expired in the 80s. No kidding! And a bag of beet pulp that I estimated was 5-7 years old. It felt good to get stuff cleaned out. But I still have my trunk full of broken stuff.

Do you clean out your tack room in the spring? Or ever? I’ve always loved tack rooms and I always peak in them at every barn I go to. You see a lot of interesting stuff that way and invariably some good ideas!

Until next time,



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  1. nice post and nice comments too.thanks

  2. Oh yes saddles. My last horse was hard to fit and sometimes I’d end up with a saddle which I didn’t care for too much in order for it to fit her. I finally had a custom one made for her and me. Luckily it is fleece lined and stuffed and can be adjusted for my current horse. It is wonderful to have a comfortable saddle and one that you aren’t fighting to keep your leg under you.

    I just caught up on your blogs, Julie. It seems to me your writing is getting better as time goes on (not that it wasn’t good). These are really interesting and fun stories. Your life is very different than my bookkeeping life! (I’m not complaining though-I’d be a lousy clinician)

  3. Getting rid of tack? Who are you kidding? You never know when you’ll need to steal a piece here or there. In fact, I built my bridle for Estes out of bits and pieces that I found in my parents’ tack room.

    Mom and I were wondering what kind of leather/saddle cleaner you use? When we were down at your place for the show, Lucy cleaned my saddle with your product and we both swore we’d committed it to memory, but have both since forgotten.


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