Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meet Our Saddle Experts: Linda

Linda is our saddle expert in charge of our used saddle division. Here she shares with you how she became a horse owner. The pictures feature Linda with her current horse, Scout.
When I was a little girl, I had always loved horses. After I had "proved" that I was responsible enough to keep my cats and dog fed, my parents agreed to let me have a pony. Because my Dad was raised around horses but never had a real "love" for them and my Mom had a "healthy" fear of them, this was quite an accomplishment in my eyes. I never thought I would get my first horse until I was out on my own and then I was going to have alot of them. As a kid, you have no concept of expenses!!

My Aunt and Uncle had a pony that no one paid much attention to unless I went over for the weekend. So they said I could buy him for $75, saddle included (those were the days). I was elated. I knew this wasn't going to be easy because at the time, we really didn't have a place for him to stay; so the $75 soon grew into a couple hundred, since Dad had to build a little barn and fence for him. Eventually it all came together and Sandy came to live with us. I rode him all over the fields and neighborhood. But there was one problem: I was growing taller and he was not. I soon would need a bigger horse. It was not going to be easy again to convince my folks of this because a bigger animal means a bigger appetite.

Friends of ours knew my situation and wanted to give me their old mare. I didn't see any problem with this but, again, had no concept of the expense. The barn was big enough for two, because I didn't want to give up Sandy, but more pasture had to be fenced in. I remember going out to help Dad work on the fence one afternoon and he was going along putting the insulators on the fence posts while my pony was going along right behind him pulling them off. I thought this was a hoot but Dad didn't see much humor in it!

Well the day finally came to get my mare, Cindy. (Isn't that funny, Cindy and Sandy?) They came named that way. We didn't have a horse trailer so we borrowed a truck with stocksides on it (it looked like wooden gates that extended up to make a box on the bed of the truck with an open top so the animal didn't feel completely enclosed. Well, we got her loaded and as soon as we got going down the road, she started whinnying and stomping. You would have t
hought she was a wild mustang. In the cab of the truck, there was a very tense silence. No one talked, although you couldn't have heard each other with all the racket in the back anyway. I thought Dad was going to stop the truck and just let her out to be free.

We did make it home. All our neighbors knew we where coming before they even seen us. She was loud and not happy!! We got her unloaded by having to back up to the driveway because that helped to make the drop out of the back of the truck not as steep. That went fairly smoothly, but now Sandy and Cindy had to meet. Sandy was a little gelding and Cindy was a mare - this was quite another show to be seen. Dad lead Cindy up to the stall door where Sandy had his head sticking out waiting anxiously to see this new friend. All went well the first minute then Cindy let out the normal mare scream, which none of us had ever heard before, and stomped her front legs. She stomped in the only mud that was around and guess who got covered in mud - you guessed it - my Dad. I don't remember much after that except that I must have run for my life because why would he go through all this for an animal that he didn't even care for? I never knew until now. I have my own kids now and you do things for them that you normally wouldn't think of doing. It's not for the animal, bike or activity, it's for the kids.

I'm so thankful my folks had allowed me to have horses even though it's not what they were in to. Those horses kept me busy and mostly out of trouble...or maybe they got me into trouble! They brought me so much joy and happiness and still do. I've had horses ever since and hope to for along time yet. What's your story?

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