Repost, BTE 5 of 9: Buying the Horse is Only the Beginning

In time for the holiday shopping season, a holiday shopping repost. This was back when I still thought I might use all of this stuff.

Continuing to repost the entries from my previous monthly blogs Back To Eventing and Back To Riding. This was originally posted on the USEA website 2010-12-17, archived here.The photo over there is an editorial addition. My tack space is much more of the tin shack variety.

Back To Eventing, Part 5: Buying the Horse is Only the Beginning.
[The author organizes self and horse for a return to eventing.]
by Katherine Walcott

“She who dies with the most toys, wins.” Anonymous

Since this is the Season of Stuff, let’s talk about new equipment for a new horse:

Feed tub – I have a perfectly good feed tub that I can’t use. I’ve reused Previous Horse’s brushes, bridles, and blankets but this I could not do. Meals were the center of Caesar’s universe. The morning he didn’t show for breakfast, I immediately knew something was drastically wrong. My left brain says the old tub is a lump of plastic. My right brain says Roscoe gets his own.

Future me: Rodney acquired his new name in January of 2011. [Back to Square One]

Lungeing surcingle – My tack needs an inventory system. The leather straps on my old surcingle were dried, twisted, and had the strength of toilet paper. No choice but to toss it and buy a new one. After which I discovered I had already replaced it several years ago.

Pelham Bit – Increased tack covers insufficient training. I agree wholeheartedly. I also want to be able to stop.

Horse boots, hind – When shopping for hind boots, I was told that new studies show overheated legs can lead to tendon damage. I used to be up on such things. While I have been puttering about in my own personal backwater, the world has zipped on without me.

Bell boots – OTOH, an inventory system only works if you consult it. My Future Eventing Star performs the occasional exciting misstep if his attention is elsewhere. I guess when you are 17+ hands, the feet are too far away when the head is in the clouds. Bells remind him where his feet are. I bought two simple Velcro ones as proof of concept. I knew perfectly well that I already had four pairs. However, they were mentally filed under shipping rather than under riding.

BTW – An event horse who can’t keep track of his feet? You better believe that’s on the top of the To-Fret list.

Show halter – Every horse gets one chance at an expensive leather show halter with monogrammed name plate. Previous Horse went through his at light speed. At one show, he got away three times. Pony Club training meant I had extras on hand; but that day stressed even my resources. He traveled in cheap nylon halters with replaceable leather breakaways ever after. Let’s hope Roscoe takes better care of his gear.

Horse boots, front – I miss my old Hampas. When I started eventing, those slide-buckle plastic boots were the hot thing. I remember feeling big time when I got my first pair. The leather or neoprene or hardshell boots may be better but they will never be as special.

Saddle – When I had the billets replaced on my current saddle, the tack man warned me that there might not be anything left when he opened it up. The operation was a success but ultimately only a delay of the inevitable. This saddle has seen me through high school, college, working studenthood, marriage, four horses and five states. Call me a leather snob, but will a high-tech plastic saddle last me till 2040?

Bridle – Roscoe has been measured for a custom bridle. Rather than expensive, I think of it as green. If you invest in the good stuff, it lasts.

Gloves – When I left eventing for jumpers, I pulled off my gloves with a sigh of relief. Having been this long without, I have no intention of going back to wearing gloves, either for training or for showing. We shall see how long I can resist protocol.

Future me again: I’m on my third pair of gloves for saddle seat. Maybe I dislike them because I lose them so easily.

Vest, armband, number holder… – My list doesn’t even include the Eventing gear that has been added since 1991, the last time I left a start box.
Rodney’s Saga repost locations
BTE 1 of 9: How I Won the Training Level AEC
BTE 2 of 9: The Cast Assembles
BTE 3 of 9: The AEC, a Realization in Five Phases
BTE 4 of 9: New Horse Blues

List of all nine USEA links

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