PO Box 518 Montpelier Station, VA 22957  1-540-748-7199

Unexpected side effect

Okay, yeah, I’m still going on and on about my Tad Coffin saddle, and you are probably sick of hearing about it, but I had to mention one completely unexpected side effect.  The three horses I am now riding exclusively in that saddle have become easy to bridle.  Not that they were ever really difficult (except Bailey, and we will get to him), It’s just that I had to exert effort to shove the bit in their mouth (yes, I tried hackamores).  They would all just stand their with their jaws clamped looking at me as if to say, “Really honey?  You want to shove that hunk of metal in my mouth?  Don’t think so.”  Chick, my old guy, was the best at it.  I guess if you spend twenty horse years on this planet you get pretty good at expressions.  The look he would give me!  A lesser woman would have cried, but too bad son!  I was a sergeant in the US Army!  Take that!  And the bit!

Anyway, Bailey.  When I brought Mr. Bai home many years ago, getting him tacked was an ordeal.  You already know I gave up on the saddle entirely and rode him bareback (what was I thinking???).  But he would roll his eyes and grind his teeth, and eventually the bridle would miraculously wind up on his head.  If I had the wild thought of saddling him, I would have to chase him around the stall (had no helpers then).  If I got the saddle up he would bite the wall and shake it off.  That was why I went to bareback.  Now I remember.  Even a complete dolt couldn’t miss that message, and I would like to believe I am not a complete dolt (unfortunately, I think the horses are taking a poll amongst themselves on that very subject).

So let me tell you this, and I might drop the subject for  a while.  I can stand outside the stall, hold up the bridle, and Mr. Bailey will but his head in and grab the bit.  HuhDid I just see that?  The only change in the program people, is the new saddle.  Go buy one.  Save yourself the heartache.  I know it is expensive, but I spent twice that on vet bills!  He is still sound, still bending and cantering to the right.  Paws crossed.  If I had this saddle in 2005 when I brought him home, maybe we’d have… I don’t know, but maybe he’d be sound and I wouldn’t have had to put him through all that I did and maybe I wouldn’t have given up and thrown him in a field for four years.  Too many maybes.  But what if?

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