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Tack room or living room, which shall it be - Sequoyah County Times: Columnist Dianna Dandridge

Tack room or living room, which shall it be

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Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:48 am

It all started years ago with an old Bob Marr 1910 saddle that was given to me as a child. I held onto that saddle for years, even though I didn’t have a horse.

It was one of those prized possessions that I just couldn’t bear to part with.

I dragged that old saddle to college with me. My roommate my first semester in the college dorm had her sporting trophies and collectible memorabilia. I had a worn out old saddle.

A few years later, I used that saddle while I was helping a friend work some cattle. Sporadically, over the next 20 years or so I would get the chance to use it again, but mainly it served more as part of the home décor, sitting unused taking up space in some corner.

Somewhere along the way I got into making handmade bridles and headstalls. I learned to do a number of different braids and finishes and so my collection of unused tack increased.

I can’t remember the last house that didn’t have a bridle rack hanging somewhere.

Then along came Shiloh. The tack increased exponentially.

Shiloh broke the old saddle while I was breaking him, so I finally did get rid of the old Bob Marr. It was replaced with a Motes roping saddle. Along with it came other tack. After all, a new saddle deserves at least one or two new saddle pads, along with the old ones.

Then of course I would see a new headstall, set of reins, halter or lead rope and just couldn’t pass it up. You’ve got to remember, I don’t buy household items. I don’t buy new drapes or curtains every time I move. Most of my clothes are worn and patched because I hate buying clothes.

But I like tack. I like walking into my favorite tack store and smelling the leather and all that goes with it. Most of the stuff I buy will be used (that is if I live to 642).

All that being said, I walked into my living room this past weekend and the thought hit me that it wasn’t just my living room that was taking on all the attributes of a well-stocked tack room, but my entire house is beginning to feel that way.

Hanging next to the door is a coat rack, supposedly meant to catch coats and jackets as we come in. Instead it is covered with two mountain-rope halters and leads; three halters that need work; two extra lead ropes that need new clips and a special piece of rope that I use in the trailer instead of the butt bar. Why it’s not in the trailer, I’m not sure.

For some reason one of several feed buckets have found their way into the house. Actually several of them can be found strategically placed in the living quarters. The bucket I found in the bathroom is loaded with the brushes I use to scrub the horse troughs and the pliers I use to remove the screw-type plugs. The bucket in the kitchen is full of curry combs, brushes and rubber bands that I use to braid Shiloh’s mane when it gets too out of control.

Then there is the living room, if you can call it that. Of course the sofa and love seat are in place, with the obligatory tapestry horse throws tossed over the backs. Likewise the recliner also has another throw with all the pretty horses.

The old barn-wood cabinet holds a multitude of horse-related knick-knacks, everything from horse figurines to some very expensive platters.

But, the things that catch my eye immediately are the two saddles prominently perched on natural wood saddle racks. Each saddle is complete with at least one, (what most people would call smelly) saddle pad, a halter, lead rope, bridle and reins.

Hanging on the wall above my saddle is another rack with all the extra bridles, reins, and ropes. Under the desk is one of two tack boxes that has a number of bits, chinstraps, hoof picks and brushes that I never liked.

Similar collections can be found in the bedrooms and closets.

The big question is why does one person with one horse need all this stuff?

The answer is simple, like the old potato chip commercial said, “You can never stop with just one.”

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