That First Saddle

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There are some events in life that people tend to remember: their first kiss, first car, first love, first horse, and so on.

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Another important event that many horse girls remember is when they got their first saddle.

After loving horses for 17 years, my parents decided I was old enough?and responsible enough?to have my own horse. That announcement came on my 17th birthday, and it came in the form of a horse "care package."

The birthday present was complete with a halter, lead rope, hoof pick, currycomb, and brush. I had everything I needed to be prepared for my first horse, except one thing: I needed a saddle.

One day, my mom called from work and asked me to meet her at the local armory, where they were having an auction. I grumbled a little, thinking there would be absolutely nothing for me at this auction, but I was wrong.

My riding instructor had told my mom that there were a couple of saddles at the auction. One of the saddles was even a barrel saddle?my chosen event at the time.

Knowing that a saddle has to be a good fit for horse and rider, I tentatively climbed aboard. It was perfect; I couldn't have asked for a better fit. Along with the great fit, the price was right too: only $200.

Though I am currently horseless, I still have my saddle. There were a few times when I considered selling it; it was a constant reminder that my first horse, Jazzy, did not work out and that I had no horse to put it on.

However, I have decided that it would be a shame to get rid of a saddle that fits me so well and to sell the one horsey item I brought with me to Colorado. The old, cheap, brand-unknown barrel saddle will always have a home with me.

Check out the May issue to learn about editor/associate publisher Juli Thorson's first saddle-buying experience.

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