That First Saddle

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


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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