My wife and I made our annual pilgrimage to Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend for “Equine Affaire”:http://www.equineaffaire.com/ohio/index.html. It was chilly and wet for most of the day on Saturday, but we spend the vast majority of our time browsing through the vendors. We always go to Equine Affaire with a shopping list, since we can generally find our best bargains of the year there.
I managed to snag myself a new hat, an Aussie barmah-style that suits me much better than a cowboy hat does. I’ve never really been the “Western” type of personality, and in many ways, the barmah-style hat is much more practical. Working our property last year, I quickly discovered that the wide brim of this sort of hat is vastly useful for keeping the sun out of your eyes. I’ll need to get my hands on a can of beeswax so I can waterproof the thing, plus my duster – which I bought at Equine Affaire two or three years ago – could probably stand to be waterproofed again.
I believe I also finally found the saddle I want to buy for myself. Since I have a bad back, it becomes very difficult for me to ride much without putting myself in severe discomfort afterward. I’ve been kind of casually on the lookout for a saddle that will support me without making my back ache and that will also be comfortable for my mount, who’s a rather sensitive-sided Anglo-Arab. I’d actually gone to Equine Affaire this year with an endurance saddle in mind, since they’re generally built with comfort in mind for hours of riding. The one I finally found – and spent a bit of time drooling over – was a Tucker GenII Endurance Saddle with a 17 1/2″ seat. It is, by far, the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever sat in that didn’t pinch or hurt or make my back ache the moment I settled into it. With a $1700 pricetag, though, it’s going to be something I save up for and buy at Equine Affaire next year. Heck, I may even try a couple of novice-level endurance rides and see what the sport is all about.
We picked up a lot of other things this year, as well, including the obligatory Breyer horse model (a spotted draft collector’s edition model, this year). Next year, hopefully, we’ll be able to attend for a couple of days and actually take in some clinics and seminars. There’s just too much to do and see to be done in just one day.