The Lure of Stuff
|April 24, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Gear|
Up until 4 or 5 years ago I always had a tack or equine related wish list – things I thought I needed and things I was looking for on used sites for a bargain price.
I had attributed the death of my wish list and my new found contentment in what I had and my renewed focus on riding instead of buying because of some enlightened state that came from the quaint phrase that boils down to “the more you know the less you need”.
But recently I had an experience that makes me question this premise.
What if my “enlightenment” wasn’t due to my decision to not look through sale catalogs or go to online sites like Bayequest.com or endurance.net? Or because of some revelation that I truly do have everything I need to ride 50 or 100 miles? What if it was a much more insidious (and simple) extrinsic factor?
Since leaving central CA and returning to school I’ve either had my horse at home, or at a very low key “boarding stable”. Unlike previous boarding situations, this is a private owner who owns a large number of horses and spends more time riding then buying. She also does a different sport than me. There’s a couple of us that board year ’round, but most of the boarded horses are there seasonally, depending on whether it’s indoor or outdoor polo season.
The end result is a complete lack of “keeping up with the Jones’s” at my current boarding stable. I don’t have the latest gadgets paraded in front of me on a daily basis and serviceable, functional tack rules the day. There’s no one to chat to about my latest piece of gear, or to congratulate someone on their latest acquisition. Problem solving advice involves riding techniques and drills – not pieces of equipment. Topics revolve around acquiring good quality hay, how to keep the paddocks drained, which horses are legged up and ready to go, and which horses are laid up because of injury.
I never would have realized what a difference this culture made for me if it wasn’t for visiting some other boarding facilities as part of an equine externship.
The rows of perfectly organized tack rooms, and personalized equipment lined up in neat little rows outside of stalls, and gadgets galore at those boarding stables was like a reformed addict having the drug of their choice wafted under their nose.
I felt an intense desire to GO BUY STUFF. Preferably color coordinated and neatly organized.
I browsed bayequest for something to buy. I wasn’t sure what….but something that would make me look, and thus feel genuine – like what I saw in those stables. Defining myself as a polished, professional, and competent horse person was a mere purchase (or two) away.
Thank God I’m basically broke.
Because instead of lapsing back into a never fulfilling form of retail therapy I had to actually figure out why for the first time in four years I felt as if I needed to buy in order to ride.
Obviously I DON’T need to buy, having ridden without issue during those four years that was remarkable only for the fact that I’ve barely *bought ANYTHING except for items that have actually broke or worn out.
*yes there were two saddles. But to be fair one saddle was me rebuying a saddle I had sold because I was stupid, and the other saddle was bought from a friend when all my saddles stopped fitting….and both were paid for by winning a horse related article for a scholarship….so I don’t really count them?
So I took a deep breath. I went and rode my horse. And then I gave myself permission to buy some stuff that I really did NEED.
Because that’s an excellent compromise don’t you think?
– Rasps: because when when all you have is dull rasps your life sucks.
– a hoof holder cradle thing: It wasn’t until I started trimming ML that I realized Farley has gotten into a very sneaky habit of LEANING on me. Witch. Combine that with a back that I get more and more protective of and a hamstring that still gets cranky after I injuried it last year in a marathon….and I decided to get this cradle and pray that it fit into the top of the pipe that makes up my homemade hoof stand. By the grace of God it fits PERFECTLY into the top of my hoofstand as it I had sized it specifically for it (instead of randomly picking out a pipe and disk blade and handing it to my brother and promising $15 in return for him welding it).
– tie blocker: Years ago I meant to get a tie blocker ring for Farley because she pulls back…but never did. I ended up asking her to ground tie as a work around. Fast forward to today. Farley rarely/never pulls back and ML ties….but being permanently scarred by Farley, I just have a hard time tying a horse hard and fast. It stresses me out. It’s hard for me to relax. Amber uses tie blockers at her place and I decided to splurge and get one. ML knows how to exploit them but it will put my mind at ease with farley and with supervision I’ll use it with ML if it will give me peace of mind and allow me not stress and worry in a particular situation.
– a new lead rope: I LOVE my yacht rope Parelli leadrop that a friend got me years ago as a gift. The downside is they are EXPENSIVE. I hate nylon lead ropes, and the cotton ones aren’t wound tight enough. For the last seven years I’ve compromised and made my own out of bulk cotton rope that is twisted tighter then the ready made ropes. But it’s still not the same? So my last splurge was a bright shiny new yacht lead rope. It wasn’t the cheapest at riding warehouse, but it wasn’t a name brand clinician one either. I hoped that it would have a similar feel for a reduced price to my parelli rope even if it wasn’t quite as good. Not having orange for farley….I settled on blue for ML, and farley will continue to use my old white one. I can change out the snap for one I like better because it has a (more bulky than I would like) loop at the end. And no, the feel is not as good and it’s not as responsive as my parelli rope but….it was half the price :).
I’m looking forward to using these “gadgets” as I continue to remember what’s important right now – Sound horses, time to ride, and beautiful weather. And just enough disposable income to do a ride or two even if it’s not in the latest style.
Love this! Amen
This post is a great reminder to focus on what really matters. I’ve often had trouble identifying the difference between what I really need to get and what I want because I see an ad or somebody else using it. Particularly when I was showing a lot, the bling would tempt me. With endurance stuff, I think it’s a little easier because the emphasis is on what works and is comfortable instead of what looks great. In fact, I think I might be almost cured of my addiction to buying new saddle pads all the time because good endurance pads are so much more expensive than dressage pads:)
Why did I just find this post? I loved it. It is so easy to get caught up in buying stuff isn’t it?
I have a bad habit of sifting through horse equipment catalogs and think of all the things I really “want” but know I don’t need. Last weekend one of the chain “ranch supply” stores was having their annual “bucket sale. Everything you can fit in the bucket was 20 %. I knew I could easily fill that bucket. I had planned to attend but when I sat down to make my list of things I would fill my bucket with, none of it was stuff I NEEDED, only stuff I wanted. I opted not to go.. an was better for it in the end.
Its so easy to fall into the trap if your surrounded by it. Good for you to take a step back and realize what was really going on . Having grown up in the show barns of the east coast, I do tend to slip into wanting to “be that girl” once again, but then I realize.. “silly me. .there is no trust fund .. what are you thinking of looking at that Antares saddle”
Breeches and boots and a couple of new saddle pads have been my areas of spending these days but both were needed and I got them all on sale.. still pricey but atleast they were discounted.
Ah the horse catelogs! And those tack/ranch supply stores. I’ve just learned I can’t even look. Otherwise I end up with a long list of longings – none of which once realized were worth it. It’s so nice to hear other people get caught up in it just like me. And I love your sense of humor “silly me..there is no trust fund…” LOL. So true.