Thursday, April 2, 2009

NSHA Swap Night and Memories

This Saturday evening is the Nassau Suffolk Horseman's Association's annual Swap Night. It is a very eagerly awaited and popular horse gear swap meet that sort of unofficially signals the start of spring in our horse community. Every year I get a table to sell stuff and it's fun to go and see everyone and catch up on what they've been up to.

So I have a table again, of course. And I have lots to sell but this time feels different. I'm kind of sad and wistful about it this time. Usually the things I bring to sell are things that didn't work out for my horse, or tack with some wear left to them that were replaced with a newer, better fitting piece. With the impending purchase of Rugby, I'm needing lots of new gear in Oversize to fit him. So, many pieces from a 3 decade collection of horse equipment will have to be sold to help fund the new stuff.

My old mare, Alta's hunter show bridle will never fit him. There are 2 dressage bridles that were bought for her and handed down to use on Monty. Those will never fit him. The Wintec bridle I bought for schooling Monty and the gorgeous, nearly new, flat leather hunting bridle that I found for a steal on Ebay in hopes that one day Monty would go fox hunting will also have to go.

Rugby also wears between a 5.5 and a 6 inch bit. My collection is almost all 5 and 5.25 inch bits. Since steel holds it's value and condition, I'll weed out a few but keep the rest.

My size 50 girths need to go. Thankfully there are two 52 inch girths from Alta and Monty that just manage to fit the big guy, now.

Then, there are all the blankets and sheets. Alta wore a 78. None of her clothes fit Monty, he was much broader and needed an 80-81. So almost all Alta's clothes were sold and new things bought for Monty. Rugby is at least an 82, maybe an 84. So the rest of Alta's and all Monty's clothes will need to be sold. But I can't part with my wool dress sheet from my horse show days, even though it's only an 80. And all the trophy coolers will never fit him either.

Some things I just can't sell, even if they never fit Rugby. My DelGrange saddle will not fit him. I will care for it and store it. I can never replace it. Monty's Beval show bridle will never leave. Nor will the beautiful black turn out blanket my husband bought for him on the first Christmas we were together.

When the ghosts of past horse loves are revisited and in this way are being let go of yet again, it stirs up emotions I thought I'd buried. But I can't hold onto all this tack and not be able to use it. On the bright side, shopping for new gear is always fun!


Anonymous said...

I know just what you mean - some things are just too important to give up. We have gear for from 60" right up to 82" blanket size horses and ponies - if we had less storage space maybe we'd get rid of some of it!

Veronica Lodge said...

At least large size blankets tend go on sale more often!

OnTheBit said...

I hear you...I have some small X sized things that will never fit my fat spotted pony that I have given away because they made me sad to see them just sitting there. One thing I do save is brow bands. Each special horse has a special browband. Good luck at the tack sale and I hope you make some good money, and find some good deals on new stuff for you Jersey Boy (well, Maryland Boy really, but I don't think that sounds as cool).

Jean said...

It's not easy letting go when the things bring back such potent memories. As long as you have a place to keep your treasures, then hold on to them.

Actually, I need a tack sale somewhere to sell some of my "extras." Then again, sorting them all out would take a while too. *sigh* How do we manage to collect so much "stuff???"

WarPony said...

(((hug))) I know what you are going through. I traded my late pony's harness last year and I was kind of set back on my emotional heels by how it made the memories come back in a bittersweet flood.

But buying new stuff for a new horse is still pretty exciting and fun.