Let me start this post off with saying that I feel lucky to have this problem right now. One of my favorite bloggers SolitareMare just lost her horse Monty yesterday. Reading the post broke my heart. It was so unexpected. Reading horse blogs you feel like you get to know the horse so finding out that he had passed upset me a lot. In some horse blogs the horse seems like a side part to the owners stories, SolitareMare always made Monty the main part that other things went around. You could just tell she loved her horse and that he was more of a great horse then “A Good Horse”. Her loss has helped me put my dilemma into perspective. I am just so very lucky that Genny is alive.
Since you guys said more tack posts were okay, and so I am taking you up on that because I need advice about tack. For you new readers I am going to do a quick background, for you old ones bear with me for a moment here.
In March of 2007 my horse, Gennyral, bowed his tendon. No big deal right? Well…it kept swelling. After many vet calls we realized Genny’s tendon was disintegrating. It is a rare problem so there is not a lot of research about it out there. One thing that was known though was that the mortality rate for this injury is 100% after 1 year. That meant my horse was going to die according to statistics. I LOVE my horse so much and refused to accept that. I was able to take out a loan in order to pay for an experimental stem cell treatment. When he went in for the first round of stem cells 18 cm of his tendon was gone (its only 23 cm long total) at that point (it was May). After the procedure we could see in the ultra sounds massive amounts of improvement. And then all of a sudden it stopped getting better just a few cm from being healed…and started to disintegrate again. My vet knows how much I LOVE my horse so he was able to talk the vet hospital into using Gen as a demo for a medical conference they were hosting so I got to bring him in free of charge for round number 2. Luckily the 2nd procedure did the trick and his tendon healed…YAY! It has been almost 2 years and my horse is alive and well. His tendon is not a normal tendon though, he has to be careful because his tendon is much more likely then a normal tendon to snap. And if his tendon snapped he would have to be euthanized…and then I would have to kill myself because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself without my horse (I am joking…sort of). So part of the precautions was the fact that Genny had to be retired. At 15 years old he became a very expensive pet. Now as many of you know, I got medical clearance from my vet to ride him again at the walk a few months ago, but I am a little scared of riding him without being able to work him so I don’t know if that is ever going to happen, and if it does it wont be until this summer when my horse gets nice and tired from the heat.
So that is the background on this story. As I mentioned before that Texas’s owner is a little bit weird about tack. She cleans the bridle everyday, but she uses a tack cleaner that leaves a sticky residue. It is SOOOOO nasty! So I am dreading not only to have to clean the bridle everyday, but having to touch the bridle everyday. Yuck!
So now that we are using my saddle (mind you it is going to be about 10 degrees by me this weekend so I am talking about the future when I talk about riding) I was thinking I will just bring one of my bridles and tell her not to clean it. So I have 2 bridles, a spare that is not very nice, and Gennyral’s bridle, which is a really nice bridle. So my first thought was that I would bring my spare bridle over. It was cheap, and it shows, so I don’t really care if it gets messed up. Taking it out and looking at it again though I don’t know if it is comfy enough for Texas’s owner so I don’t think I will be allowed to use it. But then I started to think…what about Genny’s bridle?
It is just sitting on my saddle rack being crushed by the bridle bag containing it. The picture at the top of the post is the nice bridle. This bridle has a great story with it too…I got it CHEAP at the USDF Festival of Champions not long after I got Gen. It has a lot of meaning to me because it was the first step I took towards making my pony a dressage pony. And it was a great memory because the woman who was selling it had 2 bridles, one with reins, one without. I was standing in her booth for a while admiring and wanting the bridles. And the booth was right next to a woman Gen and I used to board with and that woman told the tack lady all about how my horse used to be crazy and how great he was when I had moved out a year later and how much progress we made in that short time, etc. So then the woman asked how much cash I had left…I had $55. She told me if I wanted the bridle without reins I could have it for my last $55. It was a $200+ bridle! I took it. And have loved it ever since. The cool metal brow band is my favorite part. It is different without being flashy.
It is such a nice bridle it is a shame to just be sitting around not being used. And I got nice leather reins for it for cheap also and I love it. Can you tell? But as soon as I start to think about giving it to Texas I get upset. It is one thing to give up Genny’s saddle, but it is a whole other thing to give up his bridle. That leather has touched my horses face so many times. It is adjusted to fit him just right and I was able to afford it because of Genny’s story. So it is special. The saddle I only used on Gen for a month, the bridle I used for years so it has a huge sentimental attachment.
If I thought the owner would let me use the spare bridle on Texas I wouldn’t have an issue. The spare bridle is cheap though and I worry it is going to give rubs. And the reins are not very nice either. So I think my options are to use Gennyral’s bridle, use sticky tack, or to spend lots of money on a new one (which I can’t afford right this second). At what point does Gen’s tack no longer becomes Gen’s tack. I feel like giving his bridle away is giving away…something more then that. It is like giving up on my horse ever getting 100% better or something.
Logically, it is just a bridle. Emotionally though, it seems like something more. I just don’t know. Like I am taking a step away from my horse or something. Am I making too much of this? I had zero issue with getting my saddle done. I was happy to use it on Texas. The bridle though it something different all together. What do you all think I should do? Should I buy a new one? A synthetic bridle was mentioned also since the owners tack is so icky so what do you all think about that? Should I see if I can use the crappy one? Or get over it and use Gennyral’s Bridle? Any and all Advice is appreciated!