Saddle Up

My sister Bec tried connecting with me by FaceTime yesterday a couple of times. The first time I was at physical therapy. The second time, Bill and I were driving to Parker, Colorado, and I’m no good at the telephone and driving on the Interstate.

When we got to where we were going, I texted her: Bill and I are busy trying to get rid of saddles. She promptly replied — tongue firmly in cheek — I wish I had a dollar for every time I said that.

It was, however, the truth. Of all the things we have to get rid of, two saddles rank right near the top in the hard-to-find-a-home-for department. I’m pretty sure even Goodwill would have second thoughts about taking a saddle or two.

Bill is a member of a men’s horseback riding group called the Roundup Riders of the Rockies. Each year, these men haul horses up into one mountain range or another and ride for a week. This isn’t camp-on-the-ground type riding. They have a caravan that travels with them and sets up the tents so that when they round the bend, the tents are awaiting them. They belly up to the bar and enjoy a cocktail hour before they sit down and enjoy a delicious catered meal.

Bill no longer rides. Unlike many of the men who are members and who own ranches or ride often, Bill rode once a year. When he was younger, he could stand the sore buttocks. However, as he got older, so did creaking as he get out of his cot. So he pays his membership dues and let’s others do the riding.

As a result of his years of riding, we have two saddles in our garage. One was his everyday saddle. The other, however, is a silver-studded parade saddle that he used when they would ride down Main Street of one town or another amidst marching bands. It is lovely, but I have no idea what to do with it. Bill looked up silver saddles on the internet. The prices ranged from $400 to $45,000. I’m certain the saddle isn’t worth the latter. If it is, then I’m very sorry it’s been living in our attic. But it was a gift from another rider so I can’t imagine it is worth thousands. Still…..

The trip to Parker was a waste of time. The proprietor of the saddle consignment store looked at the everyday saddle and said no thanks. And she wouldn’t even bother looking at the parade saddle because she already has one for sale and it isn’t — selling, that is.

We drove straight over to a friend of Bill’s who owns a nonprofit that uses horses to teach disabled kids how to ride. They, unlike the saddle store, were happy to take the everyday saddle.

That, of course, leaves us with a beautiful silver-studded saddle that we can’t possibly move to Wind Crest.

Anyone have an extra $45,000 lying around? Yee-Haw.

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