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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Eclectic Tack

I have told before of the treasures Stanbury bought for High Acres. Well, they were not all for Mama. Daddy would have him "on the look out" for certain items for him also. The advantage was, it was always a deal. The trick was just what he would bring back.

Since we had horses and usually folks to ride them, Daddy had Stanbury looking for saddles. Stanbury assured him this would not be a problem. My horse, Rusty, was hunter, I rode hunt seat, and had my own saddle so I was not in this game. Everyone else rode western, but I don't think Stanbury would have recognized an English saddle if he saw one.

The first saddle he brought Dad was a regular western saddle in good shape. Dad was thrilled. Saddles were expensive and he got this one for a steal. The following week, when Dad called him about something on the farm, Stanbury told him, "Bill, ar found yar a big saddle, a right fancy one." Knowing Stanbury, "fancy" could mean anything.

In this case, "fancy" meant real "fancy". Stanbury had managed to procure a Mexican parade saddle made of black leather covered with Mexican silver embellishments. And, it was huge, much larger than the size of a traditional large western saddle.  Since there were pieces of silver covering most of it, God only knows the amount of silver that was on it and how much it weighed.

I was surprised Dad did not politely tell Stanbury that a parade saddle would not do (much less one that looked like that one) or he would have just left it in the tack room as ornamentation. But, oh no, Dad, much to Mama's dismay, used that saddle with pride. When he led a group of us trail riding, there was no doubt who was in charge. The only thing he lacked was a standard to carry with him. And, I assume he did not have one of those simply because it never crossed his mind. Thank God for small favors.

When I thought that was over the top, I should have known better. Several weeks later, Stanbury showed up with a lady's side saddle. Now, that was a novelty. And, if there was one thing Daddy loved, it was a novelty. So when we got ready to take guests on a trail ride, Dad would start in the tack room and tell them they had choice of saddles. Usually, they assumed he meant "sizes" of saddles or English or Western. What they found was quite the eclectic assortment.

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