When my parents bought my first pony for me the western style riding tack; saddle, blanket, bridle, halter with lead was included. I never had a thought about it except it was all pretty and sure made me feel like a real cowgirl. The leather creaking and my feet in the stirrups and my hands holding the reins, my pony and I rode the pasture chasing dreams.
The Simple Life
Life was simple back then. I saddled up my little Welsh/Shetland mix pony I’d named Blackie and rode for hours all over the ten acres. At times we drifted over onto the neighboring property when I rode with friends who had ponies too.
I dreamed of herding the cattle on the big ranch, a handsome cowboy figured in the dream there someplace too, though he was only that, just a dream. Oh, well who needs a cowboy when you have a pony?
I worried our milk cows a time or two with my pretending. If I wasn’t driving cows, I was tracking down the band of outlaws. What ever the story going on in my head, the last thing I thought about was the comfort of the riding equipment on my pony.
Back then, in my ignorance a saddle was a saddle and bridle and bit the same. I had no idea my pony might be uncomfortable, the saddle might not be fitting him properly, or the curb bit might not be the right one to use or wasn’t adjusted to his mouth correctly.
I went through the same scenario a few years later when I owned a beautiful buckskin mare named Sandy. All I can say is I don’t recall any serious wounds or sores on my equines. They were healthy and I feel lucky that my ignorance didn’t cause undo pain. It still remains that if I would have known and been more educated about horses at the time my pony and mare would have been more comfortable.
How It Is Now
I can’t do anything about my pony or buckskin mare now and it breaks my heart when I think about it. All I can do is take as good care of the mare I have now with the knowledge I’ve gotten since those days back then.
When I bought a new saddle for Poppy, the mare I have now, I learned how to measure her back and get the correct measurments so the saddle would fit. I had a more knowledgable friend who helped me with choosing the right bit and bridle. I can ride with more confidence, knowing I have done the right things to ensure my horse is comfortable. She is easier to manage as well. This tells me she is fine with her saddle and bridle and we can both enjoy the ride.
This has been a slice of my cowgirl life; how it was for me and the fun times I had with both my pony and mare. What’s your story? I’d like to hear. Please share if you’d like.
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