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[RC] Saddles, boots and poetry - Cindy Collins

I meant to jump into the shoe/saddle fray yesterday, but my job kept
getting in the way!  During my endurance career, which started in 1979, I
have ridden in Sharon Saare, Stonewall (my husband loved this one for
himself, but it doesn't fit many horses), McClellan copies, Orthoflex,
Boz, Marciente, a Neiderseuss, a Stubben Survivor, several cheap brands of
endurance and English saddles and am now riding in a Reactor Panel
endurance model.  Each of these saddles had qualities that I loved.  Some
fit my horse better and some fit me better.  My old original Orthoflex is
now 15 years old and we still use it as a back up saddle.  I can say that
my RP is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden in for me and I
believe it fits my horse very well, also.  The point is that there is no
"right" answer.  However, I do believe that it's worth spending the money
to get a saddle that truly fits you and the horse.    On shoes it's the
same idea.  We're each so individual.  On boots, I do love my Ariat
Extremes which are now over 5 years old and getting pretty beat up.  I'd
love to see the new Tevis Lace model.  If anyone has a photo or details,
please share.  However, my very favorite thing to ride in will always be
running shoes.  I like trail running models with Goretex and have had luck
with several brands.  I do ride with safety cages.  Actually my only
complaint about the Ariat boots is that I can't get off and comfortably
run or walk down steep hills safely...Especially on the Big Horn 100
coming off Black Mt. the footing is very loose and I slip too much in the

Finally, I wanted to share this poem that was shared with me by a friend. 
It reminded me so much of Julie Suhr's feelings in her book:

A poem from a fellow horseperson/friend: I do this a lot. 

When your day seems out of balance- and so many things go wrong... When
people fight around you and the day drags on so long... 

When parents act like children, in-laws make you think "Divorce"... Go out
into your pasture... and wrap you arms around your horse. 

His gentle breath enfolds you, and he watches with those eyes. He may not
have a Ph D, but he is, oh so wise! 

His head rests on your shoulder. You embrace him oh so tight. He puts your
world in balance, and makes it seem all right. 

Your tears they soon stop flowing. The tension is now eased. The problems
have been lifted, and you're quiet and at peace. 

So when you need the balance from circumstances in your day... The best
therapy that you can seek... is out there eating hay!! 

--Mary Anne Miller 

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