ridecamp@endurance.net: Siren's Song [Story]

Siren's Song [Story]

Wed, 12 Feb 1997 10:15:51 -0500

It wasn't like other days, not like the perpetual twilight we have lived
under for the last two months. The sun shone weakly, high clouds scudding
out of the northeast, the wind brisk but not bone-chilling. A half day,
only a half day carved out of a frenetic schedule...but it was all mine to
do with as I pleased.

As usual I hit the road, today to visit with Nancy Senn who will once again
work her miracle touch on what she calls my "mouse arm" and release the
"garbage" that has built up from weeks of tension and peering intenting at
the computer screen. But even more exciting...a chance to see her new baby,
a coming four year old filly, Lucy. This one is special...she knows it, we
know it. An in-your-pocket-pony now...but later to be Her Most Royal
Highness to whom all will pay homage. Face, the lone gelding, is forced to
pay his dues already, bowing to Her Ladyship's every whim.

Companionably we lounged against the wall (well, I lounged while Nancy
scurried about filling the water trough), admiring this, then that--oh, nice
butt, look at that back! A redhead with chrome...and attitude. Nancy is in
for one heck of a ride on this one!

It was on the way, The Horse Connection, its lure strangely irresistable.
Well, I really could use a new bridle, the purple biothane just ain't gonna
get me no bonus points at Training (or any other) level if'n we do decide to
compete Mr T this year. Ah, the justification behind, I pulled into the
parking lot with eager anticipation. The Horse Connection is actually two
stores, one devoted to "pony" tack (really cute little bitty things) with
the downstairs section for consignment items, well awash in used saddles,
girths, outgrown boots and clothing. A veritable treasure trove. A black
dressage bridle...that's the ticket! It was brand new, heavily discounted,
narrow raised browband outlined in white with a flash noseband...exactly
right. Exactly wrong, cob size, too small. Sigh.

Disappointment tempered by the news that my Stubben had finally sold, I
headed to the new tack building across the way. The owner, Don Morrison,
greeted me, promising once again to generously provide a blanket as our
first-to-finish award for the Bucks endurance ride in Sept. I angled back
through the racks of riding jackets and pants to the bridles, dozens of
them, black, brown, a pucky yellowish color screaming for a wash of Fiebings
to tone down the garrishness.

There is something seductive about leather, a smell, a feel so sensual it is
unmatched by anything...our biothane tack, though colorful, practical,
strong, useful, all those good things, somehow just can't measure up to the
sensation of fondling rich bridle leather.

"Do you need any help Diane?"

Embarrassed, I jumped, realizing I had a handful of about six bridles that I
seemed to have been caressing. Old fool, I thought. Well, here's one,
black, a Stubben, not too big...$200????! When did bridles get to be $200?!
Like a handful of hot coals, I dropped that baby right back onto it's spot
on the rack and backed away as if stung!

Well...reality check time, Missy. Let's see, we have a black biothane
halter-bridle, looks kinda like leather if you aren't too close and maybe
that flash attachment would fit on the noseband. $12.95--now there's a
number I can live with. Joyfully I clutch this treasure and make my way
slowly past the girths, the reins, the browbands? What's this...purple
lining on a dressage browband? Yesss! Delighted at the audacity of it all,
I considered buying this also but opted to wait until I had a real leather
bridle in hand before committing to something so radical.

I miss it...leather that is... the feel, the tender loving care it requires.
Dropping my biothane in the dishwasher has a plebian, unsatisfying quality
about it. The little sponges and the soap, the conditioner, the bits and
pieces of leather festooning my kitchen sink. Ah, all fond memories.

Tack stores...meccas for the soul.

Diane @ Safe Haven
Allentown, PA

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