Whips, Chains, and Spurs

Oh, you sick minded people – minds out of the gutter…As I was cleaning and organizing the trailer after Sunday’s dressage show, I started counting the number of duplicates of various items that I have amassed over the past 7 years.  Four partially used bottles of shampoo, six pairs of gloves, nine white saddle pads, six lead ropes for two horses, four sets of spurs, four whips of various lengths, and six, count them, six stud chains.  Why does anyone need that many stud chains when you are not operating a breeding farm??  I’m fairly certain that every equestrian I know has a similar situation.  I can even guess why certain items multiply like rabbits in the depths of trailers and tack boxes around the world.

The various whips are a necessity.  Short bats, dressage whips, and lunge whips all have different uses.  USEF changes the legal whip length on occasion which then means we run out to the store to purchase one that won’t get us eliminated.

Saddle pads are one of my weaknesses.  As I peruse the 10 tack catalogs that I did not request, I inevitably see a new white pad that I must have.  Oooh, pretty trim on that one.  The stitching on that one is unusual.  I should have a new one for the show with no black stains.  Oh, this one has ThinLine material stitched onto the pad.  I wonder if there are saddle pad support groups to help with this affliction?

The other items, well, they are all relatively small which means they can easily play hide-and-seek.  Stud chains are notorious hiders.  They will start the game without your consent or knowledge.  The game usually starts just as the crazy Thoroughbred decides to misbehave.  There is then the frantic search for the chain. Come out, come out wherever you are!  The search is fruitless, so you borrow one for the moment.  Once the emergency is past, you then run to the nearest tack store and purchase one or two more and declare that you will always have one handy.  Ha!  From my collection, I’d say that I have played the game much too often and lost.

Most of this excess was accumulated due to Ike’s brother’s special needs.  Except for the lunge whip, I’ve not used any whips with Ike.  No spurs, no chains, no shampoo…I’m not one to bathe my horses all that frequently, so the four bottles of shampoo are a bit of a mystery.  At the rate I bathe them, the current stash will be a lifetime supply.

Had a quick and productive ride today.  I’ve started schooling Training Level Test 1.  It used to be that the stretch down trot did not appear until Test 3, now, you are hit with it in Test 1 AND it comes right after the left lead canter.  I can see some 4s and 5s in our future with comments like, “needs to reach more, ” and “curling.”  We have to start somewhere, right?


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