I had a really fun day yesterday. I finally bought my own saddle! We've only 'owned' Gus the horse for about seven months, so it seemed like it was time. Isn't it pretty?
We went to a local tack shop where they sell both new and used horse gear. The sales people were wonderful -- so helpful and kind about my being a complete and total newbie. There was a woman about my age and a young man, and it was fun listening to them argue over what I should get. It turns out that there are a lot of choices to make. Leather or synthetic saddle? The synthetic ones are lighter and don't need much care, but this used leather one fit my behind better and it was...well...pretty. I know I'm not supposed to care about that, but there it is. Who wouldn't wanted a pretty tooled leather saddle over an ugly black synthetic one? And it was lighter than most of the leather ones anyway. So there -- the choice was obvious.
Then you have to decide what kind of bit to get in the bridle. I finally had to call Gus's real owner and ask her what to get. They can put together a bridle for you, or you can buy one already assembled. It's all very confusing, but they were so helpful.
We chatted with them both quite a bit, and spent a long time trying various saddles and getting advice, and finally my husband asked the young man how long he had worked in the store. He looked surprised, and said, 'Oh, I don't work here.' He was just a friend of the sales lady who had stopped by and got interested in helping us!
I was thinking that was a Southern thing, but maybe horse people are like that everywhere....