Saturday, June 23, 2012

the story of a saddle

Some time ago I received the thoughtful and symbolic gift of an old saddle. I don’t have a horse for it at the moment, but I just love seeing there in the corner of the room, putting me in mind of rainy childhood days cleaning tack with the sound of sleepy horses in the background. 
It has its leather girth with it and is in good condition apart from a rather catastrophically broken tree. I was intrigued to see that this saddle was from the Myer Emporium. In case you’re not a Melbourne person (and you probably aren’t, considering the number of lovely Americans I have visit the site) Myer is a department store in the city that has been there forever. As far as I know. I remember visiting there as a child and being amazed by the billion buttons in the haberdashery section (now closed), not to mention the Christmas windows. I had no idea there was a saddlery there.

A Google later and I found a discussion in Eques where people were reminiscing about the saddlery in the 60s and 70s when it was managed by the awesomely named Bill Bull. Then I found a current story on Kevin Mayne, a saddler at the store for twenty years:
I wonder if he had anything to do with saddle no. 356? He might be cross to know I had it close to a window this past year and it started to build up some mildew (been a while since it had any love, what with the distraction of a baby). It’s now been moved, cleaned and conditioned and is looking bright and new.
So, here’s to the lovely feel and smell of an old saddle, and the stories it can tell…

The Eques discussion:

Friday, June 8, 2012

back to (riding) school

Gorgeous horse, gorgeous tack. Don't you just want to leap up there and go for a spin? That mirror would be pretty handy too if, like me, you're working on getting the most effective riding position.
Yes, I finally took a riding lesson after what seems a lifetime away (on baby duty). Tystar is a lovely schoolmaster, so gentlemanly. My human teacher, Susie, is studying at the School of Lightness (doesn't that sound wonderful?). And, yes, the method is very light. I'm always surprised by how different my position is to what I would like it to be. My back is quite arched and my legs further forward than I realise. Having said that, my back is naturally arched so I do need to be realistic here. Having my legs a little more under me would be quite achievable though and I think it would improve my effectiveness. Comments are welcome. So looking forward to my next lesson. But with my constant nine-month-old companion I'm considering that watching a few might be a good option!

Do you believe in the concept of synchronicity? I'm never sure but it's really pretty remarkable that Susie is teaching so close to me, one of the few teachers available with a schoolmaster, as one of the first clips I ever saved from youtube was the one below. Just breathtaking. And guess who? I watched it often for inspiration and to remind myself of what can be achieved in the human / horse relationship.