From Endurance to Dressage
I am a big fan of vertical spaces, especially for storage. I do not like things on the floor, and I don't like things to be all on one level. In a tack room, vertical storage is pretty essential as our square footage tends to be limited. My saddle storage situation - not vertical, finally annoyed me to the point where I felt compelled to do something about it.
It's not like it was a horrible situation, but it wasn't ideal either. My old saddle, which I haven't used in probably two years, was sitting on a rack wedged in the corner behind my feed bins. My every day saddle was squeezed into a space that limited how much you could open the door. That worked for the most part, but I finally got tired of squeezing behind the door (which is frequently open to let in some air) and shimmying my saddle down alongside my old saddle without knocking things over. I was also sick of the saddle rack collapsing as I was trying to shimmy the saddle on. The nylon straps that hold the support bars were constantly coming unsnapped. Well, maybe not constantly, but frequently enough.
Last week, the rack collapsed one time too many. In a huff, I ordered the three-tiered saddle rack from Tractor Supply. Yeah, the one that I drove an hour and a half to pick up. Want to feel smart? Read that post.
Since I am working from home, and since it's a billion degrees, I headed out to the garage at 6:15 a.m. yesterday morning to put that thing together. I now start work at 7:45, so I gave myself an hour and a half to get it done. At the barn I boarded at before moving out to the ranch, we had a couple of these so I knew what it was supposed to look like before I even opened the box.
As it turned out, opening the box and getting everything out of the box both took longer and was more difficult than actually assembling it. It was like one of those clowns packed in a Volkswagen scenarios. It was all arms and legs tangled up with heads and butts.
Once all of the pieces were laid out, the whole thing took less than ten minutes to assemble. The only reason it took that long was because I was dripping in sweat and had to stop a few times to wipe the sweat out of my eyes.
While it would have made more sense to take it at least partway apart to get it in the back of my truck, I decided to just power through and heave it up there. Same thing once I made it out to the barn. I stood it up, tipped it sideways, and lugged into the tack room. Why make an extra trip when you can pretend you're Superman? Girl power.
I dragged everything from my half of the tack room to the side and gave the floor a good sweeping. The saddle stand in the corner hadn't been moved since I moved in four years ago. I am not exactly sure what was in that dirt pile, but some of it had legs, and some of it looked suspiciously like teeny tiny poop. Then I cut my pool noodles off the old saddle rack and duct taped them to the new one. A "real" saddle mattress is close to two hundred bucks. The el cheapo pool noodles are working brilliantly.
I can't say the vertical saddle rack has saved any square footage - although the door opens farther now, but it's going to make my life a lot easier. With a third tier, I now have a better place for drying my wet saddle pads. On the flip side, I can now see how gross that saddle pad is. Seriously, Sweaney, throw that thing in the washer!
Work has been a wee bit stressful this week, and it's been hotter than hell by the time I can ride, so I haven't sat in the saddle since Sunday. Having a new saddle stand is somehow a motivator to ride, so even though it's predicted to be 107 ℉ this afternoon, I am going to try and at least hack around the ranch.
If nothing else, I am least going to slide my saddle on and off the rack just to see how it works.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read