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November 27, 2020: The Dog and Pony Show: A Tough Act to Follow

This evening I came in after dark, right around 5 p.m., and saw a large box sitting on the kitchen table.

Pete said that the UPS guy carried this heavy box all the way up to cabin, trudging through the yet unplowed portion of our driveway. I was moved by his gesture.

I looked at the label. It read: Synergist Saddles. I immediately knew that it was Tyra’s saddle. The saddle kept slipping – so Dave suggested that he put a three point rigging on it; this is a different cinching mechanism. I was reluctant to have this done, I really liked my English style rigging.

Horses at their stations


I lobbied hard for a new saddle. Pete said no, we’d send this saddle back for refitting. I grumbled some and then thought, why not?

I looked closely at the saddle after taking it out of the box. Dave had put on new conchas (these are ornamental pieces sit under a knot of the latigo strings) and sewed up new crupper straps. All strange terms to non-horse people, yes.

The takeaway is this: I looked at this saddle and I thought – wait. My wanting a new saddle was in keeping with the premise that new is always better. This is why new is better and throwaway society are synonymous terms.

I looked at the saddle again and felt only what can be described as a sense of gratitude. Synergist Saddles is a small, family owned business. Both CJ and Dave pride themselves on doing good work. This, I am sure, can be difficult given that so many horse people think that their horses’ poop does not stink.

But what was before me indicated that what the pair did was well beyond the call of duty. This is the holiday season – Pete talked at length, repeatedly, with CJ who passed on revamping specifics to Dave. Dave, I heard, worked on this saddle on the weekend and moved my order up in the line. He also left no stone unturned. The craftsmanship is excellent. And CJ got my saddle out in the mail as soon as he was done.

CJ gave me the conchas the last time I saw her, last year. Two came off on our trail ride. I found them and Pete put them in the outgoing box. Now there are six conchas total. I know that every time I use this saddle, I will look at them and think fondly of CJ and Dave.

This all occurred at the end of a good day. I was with the dog and ponies most of the day.

I took Shadow for a horseback ride on Hrimmi. We met others out on the trail. The dogs stuck close.

I am working with the ponies on targeting. Pete put three carabiners on three pieces of rope, which we attached to the supplement bucket lids. I attached the carabiners to the fence. Now the ponies, and particularly Raudi, are learning that this game has rules. You must go to your station and stand quietly and not mug me or your stablemates. If you do, you will not get a treat or a scratch on the neck. Way fun.

And Pete plowed the Playground of Higher Learning, enabling me to do agility with Raudi. A wise idea, doing the easier One star rather than the tougher Two Star course. She only had to pop one balloon, and she did this readily.

Way fun. And winter is not even halfway over.

Next: 327. 11/28/20: Positively Positive about Positive Reinforcement

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