Every year for Thanksgiving, my husband and I go back home to New York. I love getting to see friends and family that I haven’t connected with in ages, but a real highlight for me is when I get to see two very special people – Lia Savas and Wayne Dougal.
I’ve known Lia and Wayne since I was a kid. They’re the incredible owners of Indian Head Ranch and I am truly honored to have such amazing people in my life. I consider them family, and have a tremendous respect for them.
Lia and Wayne are both highly-respected, western reined cow horse trainers, breeders, and competitors. Their fantastic farm on Long Island is moving to a new location, and that means that they have a ton of western gear for sale to help make the move easier.
This year, during my annual visit, it may have been mentioned to Wayne that I was casually looking to find a western saddle (because I really don’t want to risk ruining my beautiful Antares saddles while I’m out screwing around trail riding) and he showed me some really lovely options.
Unfortunately, I had a (low) price in my head and didn’t want to spend a ton on something nice/new that I wouldn’t use regularly. Wayne then mentioned that he “had something used with a pink seat…” to which I responded ‘I WILL TAKE IT!’ He laughed, because he didn’t think I was serious, but hey – I can’t say no to pink. ;)
Anyway, Wayne dragged out a somewhat ridiculous brown and pink western saddle and I immediately knew it was coming home with me. IT EVEN HAD RHINESTONES. OMG. I sat in it, thinking no way it would be SO PERFECT that it would actually fit me, too, but of course – it did. Like it had been custom-made for my butt. AND it was in the exact right price range. SOLD!!
(Turns out, it’s actually a barrel racing saddle, which makes it even more perfect because we all know JJ loves going as fast as possible AND has flawless automatic flying lead changes. Hmmm, new career for my Paint pony? We’ll see!)
About 30 seconds later, I had PayPal’ed Wayne the cash and I now had the interesting problem of figuring out a way to get it home… I can’t carry-on a western saddle on a Delta flight, can I?
So, after I also grabbed a cinch and a pink saddle pad from Wayne, too, my mom and I went out to get some delicious New York pizza with Lia. We wound up at a nearby Target with the saddle (and Lia) in a shopping cart searching the store for a large duffel bag but came up short. A sporting goods store was also no luck, so eventually we decided my mom would just ship it to me. (Thanks, mom!!)
Anyway, I’m back home in Georgia now and my saddle has arrived. I put it on JJ the other day to make sure it fit – it did, perfectly – and to see if he knew how to “speak western” since he was born in Oklahoma and all… he didn’t. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Canter, please.
JJ: OHMYGOD EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT. I CAN’T.
Me: It’s all still the same, I promise.
JJ: IT’S. TOUCHING. ME. IN PLACES!
…we’ll work on it. ;)
I’m super excited about having something to play around in just for funsies.
When your husband says “don’t buy a western saddle when you’re in New York” just casually pretend you didn’t hear the “don’t” part and the Universe will hook you up with the most perfect opportunity ever. ;)