The past few weeks have flown by. I tried drafting a post a couple of times but never had the chance to finish it. What with 3 jobs right now, while my body is working   overtime to manufacture another human being, and somehow making time to ride leaves me with little time for anything else but sleep. 

However that’s not to say that nothing has happened. I have some crazy new developments to share!

First of all there’s this…

2006 F250 V8 4×4 Turbo Deisel

This truck pretty much fell into our laps. We weren’t anticipating getting a new truck at all – that was going to have to wait until next year. But when a coworker of ours needed someone to take over payments on it (after only having owned it a couple of months), we jumped at the chance. After an entire day at the bank negotiating a new loan in Joe’s name (long story but you apparently can’t just assume payments, so the bank created a new loan in Joe’s name to – in essence – pay off W’s existing loan) and a $500 trip to the DMV (remind me to never buy another vehicle again)  the beast was officially declared ours! (Because what’s his is actually mine right? 😉)

A week later saw us headed to Virginia on a sunny Saturday morning, to check out a trailer I’d discovered on Craigslist. Of all the ads I’d viewed it appeared the most promising. A white 1995 S&H two horse, 7′ x 6.5′. Upon arrival we discovered it was in even better shape than we’d assumed from the pictures. There was one rust spot along the right side that needs to be welded but otherwise it was in great shape.
 

The seller was sweet, honest, older lady with a passel of children (I counted at least 5) living in an 100+ year old farmhouse with no A/C (and I suspect no central heat). In many ways they reminded me so much of my own family when I was a small girl. I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Missouri, on a u-pick blueberry/blackberry farm, in an 100 year old farmhouse that my Dad completely remodeled himself. In the beginning the house had heat but no AC and I remember sleeping with the windows open and fans on on muggy summer nights. Crazy as it sounds I really cherish those memories. 
  

At any rate, the seller agreed to come down in price a little bit not by much. She admitted she wasn’t in a big hurry to sell it – that the only reason she was selling at all was to get a 3 horse. That meant that it was still about $600 over our budget. However it took very little coaxing to get my boyfriend to agree that it was worth it. 

So on Thursday we headed back up to Virginia to pick it up. It was an uneventful drive fortunately. The truck pulled the empty trailer with ease through the mountains and to CS, where we dropped it off. 

Thursday was also the day of the tack sale. We have 2 local consignment sales a year here – one in Raleigh and the other in Concord. My favorite is the spring sale in Concord. The venue is roomier, so it’s easier to locate what you’re looking for, it has heat/AC (the building in Raleigh only has fans and they do little in the face of the lingering fall heat), and there are fewer people so it is less congested and crazy. 

This year my main priority was a new saddle for Wings. I had been riding him in my Stubben that works well for Pokey, but as with Justice it had been producing some less than desirable sweat patterns with Wings. 

Sweat marks from the Stubben.
As it turned out there wasn’t a lot to choose from as far as saddles went. There were a few Wintecs but those were mostly wide trees. There were 2 endurance type saddles in the $700-$1000 range – far too rich for my blood! Besides I had promised my boyfriend that I would do my best (within reason) to land a more secure saddle since there is a good possibility I will be riding along the majority of the time. As far as Western saddles went there were slim pickings. There were a couple of worn out Bighorns that Ashley pointed out and one Dakota saddle that I loved, but again, was out of my price range. Just as I was about to give up hope, I stumbled across a brand new no-name custom made western saddle that actually looked like might fit Wings!

I hemmed and hawed and went back and forth for a while before finally settling on the saddle, a similar looking breastcollar, girth and headstall, along with a couple of lead ropes and a toy for my daughter.

It fits!!
Before riding. The pad is thick but the saddle settled down nicely after I mounted.

All in all I’m very happy with everything and I can’t wait to get out there and get riding!

Speaking of which, tomorrow is our first weekend camping and riding this year! My daughter was out of school sick, so I am spending the day getting my shit together. I learned a valuable lesson last year with Justice and that was that even when you’re trail riding  you need to make sure your horse is electrolyted properly to ensure he drinks away from home. So I’m not taking any chances this time and have created my own concoction consisting of enduramax, tums, molasses and applesauce. I am also bringing iodized table salt to add (in small amounts) to Wings’ beet pulp (which he has proven he loves by guzzling it down at every given opportunity). The plan is to give him a scoop of enduramax with his beet pulp today, and then a syringe of electrolytes before saddling up tomorrow and another after we come back to camp for the night. I will probably also carry a syringe in my saddlebags (just in case we get lost again lol). 

At any rate, I’m quite excited. I’ve been fighting off a nasty cold the past few days but I am optimistic that I will have it beat by tomorrow! 

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