It’s winter. Chances are your horse is hairy and your show clothes are stowed in a garment bag. But you can revisit those lazy, hazy days of riding on a sun-drenched trail or competing on the show circuit by simply delving inside your tack box. Rummage down to the bottom and you’ll probably find mementoes from last summer’s horse show. Or perhaps you’ll come across a halter nameplate that bears the name of a former horse. Then again, in the deep recesses of your tack box you might also discover something remarkable: that long lost missing glove, a mummified carrot or a set of tack room keys that, oddly enough, no longer unlocks the tack room door.
Corinne Dekker of California sneaked a peek into the bottom of her tack box and unearthed, “a can of Diet Coke that was so old I wondered if it was still good.” She also found “two sets of clippers that I’ve never seen before and have no idea how they got there.”
Another West Coast rider, Jill-Marie Jones, revealed “the other half of a doughnut and a spilled bottle of boot polish.”
Georgia resident Denice Klinger searched through her tack box and shares that she counted “about 236 hairnets.” An avid hunt-seat competitor, she explains, “Each one was used exactly once, and then dropped on the top tray of the tack box, where they fell down into some dark abyss, never to be seen again.” Of course, a hunt-seat rider can never have enough hairnets, so the Mystery of the Missing Hairnets forced Denice to buy more. And more. And more.
“The last time I ventured there,” Jennifer Price of Texas says, referring to the bottom of her tack box, “it was occupied by several old, green, fuzzy-with-mold pieces of leather that at some point in time appeared to have been flash nosebands, cheekpieces and headstalls.”
Erin Harty of Maryland reveals that her penchant for never tossing anything out that might potentially be useful may have its drawbacks. Scrounging through her tack box can be scary. “When I get down to the layer of kid and pony-sized stuff, I know I’ve dug too deeply into the tack box and retreat to safety.”
Now it’s your turn. Look inside your tack box, past the nice brushes, the shiny hoof picks and the neatly rolled leg wraps. Then tell us what you discover by clicking on “submit a comment” below. We may feature some of the responses in an upcoming issue of Horse Illustrated magazine. So be brave. Flip open the lid of your tack box and start digging!