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A Clean Saddle for Sioux

January 14, 2011

Me and Utah last spring at Coe

I cleaned my saddle today.  Big deal?  Actually it was.  I haven’t done it since Utah passed away.  It has been sitting on the rail in my upstairs hallway covered by a worn blue horse blanket.  I look at it just about every day and make a mental note to get to the task.  Yet, the months passed and last summer’s trail dust and horse sweat still clung to each fold and cranny.  It isn’t like me to have a dirty saddle.  I had that one made for Utah.  I heated the mold in the oven, hung it over his back, measured my seat bones, took the necessary pictures, sent them off to Synergist and received the gorgeous leather creation a few months later.  It is perfect and now it is clean and supple again, the scent of oiled leather lingering in the crevices of my skin.

My labor over its softening folds today was yet another moment of passage for me.  I imagine myself refitting this saddle for Sioux.  I still can’t believe that I have another horse, one that I don’t even know yet.   She is like a dream right now,  the thing you want most and hope will wind up under the tree on Christmas Eve, yet it is not time to open the present yet.  I know I am

Rocky riding Sioux

doing the right thing in waiting.  Still I am excited to see the way my chocolate-brown saddle with the black trim will complement the beauty of Sioux’s bay coloring.  I can’t wait to take long walks with her in hand as we get to know each other.  Will she like me from the start?  Will we have troubles?  Will she and her half-sister even get in our little trailer?  And, aren’t these questions the beauty of it all? 

People often ask me why there are no horses in my first novel Cole Creek.  There just aren’t, that is the reason.  But now I think there is a reason.  When I began my second book, Pacheco Falls, a story full of the horse, the idea that I would lose Utah was not in my realm of possibilities.  Yet, as I have come to count on, life has offered me the chance to remain connected to my passion.  I have lived in the fictional barn at Coe Stables, traveled with my characters as they ride into the backcountry, shared their joy in their equine partners.  And, as I am nearing the end, my new horse and new adventures are just around the corner.

Utah being silly

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. tim permalink
    January 14, 2011 4:00 pm

    Utie is in the big backcountry watching us. We will always have him in our family circle.

  2. Cesar permalink
    January 16, 2011 8:04 pm

    From gpas IPad- Utah was the most silly boy! He loved to stick his tongue out and lick our salty hands. Utah will always be in our hearts and in our pack!!! Love, eva

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