Channeling your inner hoarder and overattachment to sentimental but useless tack

Caol Ila

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23 January 2012
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Glasgow
My favourite piece of tack was Gypsum's bridle. It had been hanging in the tack shop near my undergraduate university, and every time I would go in there to buy other things, I would ogle it. For about year, I ogled. It was an expensive bloody bridle. $200. A Keiffer. Gypsum had a perfectly functional bridle that had not cost $200. No need for this, especially as a skint college kid. Couldn't justify it. But one fateful day, a pal gave a few of us uni horsey folk (the university had its own barn) a lift to the tack shop, and those of us who were not driving were less-than-sober. Say what you like (and there's a lot to unpack) about drunk college kid trips to tack shop, there we were. I said "f*ck it" and bought the Keiffer bridle. The best drunk $200 I have ever spent. It was a beautiful bridle, unique, because silvery metal strips ran through the cavesson and the browband, and she looked so damned good in it. That was circa 2002, and I rode her in that bridle until I could not ride her anymore, in spring 2021. That bridle went through a lot of adventures. It was the only piece of expensive tack I ever bought Gypsum for no better reason other than 'I fancied it.' Everything else -- including various saddles - was some awkward marriage between cheap and convenient and fit well enough for government work. It was perfect for her. It captured her essence. (my colorful saddle pads don't count...they are not expensive)

The bridle is comically huge on Foinavon. The bit hits his front teeth. Hermosa's head isn't any bigger, but it's more refined, and at age 3, it's not going to grow 6 inches longer, is it? Who knows if it will ever fit Caso, but my friend (his owner) is going to get a baroque/medieval bridle custom made for him.

Do I sell it? Hang it on a wall? Turn it into art? I would like to see it on a horse again, but it won't fit any of mine. However, if I sell the thing, it could end up in a landfill somewhere.

This is it, on a portrait that a friend made a few years ago.
IMG_0699.JPG
 

Spotherisk

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15 September 2018
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Dartmoor, Devon
All of my tack is now useless. Tinner is dead and Harley is retired. I adore both of my Ideal saddles, Tinners Jaguar bridle and Harleys Jeffries bridles, and all the myriad bits and pieces which are now irrelevant. Mall I need is a head collar, lead rope and few rugs. Honestly, it is gut wrenching.
 

Cragrat

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13 August 2013
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970
Keep it. You'll never get anything like your 200 back, though at £10/year it owes you nothing! It won't takeup much space, and you never know....one day.......

I still have a beautiful, simple, classic bridle I was given as a thank you present when I was 16.... I haven't used it in years....but one day maybe.......
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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Scotland
Keep it. I have a saddle pad and a rug of Kia’s I will never sell. His bridle fits Faran so does his saddle. All Kia original rugs bar one is sold, gone as they didn’t fit after his first winter really and I needed the money for more rugs which in turn have been sold as he’s now in 6ft3s. Boots and bandages have gone, as have other bits and pieces.

I’d you only keep a few things it’s hardly hoarding. Have it treated and mounted for display with some of her hair and shoe if you have one. I will have Kia’s saddle pad, some hair and his last set of shoes mounted for display and his rug will make two pillows. I also have some teeth he shed before he died these i haven’t decided what to do with but chances are they are going in resin.
 

Cowrie

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19 May 2021
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Keep it. We have a chest full of stuff like this. Everything from a dandy brush I had when I was 3 suited only to the most tiny of hands, a pot of teeth (yeah, really), to the bridle my mum used on her first pony when she was 12. It's all worthless now but indescribably precious. You'll regret it if you sell it.
 

Sussexbythesea

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2 July 2009
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The story is lovely and the bridle irreplaceable.

For the time being I’d occasionally clean and condition it and keep it safe until it is either usable by Hermosa or it becomes clear what you want to do with it long-term.
 

Labaire

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12 August 2021
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114
Keep it. Although parting with stuff gets easier with time-it took me 7 years to sell my wow after I lost my horse, gods I loved that saddle but it was never going to be suitable for the ponies I now ride.
I have kept his bridle and his cheapo head collar that I got in a robinsons sale that he looked so handsome in. And don’t ever sell bits, you will almost always want to try that one gain on something else.
 
Joined
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The yard, home or coal face.....
I'm in the keep it camp.
I've stuff dating back a long way.
My Luxford and Giddens saddles for a start. Both have made random appearances over the years from hoys and olympia in the 80s and 90s, less frequent outings this century tho, but still fit a native v well tho the comfort arrangements are not up to most folks standards these days!
 

rabatsa

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18 September 2007
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Yorkshire
I have a purpose built tack cupboard in the house. The contents include at least 6 saddles up to 12 bridles, 8 of which are military bridles, plus a box containing 30ish bits. This is without counting any driving harness. I no longer have anything to ride and it is very unlikely I ever will have again as I seem to have gone back into donkeys. I have half heartedly decided to sell some but I somehow do not think that one saddle on the regional board here and another on a specialist facebook page, both months ago is going to do much towards reducing the quantity in the cupboard.

I love my tack, the stories that it holds, the smell and feel of it. Mr R would quite like enough space in the cupboard to hide the vacuum cleaner though.
 

Ambers Echo

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13 October 2017
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Definitely keep it. And personally , if I had space, I would turn it into art. The centrepiece of an installation celebrating Gypsum’s life with your wonderful stories on a plaque under each item or photo
 

Antw23uk

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3 October 2012
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Behind you
I have a tub of fleeces that are still in good usable condition but cant part with them. They arent worth anything and it annoys me giving things away for free! I also have a RUB full of spare tack and deep down i just know i will never use any of it but it seems sacrilege to throw it!
I will make more of an effort to find them a home, even if its a local charity who can do a horsey car boot with them or something!

I gave a lovely John Whittaker bridle to my old horses new owner (we are still friends) and i wish i hadnt. She no longer uses it and i really loved that bridle!
 

milliepops

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26 July 2008
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Have the cheek pieces and noseband headpiece professionally shortened and use it?
.
this is what I'd do if you really love it.

Fortunately all of my horses have been more or less the same size over the last 20 years so things are rarely out of use for long :)
 

Pearlsasinger

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20 February 2009
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W. Yorks
I'm the wrong person to be giving advice, really. I have every piece of tack that every horse I've ever had has used, *except* the elderly saddle that I bought with the 1st Clydesdale (actually, thinking about it, I don't know what happened to the bridle she came with :oops:), the 2nd Clydesdale wore it and eventually, it fell apart but it still took me several months to get rid of it.

but my advice is 'keep it!'.
 

Sheep

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31 August 2011
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Northern Ireland
Definitely keep it.

I’m a bit gutted as I’ve lost my old fella’s bridle (he’s still with us!) - I lent to to a friend to try on and they are insistent they returned it… anyway. I have a nice leather headcollar for him with his name on, so at least I have something beautiful and sentimental that is his!
Our wee mare that died in May broke her bridle a while back - she wasn’t really in work, so it was never replaced. I’m sad I never got her a nice headcollar, it would have been a lovely keepsake now she’s gone.
 

McFluff

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19 April 2014
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1,592
Definitely keep it - it is full of memories and you clearly love it.
I've got the first bridle that my Mum was given with her first horse over 20 years ago. Lay unused for years, and I've just dragged it out of retirement. It's a bit like triggers broom as parts have been altered and replaced, but it has been on many loved horses over the years. There is something lovely about the older tack - the leather is just so much nicer and gets better with age.
 

Baywonder

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26 November 2018
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I'm in the 'keep it' camp too.

I still have all my old boy's tack - apart from a couple of rugs that went mouldy and I had to throw out. His saddle and bridles are still hanging up - and I can't bring myself to wash the bits because they still have his dried grass slobber on them. Not ideal I know, but I just can't do it.

I just couldn't part with any of it. Ever.
 

Gloi

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8 May 2012
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Lancashire
I've just had a mega clear out and taken a boot load of stuff to the local world horse welfare. I'd been meaning to eBay it but in the end it was too much hassle. More to sort through yet. I'm on a roll at the moment sorting stuff. Still keeping some things. I found the name plate from my first pony's stable door 🙂
 

Bonnie Allie

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11 June 2019
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340
Definitely keep it - love the story as well.

Slightly different view - in 2006 our stables, tack room and all outbuildings burnt to the ground. House was saved but everything else gone. My special tack that had travelled three continents with me gone.

When we were working through replacement with the insurers we realised 75% of the stuff we had including tack wasn’t being used. So we implemented a new rule, for every new item of tack that came in something had to go, unless it was replacement for something that had worn out or was broken.

Now if I am finished with something or no longer use it, I give it away.
 
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