I've got a closet full of show clothes that I'll probably never wear again. For various reasons I do not show personally any more but I just can't let go of these hats, chaps, shirts, etc.
I still remember getting my first pair of chaps when I was just a kid and how excited I was. I remember my first good western hat with the perfect shape and crease, done by hand of course!
In my early days, I didn't have a lot of money so I saved and saved. I always bought the highest quality I could possibly afford. I did this because I was proud to be a horseman and because I came from a tradition where proper quality attire reflected your seriousness about horses and horsemanship. It wasn't about bling, though we did want to catch the judges' eye, it was about style and class, which is as important today as it ever was. Yeah, the styles may be different, but you can still spot the class acts every time.
Along with chaps and hats, and boots and shirts, I always paid attention to all my equipment. I invested in quality bits and saddles. I may not have had nice furniture at home but I always had good tack! I wanted my horses to look their best and perform their best too. I believed and still do, that all this makes a difference. It tells the world that you care about your horses and your horsemanship.
So, when I open that closet door it brings back so many good memories. A lifetime with horses and I have no regrets. Being a horseman is a journey that I will continue going on until my life is over. I know no other path, nor would I want one. It's true: Old horsemen never die, they just ride off into the sunset! I hope you are building your own good memories! Talk to you next week. JD