Dusty Saddles


Week 3/26: Tools of the Trade

In the '90's I was living in France and at one point found myself out of my regular seasonal employment. The ASSEDIC (Unemployment Office) offered me a chance to go for retraining. They said that I could pretty much do any course I wanted and asked me if there was something that particularly interested me.

Of all of the options in that book of courses they gave me to peruse, there was only one choice for me. I had always loved horses. I asked if I could go to agricultural college to train in horse management, breeding and nutrition. I could not believe it when they agreed. So I was paid to attend the college in Montmorillon, my lodgings were paid for as was my weekly travel home on the train. The course was intense, far more than I expected and the material covered was in depth and developed and approved by the state performance horse breeding program, and the agronomic research program INRA. As a part of this course we were given riding lessons. Although I had ridden, mostly self taught, this was where I learned to jump horses.

Although I was never employed in this field, I did own and breed a couple of Hafflinger mares in France and was self-employed as a horse nutrition consultant briefly in Canada. These saddles are now dusty and unused for a number of years. But at one time they were among the tools of my trade.

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#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery+Brandon Luk+Lauri Novak+Alison Christensen

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50 Responses

  1. Thanks a lot, Karen! +SilverTree Jewellery Design – 🙂
    I can't remember if we were in contact when I originally had my blog. It's back online now with a category of "True Stories". You might enjoy them. I have a subscribe option too, just in case you want to do that (but if you do, be aware that Google always puts the confirmation request emails into their Spam category…)
    +Karen Cooper

  2. Thanks a lot +MicheleElys Mer and if you wanted to read another horse related story, in case you didn't see the link to the blog posting I put on today you can read it here. It has some pictures of some of the horses we had.

    The two saddles I have are both beautiful German ones and I would love to sell them. They would fit Arabians nicely as they are similar in size and build to Hafflingers, at least to mine. If you are really interested, PM me and I will send more pictures of them.

    Thanks so much +Mary Wardell

    +Lou Jones you are a girl after my own heart! I'm glad this photo brought back memories. Now you know what to do if you can and I hope you will share a photo if you do get a rescue horse and ping me so I can see it?

    How wonderful +russell meares and what great memories, as you say. Thanks for the comment.

    It was such an excellent program, +Sharon Stone and a great incentive to get out and learn new skills.

    Blazing saddles indeed +שלמה ארגוב

    +Sephlu – yes, that wonderful smell of tack and horses does stir so many happy memories.

    +Heiko Mahr thanks a lot Heiko, no I guess there are still a few things that you don't know about me.

    Thanks a lot +Gernot Glaeser and I appreciate the comment.

    +Jorja Davis the trouble is that I have no horses any more, so I can't use them. I would happily sell them to someone who would use them. They are dusty because they are waiting for a new home.

  3. Thanks a lot +Diana Boyd – horses can make a big difference in the life of children as they can in our own. I'm glad you like it.

    Thank you +Christine Bichler and I really am pleased that you enjoy my writing. I mentioned my blog where I have a story that I wrote today. In case you have a minute to check it out. https://elliekennard.ca/archives/3577

    +Shayla Suzuki – thanks Shayla!

    Thank you +Sumit Sen

    No, sadly I haven't ridden in almost 18 years, +Carl Nelson although I did work with horses here when I first moved from France. We don't have horses any more.

    So many of us had similar dreams as young girls, +Ursula Klepper and so few of us get to see them realized. I'm glad you liked the picture. I wanted a horse from the age of 4 but never got one until I was 44. Then I got 2 pregnant Hafflinger mares which gave me 4 horses very soon!

    It is sad, +Janet Patterson and I remember well our trips up to the mountain to sit in the stables there with the mounties' horses. And to Blue Bonnets Race Track in Montreal.

    Thank you +John Dusseault

    What a great chance you had +Paul Brown those are such special times.

    +Doug Welch 🙂

  4. +Shelly Gunderson – thanks a lot, Shelly. It was a special time.

    Thanks a lot +Mike Kerr and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

    Thanks a lot +Liz C You know, I'm almost jealous of my past self.

    +Alison Christensen thanks so much.

    +Alan Mason – these saddles are just resting on a support, Alan. No, I've never ridden Mountie horses. Thanks a lot!

    Thanks a lot +Elizabeth Lund

    +Valerie Liney thanks so much Valerie. I have today posted a story about my background and horses on my blog. You might like to read it, if you enjoyed my writing. It has more photographs of the actual horses I had. https://elliekennard.ca/archives/3577

    Next time, no problem, Linda. +Linda Jess

    Thank you very much, +Tisha Montgomery

    +Cooksterz Littlefield it was really amazing you are right. I pinched myself every day as I couldn't believe it.

    So many good memories, +Giselle Savoie thanks a lot.

    That was a really interesting comment, and must be a great program, +#EquineTuesday. I'm not surprised that such a program has a high rate of success.

  5. +Lou Jones
    yes it would be the best for the soul. There is a wonderful saying; "I found my soul in a horses eye" and it is true. I am sorry to hear you do not live in that house as well, hopefully where ever you live does bring you joy.. I will say, my two Arabs of 13 to 16 years, have given me the gift of life.
    Honestly, something in your few words are haunting……….

  6. I remember as well, the tools of the trade. As a teen, I worked on a ranch and broke horses in Oklahoma. I started mucking stables to begin with, just for the opportunity to ride. I'll never forget those days. Precious memories.

  7. Great story! That would have been my choice as well. I tried, without success, to convince my parents for years that I needed a horse. I rode every chance I got and sought out places that had horses. I have a house that has a barn and is fenced. The one thing missing: a horse!!

  8. +Ellie Kennard Wonderful story which I came by the by accidentally. If your saddles are dusty, I lost my hunter jumper saddle a few years back, if you might consider selling, I might be in the market for my Arabian ;D
    Wonderful story about life, thank you MicheleElys (first name :~)

  9. +Ellie Kennard This is such a marvelous story and photo of English saddle gear! I have been into horses since I was five! I had two summer jobs where I actually got to manage stable. One, my favorite was teaching both Western and English riding and leading trail rides into the Smokies. Thanks for sharing this marvelous frame and story!

  10. Beautiful! Nearby, they use this type training also to rehab local prisoners so they will be equipped to live a better life when they are released. It's been an amazing program. Half go into the horse industry. The others gain the confidence to go after their dreams and seek other training. The success rate is really high with those that go through it.

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