SmartPak Monday Morning Feed: Confessions of a Tack Hoarder

“I justify this ‘collection’ by repeating things to myself like, ‘it could be worse, I could have a gambling problem,’ and ‘one more saddle pad won’t hurt anybody.'”

By SmartPaker Jessica

As we start the new year, many of us make resolutions and reflect upon changes we’d like to make in the coming months. I’m definitely on board with that and have some loose resolutions myself, but one thing I can tell you for certain won’t be changing anytime soon is my tack hoarding tendencies, and I have a funny feeling that lots of my fellow horse peeps can relate.

Photo courtesy of SmartPaker Jessica

Let me take you back to the early origins of this habit so you can understand where it all began. Young Jessica made the very important decision of her “riding colors” at an early age, and from there, allowed only those colors in her tack box, barn wardrobe, and her horse’s wardrobe. To add more insight, those colors were green and red, so it was essentially Christmas all the time for me at the barn. The internet didn’t exist in those days, so young Jessica would patiently await the latest horsey catalog and then study it like a book, marking off pages for “wish list” items and taking in the information like a dictionary. Then came the saving up the allowance part and spending every last penny on horsey items, naturally. I guess it’s no surprise that here we are roughly 35 years later, and I’ve worked at equine retailers for the past 20 years!

Photo courtesy of SmartPaker Jessica

Fast forward to today, and I guess you can say that not a whole lot has really changed except that my “collection” has grown quite a bit, my “barn colors” have evolved to encompass many more (which greatly aids the hoarding), the red obsession has morphed into more of a burgundy, and I no longer get an allowance, although I guess you could consider the adult version to be a “job.” I justify this “collection” by repeating things to myself like, “it could be worse, I could have a gambling problem,” and “one more saddle pad won’t hurt anybody.” But hey, in all honesty, it’s my “thing,” and it makes me happy, and I really don’t need to justify it to anyone. I know that my fellow horsey “collectors” understand and appreciate when Max and I show up to clinics and lessons in our full-on matchy-matchy gear, and we all admire our attire!

We’ve also taken “twinning” to a new level, as I’m compelled to dress my two horses in matching clothes. They don’t seem to mind their sibling wardrobes, and personally I think it’s a cute touch (that’s what I tell myself anyway).

Photo courtesy of SmartPaker Jessica

There was one unfortunate incident recently where my mom happened to open a tack box that was filled strictly with saddle pads and was at a bit of a loss for words. She kind of looked shocked and started to mouth, “are these…. all….” and I quickly replied, “yes, yes, they are, and that’s not all of them either,” and she slowly closed the lid with a disapproving glance but didn’t say anything else. At least I’m not in denial, right? I’ve made arrangements for my horses should anything happen to me, but more importantly, I’ve made my family promise that my “collection” would be in good hands. I’ve stressed its value, though they have no idea of what it is actually worth and the only way they would find out would be if something did actually happen to me, and pretty sure it would be good that I wasn’t around when that happened!

Photo courtesy of SmartPaker Jessica

Anyhow, these colder months here in New England give me lots of time to start planning our outfits for riding season that will start around April for us. There are some great sales going on right now, and I know I’m currently waiting for the arrival of a few sets of polos that will go just perfectly with some pads and bonnets that are waiting for their moment. I’m lucky that my gelding Max is a good sport, and I’m sure he’ll look just dashing in our new lavender set that we can’t wait to debut. You could say that I am super excited that the matchy matchy trend has really taken off these last few years, and I feel like it’s truly my time to shine…in mustard velvet of course.

You can find this and more on the SmartPak blog. Go SmartPak and go riding!