9 things horse owners struggle to throw out (or donate to good homes)

  • Even if you’re not normally a sentimental person, it can be challenging to part ways with miscellaneous items you’ve collected throughout your life.

    Objects you’ve picked up along the way can evoke certain emotions, and the same rings true for any bits and bobs you’ve acquired during your time as an equestrian.

    Now, we’re not suggesting you’re a hoarder, but here are nine horsey things that you’ve probably struggled to get rid of in recent years, or might still have in your possession…

    1. Rosettes you’ve won

    At the beginning of a partnership with a horse, we proudly display every single rosette, irrespective of colour, around the house. As we advance up the placings with said horse, we decide to only showcase the winning prizes, banishing anything not red to a carrier bag under the stairs. Once this routine is completed over and over for several seasons in a row, or with different horses, we naturally end up with a shed-load of discarded ribbon. Even though the rosette or sash (if you’re lucky) is just an added bonus to a winning result, something just feels so wrong about throwing them out!

    2. Past horses’ rugs

    Even though the children gave up ponies over a decade ago, we can’t quite bring ourselves to get rid of the 4ft6 rug collection which has spent the past few years on a shelf in the tack room gathering dust — the memories are just too precious!

    3. Membership cards from years ago

    Call us paranoid, but we have a feeling that if we discard expired membership cards into the bin then said society is bound to ring up and demand proof of our affiliation. So we keep them neatly stacked in a drawer, just in case.

    4. Riding gear that no longer fits

    “One day I’ll get back into those jodhpurs’. We’ve been saying this for the past seven years, but then Easter, Christmas, family holiday, the weekend and the odd bad Wednesday happens and we’re even further away from slimming back into the elegant attire of our youth.

    5. That one coat which is falling to bits

    The waterproof has stopped working, the zip is partially hanging off (thanks to your horse’s front teeth) and the sleeve is full of holes. But there’s something about the way this coat keeps us toasty warm in the coldest of winters, and how the pockets perfectly hold all the necessities during a hack. It’s like it was made for us and we’re not quite ready to lay it to rest!

    6. Tatty pieces of tack

    A broken noseband from the 70s, half a pair of reins found at an event and a side-rein which was made for a Shetland pony. All items which feature in the spare tack box and could come in handy one day in the near future, right?

    7. Bits, so many bits

    In a similar vein, the over-flowing bit box contains some weird and wonderful contraptions we’ve picked up over the years, many of which we have no intention of ever using.

    8. A tyre from the old horsebox

    It seemed like a shame to throw out such a versatile object which could be used as a jump filler, or a water bucket holder, or at very least a doorstop. For now, it will remain abandoned in the corner of the yard…

    9. Almost-empty containers

    Spring cleaning can be seriously frustrating when the yard is littered with several nearly-finished bottles of spray and shampoo, or tubs of supplements. They’re so very nearly ready to go into the bin, but still contain at least one or two more uses.

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