If Only It Could Talk…
as told to Pat Martin
Grand Junction, Colo.
When I was a kid growing up in Draper, Utah, I became interested in horses at an early age. My dad bought me my first horse in 1947 when I was almost 15. I was working long hours in the beet fields by then, as a lot of young men did, and earned enough money to buy myself a used saddle, which I was pretty proud of. It was a good old saddle, handcrafted by the Western Company in Denver, with a dark finish and a little bit of tooling. I put a lot of miles on it riding the sandhills around Draper.
I joined the Navy in 1950 and served in the Korean Conflict as a Navy Seal.
When I was discharged in 1953, I was upset to learn that my dad had sold my horse and saddle and moved to Denver. So I joined my parents in Denver, got a job with the ArvadaPolice Department, married and began a family of my own.
Years passed. By 1980 I had gotten back into horses and was looking for another good saddle, since I was not happy with the one I had at that time. I knew my best bet was to go to Brighton Feed and see what Roger might have. When I explained what I was looking for, Roger smiled and said, “Follow me ” I’ve got an old saddle back here in the back that I’d just love to get rid of!”
“Is it a Western?” I asked.
“Heck, I don’t know!” he replied.
“Take a look at it.”
I was thrilled to see that it looked just like my old saddle, pelican horn and all! And yes, it was made by the Western Company, which had long since gone out of business. More than grateful, I thanked Roger, paid him for it, and hauled it home.
I couldn’t believe my good fortune in finding another saddle so similar to the old one I had loved as a teenager!
Excited by my lucky find, I began to clean it up and oil the leather, which was still supple and in good condition. It was only when I lifted the fender that I discovered the identifying mark I had put there 33 years ago ” it was my old saddle! I still wonder where it was all those years and what circumstances brought it to Brighton, Colo., for me to find once again.
If only it could talk…
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The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Horse Transportation Safety Act (HTSA) as part of a massive infrastructure bill, the INVEST in America Act.