Trailhead Supply Blog
Well it finally got here, you know…SPRING!!! It stopped snowing for the most part, in fact all 3 feet of snow that we have in the driveway has started to melt. But here is the deal at our ranch, spring is officially the 21st. Spring is not the 20th for two reasons. First, you can’t have observed something on a given date for 50 something years of life on a certain date and then because someone says “whoops” the earth is revolving at a different speed around the moon or whatever, then up and change the date, that’s just dumb. The second and most important reason is, the 21st is my wife’s birthday and she was born on the first day of spring and her birthday will always be on the first day of spring!!! Doesn’t really matter to me which date you celebrate the first day of spring on as long as it makes you happy. Spring gives us a fresh start. This year was a long cold snowy winter and I will be glad to have two first days of spring. Now, get ready to hit the trail. Drag out all those saddles and get to oiling them up, replace all those old and cracked straps. I had a Forest Service packer stop by today; she needed some pack saddle parts to ready her deckers for the upcoming season. Then she ordered a new half breed while she was here and said “mine just won’t make another season…” We got to chatting about upcoming trips, if and when the snow ever melts off the mountain passes. It’s funny that just a date on the calendar can bring so much hope and optimism. I still have the same amount of snow in the yard, but its spring… Really it’s my wife’s birthday.
See you on the trail (sooner than you think)
Well tis the season, it may still be snowing outside but folks can feel spring coming. Every year about this time everyone starts dragging out their saddles, to start the process of cleaning and oiling, getting already for the first possible day to hit the trail. I start getting pictures emailed to me or folks stopping by Trailhead Supply asking me to give my thoughts if a given strap has yet another year of life. Lets stop right there…If you have any doubts on if a strap or a piece of tack will make it or not, buy a new one. There is no need to be running in and out of the back country or up and down some trail on hopes and a prayer. Remember, you want an uneventful trip. Uneventful trips are my favorite type, spend your time making memories not patching tack back together to get home. Lets get back to oiling up all that leather.
The four most overlooked places while oiling and inspecting a saddle have to be: the bend on an off billet, the latigo, saddle strings, and your cinch. The off billet…is that U-shaped piece of leather that your cinch attaches to. Also known as “That Thing” I have more people tell me they need "that thing!" It has a name…Off Billet. The off billet will dry out and crack where it is folded over. Last year I know of two people who broke their off billet while riding and their saddle rolled off their horse. One of these folks ended up in the hospital with a broken leg. I was walking through our local emergency room (long story) and here sits a friend of mine her leg is all splinted up.
"What happened," I asked.
"I was out riding and that thing broke."
What's next? Your latigo. This is the leather strap that you secure your saddle with. Its on the opposite side of your saddle from your off billet. These straps get old and tired the holes get tore out. Another problem that can develop with a latigo is some people won’t oil their latigos, they feel it will make the leather stretch and therefor won’t hold the saddle on tight.
Your strings, these small long strips of leather hold all your belongings onto the saddle during your adventures, check them out, over time they will break and get cut shorter trying to cut that world famous not slipping knot out when you get to your destination. It doesn’t hurt to replace those old brittle and probably shorter than they should be saddle strings with some new, long, soft pliable ones, you won’t believe the difference!!!
Finally your cinch, this piece of tack is so greatly over looked. They get packed full of mud, burs, hair and sweat. They get hard and crusty. If you are running neoprene the rolled edges can crack and pinch your animal going down the trail. Look your cinch over as to how its constructed, I had one attached to a used saddle I bought, every time I tighten the cinch my horse got all pissy. Turns out that cinch had a piece of metal woven inside of it and that metal would bite into the chest of that mare as I pulled it tight…That cinch is gone!!! Cinch materials are a personal choice, I’m a mohair fan, but if it holds your saddle in place while not soaring your mount then you have the right one. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at Trailhead Supply even if its just to show me an old cracked strap.
See you on the trail!
I need one…You need one…
I’m sure things around my ranch are just about the same as they are at yours. My wife tells me often how deaf I am and how I need hearing aids. She tells the kids, and everyone she knows, how I can’t hear. She has told the world that I should go get my hearing checked. She just doesn’t hear me answer her is the problem. I’ve been told I just have selective hearing. The truth of the matter is, she probably needs one more than I do…
Take last night, I come in from a long day at Trailhead Supply and she asked, “how was your day? Any big news?”
To which I replied “Corey is getting a new horse.”
Oh my God!!! Why???
I said ”Because he wants one.”
“What does his wife think?”
“I don’t know, he told her on Facebook.”
“Really?” my wife replied.
I said “Yes, and everyone thinks it’s great!”
“I don’t understand, she is so nice!!! Why would you tell someone that on Facebook?”
“Maybe so she will be calmed down by the time he gets it home.” Kinda like when I brought Molly, that black mule, home in the dark so you couldn’t see her for a few days until you were home in the daylight.”
“What??? What does a mule have to do with Corey getting a divorce?”
“Good Lord not a divorce a new horse…”
Don’t worry, spring is coming, and we can all get out soon and over this cabin fever stuff. Until then…
See you on the trail!
Wow!!! We are already two months into 2018…We are in the middle of tradeshow season here at Trailhead Supply. Last week while flying home from PA I was looking over my calendar covered in ink of multiple colors; no, it’s not color coded for any reason other that was the pen handy at the time. I noticed that my wedding anniversary is like only 5 weeks away. This will be number 35. We have had 35 wonderful, glorious, years of never ending adventures, laughs and fun. Now, in today’s world the average person has probably been married four times and lived with at least two others if not more in the same amount of time, or called it quits on the whole relationship thing and now lives a life of solitude with two cats and a turtle named Lloyd. Not me, same gal, 35 years!!! So, here is the problem, what do I get the love of my life for an anniversary gift? She has put up with me for 35 years, really 37 counting the dating thing. I’m guessing this has been no easy task for her. She needs nothing, she buys herself whatever she wants. So, what should I get her? I went online and look up anniversary gifts by year. The 35th year gift is coral, that’s dumb!!! Who thought of that anyway? It was easy, year one and two we had nothing, but now we have a house, a shop, a garage, several storage sheds, and a store front packed full of stuff. Extra cars, trucks, and horse trailer parked in the upper pasture. The kids have even told us to start getting rid of all this good stuff, because when we are gone they are taking the guns and the saddles and then tossing a match in, closing the door and collecting the insurance money… So, I’m open to any idea…send it my way…Well just not coral…
Until next time...
See you on the Trail!
Good morning to all of you! If you haven't heard, Andy and Jesse are at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA! Today marks halfway through the show! For coffee with Andy this morning, Andy decided to do a Facebook Live video. This is our very first video blog! Check it out below, and make sure to like us on Facebook to see all of the other fun updates from PA. Sit back, relax, and pour a cup, it's time for Coffee with Andy!