Sunday, October 16, 2011

saddle up

no idea why that twine is tied on there, but it doesn't appear to be holding the saddle together.
if i had a dollar (or even just a kroner) for every minute of energy i've wasted trying to figure out other people's motives, i'd never have to work again. there's pretty much nothing i waste more time on...wondering about why people do the things they do and trying to put it into some sort of logical framework that enables me to deal with it, if only in my own head. many times, this energy is completely wasted because ultimately, it's really hard to tell why people do the things they do. and sometimes even asking them (which would, i admit, save me a lot of wasted energy if i did it a bit more often) doesn't help.

case in point:  some months ago, when our horse was still stabled over at our neighbors' place, they offered that we could have a look at some of their old saddles and try them out and see if one would fit matilde. so recently, i went over and took a couple of the saddles to try. they were up on the highest pegs in the tack room, dusty and obviously unused for years, even a little bit musty-smelling. they're good brands and were very nice saddles when they were new, but both are, shall we say...well broken-in and probably at least 20 years old. i actually didn't mind, as they still have a lot of good left in them and i figured that it would mean that they would be in an affordable price range.

then, we went to a lot of trouble to have a saddle fitter come out and help us decide whether either of the saddles would work on matilde. she actually came out twice (the first time, she was called away halfway through because her own horse was colicking and she had to go home) and we tried the saddles, finally settling on one of them. it's not perfect, but the tree fits (that's difficult to change, so it's important) and with some extra padding and moving the cinch straps, it would be a good match for both sabin and matilde and we could use it for several years to come. thankfully, i had the wherewithal to ask the saddle fitter how much she thought the saddle should cost. i had a figure in my head of what i had seen similar saddles for in my research online and what i thought they would ask for it. the saddle fitter, who knows the market well and can tell by looking roughly how old a saddle is, told me not to pay more than a certain amount for such an old saddle - that amount was well below the amount in my head, so i was glad to have asked her.

then, i went back to the neighbor to report on how it had gone and what the saddle fitter had said and i asked them if they'd thought about a price. and the price they came back with was TWICE the price the saddle fitter said should be the most we should pay. and i have to admit that i feel really badly about this. first, i'm mad at myself for not asking them to name a price when i picked up the saddles (actually, i did, but they said they needed to think about it).  if i'd known what they wanted, i wouldn't have gone through the whole process with the saddle fitter - wasting her time and ours (not to mention her fee).

what's bothering me about it is that i can't figure out the neighbors' motives. did they not want to sell the saddle in the first place? (if so, why offer it? it wasn't as if this whole thing was my idea.) do they think we're stupid and would just blindly pay the price of a new saddle without looking into what the saddle might be worth? do they need money? or did they simply not know what their saddle was worth in the current market? if that was the case, why not come back with another price, when i thanked them for letting us try the saddles and expressed with some shock that it was double what the saddle fitter had advised we should pay - especially in light of having to spend another considerable sum making the changes necessary so it fits our horse?  i just can't make it make sense.

i actually saw a saddle online that's the same model but which was only 2 years old instead of 20, and in perfect shape - looking pretty much completely new, for which they wanted 1000DKK ($200) less than the neighbor was asking for their old saddle. i do realize that this just a WTF? moment and i should move on, but i have to admit that i'm having trouble with that. it has changed my whole perception of our neighbors and i'm not sure that i can get back to a place where i like them again. not that they were our best friends, but i liked them and thought they were really nice. now i'm not so sure. mistrust has definitely replaced the warm feelings i previously had.

is there some angle on this that i haven't considered in all of my obsessive turning it over in my mind? something which might make it ok?  (i should note that the saddle has never been to the olympics or been, to my knowledge, ridden in by a princess, so that can't be it.)  how can i wash this bad taste out of my mouth?

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if you'd like something more inspiring than my long and petty story, watch this.
or read this little magical vignette.


Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...


Enjoyed the bread making video. Seems to be a good book to have.

Thanks for sharing!

Tracy :)

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Oh--about your neighbor. I would forget about them!

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

It looks like a quick fix for a bucking strap.

Unknown said...

I'm very guilty of doing this. I meet new people, I think they're lovely. We become friends. I start doing little favours for them, thinking of them when I bake a cake or picking up extra nappies/milk/chocolate/whatever when I know they're running low...then they go and do something that just leaves me feeling cold. Or they act in a way that I find inconsiderate or thoughtless. My husband think that we (he and I) fall 'in love' with people too easily and then when they fail to meet out expectations we fall out of love with them with a bump and a slightly bruised heart. I don;t really have the answer. But I've decided I'd rather be the type of person that falls in love with other people, rather than become standoff-ish and cold. Simply because you meet more people that way. I'm just going to be more sparing with my cake donations in the future though :-)

Neighbours are a fickle species I find. Best left at arms length until they see the error of their ways.

will said...

I'd say your neighbors figured they had you boxed in on a deal with little wiggle room .... forcing you into their ploy. Trust and equity don't always come with property lines.

Roberta Warshaw said...

This is why I live in the city. I don't have to talk to anyone if I don't want to. And no one cares....Ah the joys of country living.....

kristina - no penny for them said...

they may have quoted for the saddle with the price in mind they paid yonks ago. perhaps you could give them the benefit of the doubt and keep your distance a little?

when finding myself in moments like this, i'm telling myself that dwelling too long brings bad energy, letting go makes room for new positive experiences.

Veronica Roth said...

That’s tough, Julie. It’s hard to go back when you’ve been re-educated about another side of someone’s personality.

Sammi said...

i agree with kristina, and totally about keeping them at arms length. we don't really talk to any of our neighbours when it comes to favours unless it's a glass of milk or an egg for cooking when we've forgotten to go to the store. plus. our next door neighbours are weird.