Tell me how old you are

… without telling me how old you are.

I remember when the Crosby PDN (that’s Prix Des Nations, kids), one of the “It” saddles of the early '80s, cost $600 new.


I remember when worming your horse involved a tube and a vet. And when there was no such thing as a senior type specific feed for the oldie goldies.


I remember when the Hermes saddle came out, for $1,000 USD?

The equine powers that be had recently realized the importance of worming ALL horses regularly.

Hunt seat coats covered the rider’s butts (oh I miss that design!)


You only used saddle pads for schooling, NOT for showing.


Helmets with and without chinstraps
A Very Young Rider
Practical Horseman’s George Morris jumping column in print (I recall four photos and he’d order them best to worst as well as critique them).


Horse trailers being pulled by station wagons.


I remember, it was sometime in the mid to late 1960s.

Horse equipment like lead ropes came in three colors: royal blue, red, and maybe bright green.

Saddle pads were made of real sheepskin.

Shoeing with four flat shoes was about $25.

Board was maybe $35 a month.

Essentially no one wore helmets to ride at home.

Breeches fastened with buttons at the ankle.

The LA County show association (now morphed into LAHJA) was almost all Western classes. They had English Pleasure and English Eq.

People warmed up in the barn aisles with these rack type jump standards they brought in.


I started riding as a young adult….

Clear chin straps were all the rage
Ian Millar had a saddle people wanted for their first saddle
Everyone had thoroughbreds in the hunters
Everyone in Alberta actually started in the hunters!
Spruce Meadows still had hunter classes!
A single young dental assistant could afford to ]ride AND buy a house!


As a “DINK” (dual-income, no kids) who was fortunate enough to be able to buy a house last year - I was actually calculating how much of a salary increase I’d need to be able to (finally) afford my own horse. I was feeling pretty good about it (until I read this comment anyways lol) that it was “only” ~15k/year more. :sweat_smile:


It was really wild when you heard about someone who boarded their horse at a barn and had an actual trainer—we thought they were super rich—because everybody kept their horses in the backyard and just taught themselves and each other.


I have seen a few folks on COTH mention warming up in barn aisles. I’m so curious about this. Were the barn aisles wider back in the day? Thinking about trying to ride in tent aisles gives me a slight panic attack. :joy:


I remember hay costing 75 cents a bale.


and El Caminos.


I don’t recall tent stalls back in the day in Southern California. Lots of shed rows, either permanent barns at some placed like Earl Warren and Del Mar, or portables. The first time I saw tent stalls in California was Indio when HITS was running it.

So we had more room. But not a lot of room, especially to get going. And leading horses in and out of stalls could get interesting


In today’s dollars, that $600 PDM would be about $1,800 – which is a HECK OF A LOT BETTER than the $4,000-$6,000 these jokers are asking for new saddles now.

I, too, am terrified by the notion of warming up in barn aisles. That was another era or another coast or something, and thank God I missed it.


I never warmed up for a show in a barn aisle, but I have jumped in a barn aisle.

One placeI boarded the barn aisle was about 16 feet wide and about 20 stalls long, with a high ceiling. In winter, when the ground outside was unrideable we would sometimes set up jump standards in the aisle, but I only remember cross rails and very low verticals. Nobody was leading horses in and out of stalls.

The other time was when I was horse hunting and I went to look at a green horse at the Reynolds. It was raining, and they set up a small jump for me in the overhang of the shedrow barn.

These were both in Virginia, and in the 1980s or early 90s


When my mother was a kid many years ago, she said in the winter they would take out the walls between three stalls, and that would be their indoor riding area until the spring thaw.


As a youngster–

-my horses wore Ulster galloping boots with the plastic waffle padding

-I used my old Borelli Argentine jumping saddle on every horse or pony

-AHSA rule book was a book

-We still sometimes used a van to go to shows-sometimes without the trainer

-I did not count strides

-Bombed around at home jumping fences, gates, tables, round bales etc-basically anything jumpable that was not a jump

-Clovite was an “in” supplement of the time


Don’t forget we’d drape a cooler over one of the jump poles so it would appear “solid.” Like a panel. Extra fun if a breeze came up while you were cantering down to it so it flapped wildly.

At Earl Warren some of the barn aisles had huge drains in the middle, with heavy metal grates over the top. Served as a reminder to ride to the jump in a straight line and not have a run out.