The Things I Carry
Have you ever noticed that, wherever you go, people ask you the same kinds of questions?
When I’m talking of writing instead of riding, people want to know where I get my ideas (usually from a “what if?” based on a scrap of real life), how long it takes to finish a novel (a really long time, when I’m trying to train horses too), and whether I write romance (um, no).
Among horsemen, there seems to be a preoccupation with what endurance riders carry down the trail. And so, for those who are curious, here’s what’s in my saddle bag:
1) Water, obviously.
2) A ziploc for my vet card. This lives in my saddle bag full time, so I can’t forget it when I go to a ride.
3) My cell phone. I used to use a neoprene leg holster, but it stretched out so much that I can’t keep it secured around my calf anymore. Naturally, having a phone in my saddlebag won’t do me any good if Aaruba and I part company, but at least I have some of the bases covered.
4) Sunscreen. I’m mildly allergic to sunlight (I know, I know!) so I carry a few sample-size packets, just in case.
5) Hoof pick.
6) A few sheets of Kleenex. Multi purpose!
7) Stethoscope. When I jump off at a vet hold, I like to listen to Aaruba’s heart rate before asking for an official pulse check.
8) Map or route reminder.
9) Lip balm, in case I meet someone worth kissing.
That’s it for the regulars. I suppose that, in an ideal world, I’d remember some baling twine and a knife, maybe a little duct tape, my epi-pen, a bottle of aspirin, granola bars, a mylar blanket, chlorine tablets, emergency flares…
Nah. I’ll risk it.