Last week I sold the last of my huntseat show clothes on ebay. I saved my navy blue huntcoat until the very end, because I had a great deal of sentimental attachment to it. I loved that coat. I had saved up money just to buy it: a top-0f-the-line brand made of fine wool herringbone, complete with special lining. I was fortunate to get a good price from the winning bidder, but honestly, I wasn't selling it for the money. It was time to face reality and move on. And that was a bittersweet moment.
You see, my navy blue huntcoat has been hanging in my closet, tucked away in its garment bag with a pair of breeches and a couple of show shirts, since my last horse show. And what was special about my last show? You guessed it. That was the one where I was badly injured and carted off by the paramedics to the trauma unit. Also in that garment bag, cloistered in the zippered compartment, was an envelope of hairnets, my black leather gloves, my favorite "lucky" belt with my one and only trophy buckle, a number string and my pair of show spurs. It was as if my show clothes were waiting-- patiently yet hopelessly-- for me to saddle up and compete. It was a time capsule of my past life. All I had to do was unzip the garment bag and I could literally smell the faint aroma of about a hundred horse shows: the hay, the saddle soap, the boot polish.
Letting go of the contents of that garment bag was finally fully admitting that my life in the show ring was over. But it was time. When I sent the huntcoat to the winning bidder, a gal who lives in Oregon, I included a short note. I didn't go into any details, but I told her that I hoped she'd win lots of blue ribbons in the coat. She seemed to sense my melancholy, because she emailed me that the coat had arrived safely and that it was indeed lovely. She also added, "I promise you it'll have a good home."
I know it sounds odd to say this about an inanimate object, but I do hope that my huntcoat has a good home. And that it serves its new owner well.
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