Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I won! I won!

While I've always adored perusing online auctions, I've never bid on anything before. The postage is where they get you, see? I mean, say I get a stuffed weasel holding a silver handcannon for the amazing bid of only five bucks. But then the shipping and handling is another seventy bucks. Not such a bargain, suddenly.

But then I saw this item on

If you know me at all, you'll understand why this pulled all my triggers at once.

1. It's horse stuff.

2. It's a bunch of stuff.

3. It comes in a handy basket for toting, because there is so much awesome in it that you can't carry it all in your hands alone.

4. It has even over-spilled the handy basket, there's so much of it.

5. You can't see what all of it is, but you can see part of what some of it is; intriguing!

6. All of it needs cleaning.

Let's hope the advertising world never finds out that all they need to do to get me to open my wallet and start flinging bills at them is to show me something old and dusty and say "We should probably just throw this away..."

I spent a good deal of time scrutinizing this small, blurry picture, using all of my horse sense. Starting at the left, I can see there's a headstall for a bridle. There are two black rubber horse boots. The bit of red there has hearts on it. I'm thinking dog collar, actually, but who knows?

On the right side of the picture, there are two fleecy objects, a cinch and a breastcollar. Both look pretty clean and I was looking for cinch buckles for another project, so even if they're kinda crappy, I can use the hardware on them for something.

But in the basket! In that tangled jumble I see a green web halter, which is no big deal, but next to it  is the item that set my teeth to jangling: a crupper. And next to the crupper is a wide strap with brass rings on it that I recognized  -- these are harness parts. Is it possible that this basket holds an entire harness?

The opening bid was $19. The headstall, breastcollar, and cinch alone were worth that, secondhand, and if there's a harness in the basket... "But the postage!" I reminded myself. So I checked to see how much that was -- and it was pick-up only. Oh darn. But wait -- it was in Tacoma! Shoot, I can drive to Tacoma and back in no time!

So I decided it would be fun to bid on this, and call it a birthday present to myself since the bidding would end the might before my birthday. I set my maximum bid at $25 and hoped that local pick-up, the unknown contents, and the general grimy condition would prevent other people from bidding.

I got it for $21.99.

I know from my experiences cleaning tack that the whitish crud on that leather is not mildew -- it's "bloom", a cloudy layer of exuded oils (and dirt) which tells me that the leather had been well maintained in the past but hasn't been used in a while. A little cleaning and conditioning, and I could have some very nice, workable items for an exceedingly reasonable price.

I'll give y'all the breakdown once I've picked it up and sorted it through. Happy birthday to me!

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