When you’re having guests into your home for dinner, your primary goal should be to make them feel at home, which means making them feel they are guests in a place where they are totally comfortable. Your table setting can do a lot to tell your guests that you are excited they are there, that you went to extra trouble, but that they are there to sit back and relax – no stuffiness allowed. A “western” table setting can be anything from fun to formal, and hopefully a little bit of both. Top a regular white dinner plate with a smaller plate of blue spatter wear, which you can get at Pine Country Feed, then pull a bandana through a napkin ring, also at Pine Country Feed, and set it atop the two. At the top right corner of the setting place a goblet for wine or water, and get something with a little kick in it, like Pine Country Feed’s ranch stem wear. You can cover your table with a red and white checked linens, or if you want to dress it up a bit place two leather runners, from Pine Country Feed, crosswise letting them serve at placemats. Set the center of your table with flowers in a galvanized tin bucket, blinged out with rhinestones that you can find (say it with me) at Pine Country Feed. There is a trend here. If you haven’t been in, it’s time to shop at Pine Country Feed, where we help you bring the ranch home!
There is no under selling the importance of the right saddle. In the great Westerns there is almost always a scene where the cowboy pulls the saddle off of his trusted steed, plunks it down by the fire, where he proceeds to make it the crowning point of his bed for the night. He’s ridden on this tailored piece of worn in leather all day and now, with his hat pulled down over his eyes, the saddle has become his pillow, and he appears perfectly content. The lesson here is simple. You can’t mess with the saddle. You have to get the right one, the best quality, it should be attractive, but the leather has to be a work of art, soft and tough at the same time. Of all the leather things in life for which counterfeits have been made-shoes, easy chairs, coats, handbags, watch bands – nobody has ever been foolish enough to try to counterfeit the saddle. It has to be leather, the best kind of leather, and it has to be saddle leather, softened with saddle soap and tooled to perfection. An exceptional saddle is what you want, and exceptional saddles are what Pine Country Feed has. Drop in for a browse then get ready to ride. It will be the ride of your life!
Pine Country Feed, your local livestock and pet food supplier, was voted Best Pet Store in Mountain Connection’s “Best of” competition, and it isn’t any wonder. If choice is important they carry all of the brands you’ve hear d of and a few you haven’t – Purina, Manna Pro, Buckeye, Innova, Nutro, Natural Balance and Timberwolf to name a few. They also carry food and supplements to nourish your hamster, ferret, rat, chinchilla, guinea pig, mouse, cat and dog, and February is National Bird Feeding month, so not only do they have everything you need for your finch, canary, parakeet, cockatiel or parrot, but you will receive 15% off on your purchase of an outdoor feeder and it includes the food. Pine Country’s shelves are stocked with toys, treats, collars, leashes, bowls, grooming supplies and supplements for your furry friends, and their supply of bones and hooves for the chewer in the family is not to be believed. I gave my dog a hoof from Pine Country the other day and now he looks at me with such gratitude it is almost heartbreaking. He cries when he sees me getting his hoof out of the closet and this morning he wrote me into his will, and all because of Pine Country Feed. Now that’s a pet store!
The huge misunderstanding about cowboys is mostly Hollywood’s fault and it all stems from fashion. When they tried to make people like Sylvester Stallone play a cowboy, you know they were reaching and they missed the mark completely. Real “cowboyism” has to go back to Gary Cooper and John Wayne who walked as though they were born astride a saddle, and talked as though they considered communication a courtesy, but not anything to get too excited about. The key was, they always wore the same clothes. Jeans and vests and shirts that buttoned, and no matter how long they had been on a cattle drive, or how many gunslingers they had faced, they never saw a need to change their clothes. They seemed to need the dirt and the frayed edges to keep their gun belts in place. Unless they were going to meetin’ (church) they pretty much kept to their boots and their belts and the jeans that were broken in to the point of actually having a distinctive shape, like other people’s shoes, you couldn’t loan them to anyone else because your imprint had taken over. Awards were never given by the Academy for the costuming in a real western, but that was the whole point. When you walked out of the theatre you couldn’t remember what the stars were wearing, but you never forgot their hard lined, squint into the sun faces. They were cowboys, and they were the real thing.
When I was a little girl, my grandpa had a horse. Her name was Misty, she was gray and white speckled. I would go over to my grandpas house, head to the field with some carrots and an apple slice or two, and then up I’d go. Grandpa would lift me up on Misty’s back and would grab hold of her mane.
Grandpa would calmly say, “Go on.”
And off she was. She would trot, gallop, turn and, even, hop around. Then she would calmly walk back to Grandpa to show him that I was still hanging on for dear life and then off she’d go again. I spent countless hours in that field learning how to ride a horse.
Then, one birthday in May 1996, I got a special gift, specifically from Grandpa. That May I turned 16. Grandpa came into the dining room carrying a brand new saddle, blanket, and bridle. The saddle was black with white stitching and the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. I have never ridden a horse with a saddle and bridle before, this suddenly occurred to me as he placed my gift in front of me. I looked at Grandpa. He smiled and said…
“Well, after 16 years of bareback you’ve proven yourself a real cowgirl and that you can ride a horse. I thought you deserved a prize for that.”
He calmly walked to the door.
“Are you coming? That horse won’t wait forever you know.”
I rode for the first time with a saddle on my 16th birthday!
- How to Saddle a Horse (brighthub.com)