Our school master doesn’t have his own dedicated tack so I’m on a mission. In the boarder’s tack room I retrieve my instructor’s girth and saddle. At another locker I grab a bridle. Wait. I still need a saddle pad. Hmmm, R–’s locker is right here. She won’t mind. I’ve used her tack before. I grab the saddle pad and without another thought tacked up for my lesson.

“Where’d you get the pad?” My instructor’s checking my tack as I mount.

Uh-oh. Why’d I take the saddle pad? That’s all I can think about. The nice white saddle pad. The one I borrowed from a boarder’s locker. Without asking. Have I lost my mind? A mere lesson student helping herself to a boarder’s belongings? I can only pray that I haven’t launched the next world war.

“It’s R–’s. I didn’t think she’d mind. I’ll wash it and bring it back on Tuesday.”

Darn! I knew I shouldn’t have taken it. Guilt. Guilt. Can we say GUILT?

“Uh-huh. She’s on vacation so she won’t be back until later in the week”

Oh, good! I can wash the pad, put it away and no one will know. Wait. I know. And my instructor. Darn! Guilt. I hate this!

Lesson? What lesson? I’m feeling so guilty I can’t even think about my lesson. It passes in a blur. I think we did serpentines. Hey! Did I graduate from circles?

Back home I atone for my sins by washing and bleaching the saddle pad. It looks great! I even admit my guilt and attached the following note to the saddle pad with a safety pin.


The following Saturday as I entered the barn I hear “Lee!” R–’s spotted me. “You’re too funny!” I am?

“Hi R–! Did you get my love note?”

“Yes. I don’t mind if you borrow my things! It was sooo clean too!”

“My washer and dryer are pretty new.” Another boarder trots past us.

“Hey, Lee! Can you wash mine?”

It seems that I’ve atoned for my sins and possibly found myself a new profession. What a relief!