A Textile Obsession

Jan 27, 2014 - 9:07 AM
What IS it about blankets that turns a sane horseperson into a hoarder?

My mom has this freaky obsession with textiles. Sheets, towels, blankets and pillows are carefully stacked, labelled, put in matched set with ribbons a la Martha Stewart. She also has this freaky ability to know EXACTLY when one of her things is missing, and woe to the person responsible for its walkabout! We all pick on my mom for her constant compulsion to buy the next softer blankie or set of decadent sheets. I mean, Mom! You have 30 sets of 9,035 thread count sheets! WHY do you have these brand new ones? How many sheets and blankets can one person use?  

This morning, I was going through my barn trying to organize the mess caused by constantly fluctuating temperatures and the blanket changing that goes along with it. I was going to ORGANIZE this mess. I was going to put all the blankets in the place that they belong, folded and pretty, with straps properly tucked in just so. I was about an hour in when I thought to myself, “Holy crud. I’m my mom, only my obsessions are covered in manure.”

WHAT IS IT about horse folks and their obsession with blankets? I honestly cannot stop myself from scouring the Internet for the deals on blankets I absolutely do not need. Is it my nurturing gene being used as often as my uterus (childless by choice) and begging to make itself known? Is it my genetic makeup to obtain ALL the TEXTILES? Is it my internal struggle of needing to buy stuff and not wanting the face the prospect of walking into a mall and trying on pants? I don’t know what it is; I only know that it is a force that cannot be explained.

Weatherbeeta, Rambo, Bucas, Schneiders, Baker, Rhinos—I have them all and pine for more. 

While going through my blanket hoard—and that’s exactly what it is—I found blankets I didn’t know I had. Brand new, with tags. And I find reasons why each blanket is needed—even the one that is no longer waterproof (it can go UNDER a newer one!) to the hole-filled coolers (the colors look so pretty on the dark bays!), to the too big (I may get a horse that big again), to the too small (I may have a horse this small again). Each time I go through my piles of blankets, I separate them into “Keep, Sell, Giveaway,” just like I learned on Hoarders. 

And each time I finish, I find myself going out to the giveaway pile and telling everybody around me that they are trying to ruin my life and don’t respect my choices! And they JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND AND I HAVE TO HAVE THAT ONE WITH THE CAMOUFLAGE PATCHES PLEASE GET IT OUT OF THE GIVEAWAY PILE!!!!!!!

Allie Conrad is executive director of CANTER Mid Atlantic, which provides retiring Thoroughbred racehorses with opportunities for new careers. Allie founded the organization in 1999 at Charles Town Racetrack (W.V.) after purchasing her beloved Thoroughbred Phinny, who had more than 60 starts at Charles Town, at the infamous New Holland Auction in Pennsylvania. A resident of Southern Pines, N.C., Allie also works full time as a project manager for a Washington, D.C., consulting firm. You can learn more about CANTER Mid Atlantic on their website, www.canterusa.org/midatlantic.


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