A Sad Story Involving Rodents

I had a great ride yesterday, and I was all set to tell you about it.  And then after that ride, since it was so stunningly gorgeous outside, I decided to stop pretending summer was never going to end and clean my blankets and liners that I shoved dirty into my tack trunk last April:


And finally I got around to putting my tack away once that was done.  In my barn, we have two tack rooms - the main tack room:



And the little one, which is a combo tack/feed room:


Previously I had always been in the little tack room, but when I got the CWD we were out of space in there, so the CWD got moved to the big tack room and my bridles, breastplate and the Dressage saddle stayed in the little tack room, which recently has had a mouse problem for the first time in my five years here, which we've been fighting with cats, traps and airtight feed containers lately.

When I went to put my bridle away yesterday, I saw white fluffy stuff on someone's black Mattes pad turned upside down under my Dressage saddle.  Then I looked at my cover, which was hanging oddly to one side.

I realized what that white stuff was pretty fast and swore.

I took off the cover and dropped the saddle from the top of the rack, knowing the offender was most likely still in there.  He was, and scampered away.  And then I assessed the damage and just about cried, actually had tears in my eyes:

Sent this to my husband with the caption "F*** F*** F*** F***"

If this was my CWD, I would have lost my shit.  Just sayin'.

So...yeah.  Not sure if that's fixable, or even who would fix it.  My saddles are covered by my homeowners' insurance at the barn, but the value of this saddle wouldn't hit my deductible, so I'm pretty sure that's not an option.  I'm devastated.  Anyone ever dealt with something like this before?  Does Wintec even do repairs?  Is this repairable?

65 comments:

  1. OMG.... I honestly hope you approach your barn owners with this, and that they do the right thing and compensate you for this damage. I know that things like mice are hard to control, especially in a feed room, but I think fundamentally they are at fault for not taking measures to keep mice out of the feed area.

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    1. I texted my trainer the minute I saw it, but I don't plan to ask for compensation. They've been waging all-out war against the mice in every possible way, setting all kinds of traps, buying new cats. It's a barn.

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    2. I tend to agree with KB. That was my first thought as well. If I were in the situation, I would hope the BO would cover, or at least split with me, the cost to repair or replace the saddle. I agree that it's a barn, things happen, but this was pretty egregious. I've never seen anything like it either!

      They might want to consider not storing feed and tack in the same place, going forward, so that no more damage occurs. One place I boarded at had a nifty free-standing plastic shed where they stored all their grain, inside lock-tight plastic garbage cans. It was the most mouse-free area I've ever seen!

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  2. Awww man, that SUCKS. I'm so sorry. I hope you're able to find a way to get it fixed... maybe get the seat recovered? Can your CWD friend help?

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    1. She doesn't work for them anymore, and Wintec won't deal with individuals from what I've read. It will likely have to get shipped somewhere if it is fixable at all, I am looking for suggestions!

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  3. So I hope step two was for the CWD not to live at the barn anymore...

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    1. Yeah, it's in my truck. I don't know what to do with it in my disaster construction zone of a house though. Sigh.

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  4. Oh wow, why are mice so cute and devastating at the same time!?

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    1. Not sure. They are cute, and we've kept rats as pets before, but I was ready to lay waste to the entire population when I saw this!

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  5. Oh my gosh. That's horrible!!! I'm sorry. No idea on the repair issue.

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    1. Thanks! If you hear of anyone, let me know, I have a feeling I'll be looking for a while.

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  6. Holy cow, I've never seen that before! Those little fucks. Do you guys have any Amish around your farm area? They've always been my go-to for random tack repairs, but then I've spent most of my horsey ownership in super rural areas.

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    1. Me neither! We do a couple of hours north of us, but would they work on synthetic tack?

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  7. OMG that SUCKS. I would have cried, too! No suggestions on how to get it repaired, though. :(

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  8. I have never seen anything like that before. I would have definitely cried.

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    1. I did okay until I sent a pic to my trainer and got a heartfelt 'omg I am so sorry' back, then I was like "Wow this really sucks."

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  9. WHOA, that is crazy! If you know of a place that repairs saddles and stocks Wintec products, give them a call and explain what's happened. If Wintec doesn't deal directly with customers, the tack store ought to be able to call them and get a new seat. I would think repairing this type of damage is about the same on both leather and synthetic saddles. (I don't know for sure, though.) Good luck!

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    1. Dang, I was hoping you'd be like "Oh call this person!" The more I think about it/look at it, the more I think even if I could get it repaired, it would be more than the cost of replacing it. (JenJ is sending me Wintec Dressage saddles on ebay that are $200).

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  10. Evil rodents! I freaked out when a mouse just ate through my saddle cover a couple months ago.
    Funny story about that though. My friend had emergency back surgery and thus had to drop her lease on a horse so around the saddle cover eating time I packed up some of her things and dropped them off at her house. Well a certain saddle cover eating rodent hitched a ride to my friend's house and made an appearance in her kitchen while we were standing there chatting. On the plus side I haven't had an issue since (knocking on wood).

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    1. Lol, hitchhiking mice! I'm not afraid of them, but I had one living in my tack locker (eating horse treats and sleeping in my memory foam boots! He had the life!) and now this. I'm ready to destroy the entire world's mouse population.

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  11. Gah! I literally almost cried for you when I thought it might be the CWD. It's unfortunate that it's not going to hit your deductible but so relieving that it wasn't the much more expensive saddle. I've never seen something like that.

    Hope you can get it repaired.

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    1. Yeah...if that had been the CWD I wouldn't be able to write this post yet. But I'd also have an easier time finding someone to work on it and it would definitely be over my deductible so...let's just not think about that anyway. Haha.

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  12. oh. my. god. ughhhhhh noooooo :(

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    1. Pretty much my exact reaction. :(

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  13. OMG. That is an amazing amount of damage. I am going to guess that getting it fixed will be more of a hassle/expensive than buying a new-to-you used wintec. I would also bet that you could duct tape that spot over and still ride in that saddle. As long as the panels are uninjured, it won't hurt your horse. If it hurts your butt, maybe add a cheap seat saver.

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    1. Yeah...I'm coming to terms with that. It's going to suck to just throw away a saddle that was perfectly good until now! I'd do the duct tape thing if the hole wasn't right where my hip bone goes. I don't think it would sit me level in the saddle.

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    2. Buy some foam at the craft store, stuff it in, and then duct tape. It won't be pretty, but it'll be a cheap fix. Used wintecs are cheap though so there's always that route.

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    3. True. I'll probably do that to get it through. Thank goodness they didn't eat the Total Saddle Fit Dressage girth that was also under the cover/over the seat.

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  14. My greatest and most sincere condolences... those photos almost made me cry. That is insane and awful... and I am so glad my saddles already live at home. I am also so glad that it was your Wintec and not the CWD... because that would have been an unfathomable crime. I wish that spare dressage saddle I have taking up a saddle rack in my garage would be a fit for you two - retail therapy would be a must for me after that kind of trauma...

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    1. Thanks. JenJ has been tempting me with eBay posts all morning, but I really have to be good until the trailer and some home improvement debt is paid off. Hopefully in the next year I'll be able to replace it.

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  15. WOW that is devastating, I'm so sorry. I've never seen such a thing! I'm hopping on board the find-something-cheap train rather than try to go for a repair, although I would explore that a bit. There are some leather repair places here who work with synthetic material too, maybe contact some place like that? It doesn't seem like it'd be a terribly hard repair (it wouldn't be pretty but it's under your butt anyway), just that I bet it's tricky to get the same consistency of padding...

    Stuffing it with foam and taping it might get you at least something rideable for now though if that's a priority. Thankful that it wasn't the CWD, glad it's safe from rodents! Still though, what a shitty situation :/

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    1. That's kind of what I am thinking, especially since it's right under one seatbone I'd feel it if it was any different. I may try to ghetto-rig something up for now, since I really can't afford either a repair or a replacement til the trailer is paid off. Sigh. Thanks for the commiseration!

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  16. Shoot! That blows! I'd have a freaking heart attack

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    1. I dealt with it okay, except when I purposely dropped the saddle off the second tier rack (thank you Wintec) and ran like hell so the mouse wouldn't run at me. That was a slight heart attack.

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    2. hahahaha okay that's worse than the damage itself ;) I always have to make Lucy go first into the barn at night because we have a totally insane rat problem... no saddle damage yet but now I'm paranoid. I hate the sound of their feet running up and down the walls

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  17. Holy crap! I am so incredibly sorry!!

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  18. Wow. No clue re: fixing it unfortunately. I'm so sorry. I've never seen a mouse do that amount of damage. I'm going to be a lot friendlier to the nasty old barn cat that has chosen my saddle rack as her preferred napping place!

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  19. Holy shit! I've never seen that before :(

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  20. Oh Jen :(

    This spring I noticed some "snow" on my feed cans, looked up and discovered that a mouse had chewed through most of my saddle pads - big holes right under where the saddle goes. Thank goodness my mattes was bagged and in a different spot.

    The results of that discovery?

    All tack is in the Shimmy Shack + mouse jihad declared with traps and my friend the rat snake.

    Over the weekend when I found a mouse nest full of eight little barely hairy pinky mice babies what did I do?

    (fed them to the chickens) #sorrynotsorry

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    1. Googled mouse ate saddle and came up with this info - Wintec's reply to someone with the same problem:

      "Our USA distributor has provided the following contacts for you:

      The Hitching Post Saddlery in Middletown: 502-245-4672 or Wise Choice Tack Supplies in Lexington: 859-224-8976. In Tennessee, contact National Bridle Shop in Lewisburg at 931-359-3210.

      Hopefully you will be able to have your saddle repaired quickly!

      Kind regards
      Wintec Saddles"

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    2. Thank you! That's awesome. I'll be giving Wise Choice a call.

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  21. Yuck. I HATE mice. I'm sorry about your saddle. I've never known a mouse to truly eat a saddle. Poop all over them? Sure. Make a home under the cover and scare the crap out of unsuspecting horse girls? Absolutely. Die and mummify after getting stuck in a rarely-used feed bucket? Check. But I've never seen anything quite like that. Totally awful.

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    1. I hadn't either! Maybe they just like synthetics?

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  22. They're on Facebook..
    https://www.facebook.com/wintecsaddles?fref=ts
    Worth posting a pic and asking.

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    1. Thank you, I'll give that a try!

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  23. That's horrible :( So sorry and what a rotten thing to find after a great ride.

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    1. Yeah...not the way I wanted to end a gorgeous fall day. Thanks!

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  24. ACK! That's terrible!! So sorry that happened. :((

    bonita of A Riding Habit

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  25. Wowowowowow that is so horrible. I can't even imagine finding that. I've never heard of mice eating saddles, so this is definitely a first. However, it is things like this that keep me from keeping any of my tack at any barn. It's a pain lugging it back and forth, but ensures complete safety.

    So sorry you have to go through this. I would have been sobbing, that's for sure.

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  26. Yikes! I've never seen anything like that before. We're having mouse issues at our farm, too, and this makes me re-think my saddle storage situation...

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  27. I've never seen that kind of damage before! Wow!!

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    1. Me neither! How many years have I kept saddles in barns and never had that happen?

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  28. HOLY CRAP. Never seen anything like that before. At least it was "just" the Wintec, although regardless it still suck have to replace it. Not sure about Wintec repairs, but if you end up having to replace it I'd look for a used on on ebay or Facebook before buying new - I think you can find a deal that way!

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    1. Yeah...it's definitely the better option to get destroyed of my two saddles, but it still leaves me without a Dressage saddle. Even if I do find a place that will repair it I may still end up having to replace it - it's more or less 'totaled' since the value of Wintecs isn't high.

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  29. Holy Cow! I love my Wintec and would have died. So glad you have another saddle to ride in. The retail store I used to work in had mice jumping out of shoe boxes and bedding down in pillows. They are nightmares.

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    1. Ugh no kidding. Nightmares indeed! I had a nightmare that night that it was my CWD.

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  30. Oh crap, that really, really sucks. I've had mice chew big holes into a cooler before, but never seen them do that to a saddle.

    =-(

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  31. The house we just purchased, the previous owners used old freezers to store grain and chicken feed. We wrote them into our purchase agreement - and they left the grain/feed in them. Have not seen a mouse yet after 2 weeks of living there - oh, and we agreed they could leave the barn cat :)

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    1. That is fantastic! Old freezers really are great for storing grain. I would have asked for the same.

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  32. Holy f'ing shit, I have never seen mouse damage like that before!
    Wow.

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