Notes from our experts about saddle fit, general horse care and the equine industry
20 Most Popular Articles from our Equestrian Enthusiasts

A bridle is a critical piece of tack that is used to control a horse's face, mouth, and neck. Bridles vary considerably depending on discipline and handler preference. English Bridles Weymouth The Weymouth bridle, also called a double or full bridle, is a bridle with two bits and four reins. The first bit is a bradoon, similar to a modified snaffle bit. The second bit is a simple curb bit. The Weymouth is practical for riding, and competing in dressage and other formal equestrian events such as eventing. Advanced riders should only use the double bridle. In the right hands, this bridle can...
               Finding the right saddle fit can be a frustrating process. There are so many different measurements that have to take place in order to find the right saddle that is going to suit both you and your horse. For the horse measurement you need to measure his withers, his back length, as well as his body structure. For the rider, you have to first determine what type of saddle you will be using (i.e. Western or English). Once you know what type of saddle you will be riding/purchasing, you can then figure out the appropriate measurements that you will need for yourself! For the rider...
An improperly fitting saddle can be very uncomfortable to ride in. It can also negatively affect your riding position because it is difficult to sit properly in a seat that is too small or too large for you. Once you know your ideal saddle seat size, it is fairly easy to find a saddle that will fit you properly, regardless of your preferences in saddle type and style. English, Western and Australian saddle seats are measured in inches, though they are sized differently due to the shape of the seats. The most effective way to figure out what size saddle you need is to try sitting and riding...
           Dedicated equestrians and casual fans of horseback riding will have the opportunity to browse through a variety of saddles, all available for purchase at SaddleOnline. The right saddle can often be enough to make a tremendous difference in the quality of the ride and the different activities that the rider can enjoy. As such, it is important for all individuals to select a comfortable saddle, making sure that it is not only chosen for the specific riding activity, but also sized appropriately to guarantee comfort. Different Range of Sizes           All types of riders are...
It’s always exciting to get a new “ride,” but inevitably, the question of “What size western saddle do I need?” arises. You might already know that all western saddles come with a specific seat size, measured in inches. In general, the following western saddle size rules apply: Youth – 12” to 13” (Be sure to see our guide to fitting kids’ western saddles if looking for a child’s size) Small adult – 14” Average adult – 15” Large adult – 16” Extra large adult – 17” Very large or tall – 18” to 20” If you fit somewhere between sizes, you will probably find that you are able to...
How to fit a saddle for a Child or Youth.        If saddle size is important for adults it is doubly important for kids. When children are riding they are often still learning and developing skills needed to effectively ride and control a horse. Having a proper fitting saddle will aid the rider in maintaining the proper position and add to the riders security.      Many people want a saddle that is larger than the youth or child rider. This does work but if the child is doing any kind of speed activity’s then a proper fitting saddle is necessary. A child’s saddle needs to be able to support...
There many different types of stirrups and each have their particular functions and purpose.  In this article the different types of stirrups are described and their functions explained.   Western Bell Stirrups:  The western bell stirrup gets its name from its shape.  These stirrups are shaped very much like a bell.  They are the most common western stirrup.  They can be constructed out of wood, metal, or plastic.  The most common construction is a wood covered in a light metal that is left plain.  If the stirrup is used in a show arena the metal can be highly decorated and engraved.  This...
Western Bell Stirrups
Have you ever heard people say they have a Paint or Pinto? Have you ever wondered what the difference is? In this article the differences of Paints versus Pintos is discussed and explained.             The American Paint Horse is a breed of horse that combines pinto coloring with the western stock horse type. This breed was developed from Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines.The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is the second largest breed registry in the US, second only to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). To be able to register your horse with the APHA, your horse...
Paint Horse
Eager to try an Australian stock saddle for yourself, but not quite sure how to choose one that fits your horse (and you) perfectly? The following guide to fitting an Australian saddle will help you get it right. Gullet Size Matters As with English and Western saddles, gullet size matters greatly in keeping the weight of the saddle (and rider!) off the horse’s spine. One that’s too wide or too narrow will cause pain and could permanently injure your horse. Luckily, there’s no mystery to measuring the gullet on an Australian saddle; it’s measured the same as the one on the Western or English...
Caring for your tack the right way will extend its life, and with the right product at hand, you’ll find that your saddles, bridles, boots, and other leather goods take on a supple feel and exhibit a soft sheen. Not sure how to use neatsfoot oil on leather? By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be able to call yourself an expert! Why Neatsfoot Oil Works so Well Take a look at the many leather conditioners on the market, and you’ll notice that only a few of them are all-natural. Neatsfoot oil is one of these.  It lubricates the minuscule fibers inside the leather’s structure,...
Western vs. Australian So what gives? What makes one riding style better or worst than the other? Horse people are notoriously passionate about their riding style and discipline. We tend to back up our preferred style. That being said where is there an unbiased look into the different styles of riding, styles, and disciplines? Well here is one. Each discipline has its advantages and some disadvantages. Making the decision on what riding style you would like to pursue takes time and a willingness to try new things. For a western rider to switch to English there is a lot of different terms and...
Selling your used saddle is a great way to clean out the tack room and get a little extra money. There is a large market for used tack in the horse industry, for the same reason that there is a large market for used cars in the United States. Saddles and other items are in high demand, but they can be quite costly new and buying used often gives riders the opportunity to get a good quality item for a fraction of the retail price. Selling a saddle you are no longer using can be beneficial to both buyer and seller. Evaluating Your Saddle Almost all saddles can be re-sold, but how much you can...
How Saddles Fit It can be challenging to determine what type of saddle for a Missouri Fox Trotter will best suit its unique gaits. It is important to understand the basics of saddle fitting before going shopping. The basic saddle is constructed using a specially sized tree to provide the base structure of the saddle. Traditional trees tend to be constructed of relatively rigid materials, such as fiberglass, wood, rawhide, and even steel. The two most common sizes are semi-quarter horse bars and full quarter horse bars. Essentially, these fit medium-to-wide backed horses with normal or...
Black Gaited Saddle
          To ride effectively, you need to find the correct size English saddle that is going to fit your body correctly. You want to make sure that your saddle allows your core muscles, legs, and arms to balance safely on your horse’s back while performing, training, or on the trail. A saddle that is too small for your body will push you forward and make you off-balance. This results in pulling your heels behind you and making your center of balance fall forward over the pommel. One that is too large allows your body to lean backward and pushes your feet out in front of your hips. Both are...
Horses are mammals so they are all warm-blooded creatures, however the equine community has developed the terms hot, cold, and warm blooded to mean something completely different. Have you ever had a fellow rider come up to you and your Thoroughbred and referred to your horse as hot blooded. Did you ever wonder what they meant? These terms, which no longer refer to body temperature, are discussed in this article.   “Hot” Blooded:  “Hot” blooded breeds consist of the oriental horses, which are ancient breeds that originated in the Middle East. These breeds include the Akhal-Teke, Arabian horse...
When talking about saddles it is important to know how and why they are the way they are. With saddles form follows function. A saddle's design can make the difference in working and in showing. There are saddles for every discipline in the western horse world. Here are some of the most popular.   Barrel Saddle The barrel saddle is designed for speed events. They have a deeper seat and wide swell/pommel that allows the rider to stay seated and balanced during fast turns. A slightly taller horn makes it easier to hold on to during the turns. It also weighs less than the average western saddle...
In the sport of driving, there are five major types of driving harnesses. These harnesses differ based on purpose. The five types of driving harnesses are the show harness, the carriage (or van) harness, the racing harness, the cart (or wagon) harness, and the plow harness.    Show Driving Horse Harness:  This type of driving harness is typically for light cart driving.  Because your horse will be pulling a lighter load, a breast collar is used in place of a horse collar.  The horse collar is seen when it is a draft horse or combined driving show ring. The leather throughout this harness is...
New Studded Parade Leather Horse Driving Harness
When you hear the words “equestrian clearance” do you picture some dismal, dusty leftovers sitting in a forgotten corner of your local feed store or tack shop? While this type of clearance sale can certainly yield some good finds, be sure to spend some time shopping with SaddleOnline before spending your time and gas money hunting for the things you need. Here are some pointers to help you save money by strategically shopping equestrian clearance sales. Buy Before the Need Arises Some things wear out over time, and if you’ve been around horses long, you know that certain things are prone to...
Western saddles have a number of different parts that make the saddle both functional and effective. It is important for riders to know the parts of the saddle in order to determine the correct saddle size they need and learn how to tell the different types of western saddles apart.     Horn: Western saddles are most easily identified by their horns. The horn is positioned on top of the pommel on the front of the saddle. The traditional purpose of the horn is to provide extra support for the rider as well as for use as place for lassos and other equipment. Pommel: Also known as the swell...
Every one can enjoy looking at a well made western saddle. The shape, the color, the way it feels, and mostly the way it looks. The amount of time that goes in to making a western saddle can be tremendous. Hand carved or tooled saddles are beautiful pieces of art work. There are many different kinds of tool work and hand carving for saddles. When shopping for a new saddle or describing a saddle to a friend you should know the proper terms for some of the most common tool work patterns, hand carved effects.         The idea of decoration the saddle comes from the Mexicans. Looking good was as...