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

               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...
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...
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...
Horse Speeds and Gaits A horse's walk is a basic four beat gait. The walk is the slowest gait. A trot is the next speed up from walk, it is a two beat gait where the horses front and back legs move in sync. The trot is the equine equivalent to jogging, and is in fact referred to as a jog in some disciplines. The canter, also called lope, is a three beat gait that is faster than trot but not a full gallop. A gallop, which is what race horses are doing on the race track, is the fastest gait. It is a four beat gait. This is the gait that should be referred to as running. Uninitiated riders often...
Horse Galloping
The Parts of an English Saddle       Learning how to correctly name and identify the parts of an English saddle is a basic part of learning to ride. All of the parts of the saddle serve a function that helps make the saddle comfortable and effective.   Pommel: The pommel of the saddle is the area at the front of the saddle where the bars and the gullet of the tree come together. Cantle: The cantle forms the back of your English saddle. It is also the back of the seat. It is turned up slightly on most models in order to help support the rider. Seat: The seat of an English saddles is...
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
For many kids, western saddles are the first they’ll ever ride in. Buying a saddle – even a pint-sized one – is a major decision and a bit of an investment. Before making this important purchase, it is a good idea to do a little homework. Pick a Size Just like a full-size saddle for adults, a kids’ western saddle needs to fit the child and the horse he or she will be riding. If your child is riding a full-size horse, consider our kids seat quarter horse saddles, which are built on average size quarter horse trees with youth seat sizes. A very small child or toddler will fit in a 7 to 8 inch...
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...
                Finding the right kind of horse feed for your horse can always be a challenge! Especially if you are a new horse owner and you don’t know about what nutrients horses need. There are several different kinds of horse feed and they all have different nutritional value. Every horse’s diet is different and the tricky part is finding out what specific nutrients your horse needs. Talking to the horse’s previous owner, or a vet, can help you learn your horse’s diet needs and provide you with the different supplements/vitamins that your horse requires. This article will help show you...
                Horse jumping is one of the most widely known events within the world of English riding. It is an extreme sport that requires focus, good body control, and balance.  Horse jumping also requires a lot of trust between you and your horse. Your horse has to trust you to lead him into the right direction, and you have to trust your horse to take you over the fence. Without that trust, the rider might become nervous and therefore making the horse nervous. Confidence is key when it comes to this sport! Horse jumping doesn’t have to be just a show event. Jumping is a great way to...
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...
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...
                Learning how to establish a good posting trot is essential for every English rider. Whether you are just starting out or at an advanced level, the posting trot is a key basis for riding. A posting trot helps the rider to be able to follow the horse’s movement and also learn how to flow together in the same rhythm. Doing a posting trot also helps with keeping both horse and rider more comfortable while riding. With beginner riders, the posting trot can be a hard motion to achieve. Learning how to post up and down while the horse is trotting can take a lot of balance and leg...
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...
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,...
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 to Measure The Size of a Saddle   Both English and western saddles are measured in inches using the size of the seat. In order to make sure you purchase a saddle that fits you comfortably and properly, you will need to know what size saddle you ride in and how to correctly measure the seat of a saddle. You will need a measuring tape in order to properly measure a saddle.   Measuring a Western Saddle   Step One Place one end of the measuring tape against the center of the pommel of your saddle.   Step Two Stretch the measuring tape directly across the seat of the saddle to the center of...
Watch an equestrian event, and the odds are good that at some point you’ll witness riders in English saddles taking their mounts over a variety of horse jumps. Whether you’re simply curious or are perhaps interested in learning to jump, you’ll find this guide to the most popular types of horse jumps is a good place to begin. Bank Banks are jumps that go from one level to another. A bank can be approached from the uphill or downhill side. The uphill approach is safer and easier for the horse to navigate. Bounce Bounces are horse jumps consisting of multiple fences with no room for the horse to...
There are many different types of horse jumps!
     Shopping for saddles is hard enough with out having to deal with size.  When it comes down to it the Australian Stock saddle has a size system that in far different than that of western or English saddles.  Here are some helpful hits on how to obtain the perfect fit in an Australian stock saddle. Know how the Aussie saddle is measured.     The Aussie saddle is measured from the front of the pommel(front of saddle) to the very top center of the cantle(back of the seat).  This measurement in inches is the size of the saddle.    2.  With the http://www.saddleonline.com/Australian-...
Saddle seat riding is a form of English riding that is designed to showcase horses with a high-stepping trot.  Saddle seat riding can trace its origins back to two sources.  The first being the Plantation style of horse riding, where a smooth moving and high-stepping horse was used.  The second source of saddle seat riding was an European influence of a flatter English show saddle.  These riders typically showed off their high stepping horses by riding them through the parks on Sundays.  Hence the term “park horse” was coined and is still used today.  The biggest differences in saddle seat...
English Saddleseat Traditional Show Leather Caveson Set