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

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...
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...
               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...
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
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...
Horse Saddle Rigging Unleashed! When riding western style most people know about the latigo and cinch straps. They are essential to keeping the saddle in position on the horses back, and therefor keeping the rider secure as well. A lot of people have also heard about the different ways to “rig” their saddles, but which is best and what is it used for? Those are the questions we are trying to answer here. So first a little information. First we will cover the placement and types of attachments. There are few current types of hardware for the rigging to attach to: “D”, Three-way, open three-way...
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,...
           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...
Step 1: Take the stirrup iron and slide it onto the stirrup leather.   Step: 2 Then buckle the stirrup leather, by sliding the end through the top slot of the buckle.         Step3: Then slide the stirrup leather onto the stirrup bar just behind the buckle on the leather.  The stirrup bar is a metal piece located under the small flap on the side of your saddle.  You may need a hoof pick to help you lift the stirrup bar and slide the leather on.                                       Step 4: Check to make sure that the stirrup is hanging correctly and that there are no twists in the leathers...
A Post About Stirrups Since the invention of treed saddles stirrups have been a big part of riding. Originally just a loop of leather to stick a toe into, they have evolved and are continuing to evolve today. Stirrups are about safety and easier control of the horse, while making it easier for the rider to stay on. The stirrups we know today come in a huge variety of styles, materials and sizes. Most are attached to the saddle with some kind of adjustable leather, which is easy to adjust to fit the size of the rider. The Western Stirrup On western saddles the stirrups are attached to a...
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...
When a horse has a problem with backing out of a trailer most owners will assume that the horse is scared of backing out the trailer. Issues such as not backing out,or backing out too quickly are actually issues that stem from not being taught to load properly in the first place. The bottom line is that neither of these types of horses are truly comfortable on the trailer. Horses that are afraid of being on a trailer will either lock up and not move, or they will panic and come crashing out anyway possible. The only answer to either of these scenarios is to teach your horse not to dread being...
                Horse showing is a great way to have fun with your horse and to let your competitive side come out! Entering the showing circuit allows riders to show off their skills that they have acquired through riding and helps them to stretch their talent outside of the barn. Horse showing takes confidence, determination, as well as the proper attire. You want to make sure that you are properly dressed for the type of show that you entering and that you meet all the dress code regulations. For entering a horse show, here are some helpful tips to help you find the best attire that is...
Thanks to their surefootedness and gentle nature, draft horses are becoming more popular as everyday riding horses. Their large size contributes to a smooth feel, and their muscular frames lend them impressive stamina. Many who ride these big beauties prefer the security a draft horse western saddle offers. If you’re among them, you’ll appreciate these tips for selecting a saddle that fits you and your riding partner. Before beginning the process of selecting your draft horse western saddle, be sure that your mount is at least five years old. Unlike some other horses who develop at a younger...
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
One of the most important pieces of riding tack is the horse bit. The horse bit is the device that is placed inside the horse’s mouth and is the main tool that communicates with your horse. The bit lets your horse know what direction to go and when to stop. Depending on whether the rider wants to stop, turn left, or turn right, the use of the reins sends a pressure signal to the bit and puts a certain amount of pressure in the horse’s mouth. The horse then feels this pressure and will go in the direction that is being asked of him. There are many different types of horse bits. They are all...
          The Australian Stock Saddles are designed for long, endurance, pleasure trail riding,   With a design that is half English saddle and half western the Aussie saddle combines the best of both worlds. Cantle-Horn       One major difference in an Australian saddle is the depth of the seat.  With a high pommel, with or with out the horn, and a high cantle this type of saddle really holds you in your seat.  Knee Pad      To aid further in that are the knee pads.  These "pads" are designed to be about 3/4 of an inch above your thigh as you are riding.  They are just another feature that...
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
          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...