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

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...
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...
               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...
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...
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...
          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...
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,...
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
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...
  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...
           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...
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
Finding the right size saddle can be tedious, but is very important to you and your horse. An ill fitting saddle for a horse can cause sore backs and impede the horse's natural gait. There are several signs that the saddle fits poorly. The gullet of the saddle that presses down on top of your horse's withers, causes the weight to sit directly on the horse's spine directly resulting in back pain. The bars should not pinch the shoulders, this causes the horse restriction in their range of motion. For gaited horses in particular bars that flare aid in allowing the full range of motion in the...
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
Buying a New or Used Saddle                 The horse, there is a saying, “don't put the saddle before the horse”. Well take it literally. The saddle is what holds you to the horses back. It must fit the horses back for it to safely and effectively hold you on. That being said, horses are NOT just one size fits all. There are wide backs, narrow backs, long and short. In short, horses come in all shapes and sizes. To fit a saddle well you need to know a few things about your horses back. A wither tracing can help determine the first question of what size.               Measure the gullet of a...
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...
                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...
The Driving Horse Harness is a type of horse tack that allows a horse to pull vehicles such as carriages, wagons, sleighs, plows, or even canal boats. If you are just getting into the equestrian sport of driving, then the parts of the horse harness can be a bit overwhelming. In the following article, each harness part is described and their functions made clear.   Collar: Is a padded loop that fits around the horse’s neck. This piece may not be included in all horse harnesses as it is designed for a horse harness that is used for heavy pulling.   Breast collar:  Is the padded strap that runs...
 Black Horse Size Leather Driving Harness
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...