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...
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
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...
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!
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...
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...
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...
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...
                Barrel racing is a Western timed, speed event that requires you and your horse to maneuver around three barrels as fast as you can. However, this sport isn’t just about speed. It is all about body control, concentration, and synchronization between you and your horse. Both horse and rider have to work together as a team in order to accomplish the task at hand. Otherwise, your race isn’t going to go well and you or your horse could get injured.   The Barrel Racing Setup:                 A barrel race is held within a closed arena, and it includes a starting line and three...
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...
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...
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...
                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...
You finally bought the perfect pair of English riding boots, but they feel so stiff on your feet and legs that you can’t keep your heels down! What to do? Here are some expert tips for breaking in tall boots. Before You Get Started Before beginning the process of breaking in a new pair of English riding boots, be sure that you really want to soften the leather. If your boots are for dressage, you’ll want to break them in very minimally at the ankles only, if at all. These show boots are meant to look and feel like stovepipes – thus the nickname! If your boots are ones that do need softening,...
Breaking in new boots takes time, but comfortable boots keep you safe and allow you to focus while riding.
Step 1: Pull back flap near knee blocks and slide the fender loops onto the stirrup bars.  Make sure that your fenders are hanging correctly on the saddle.                                                                               Step 2: Take the over girth and place over the pommel of the saddle.  The d-ring side should be on the left side of the saddle and the strap with the holes should be on the right side of the saddle.                                                     Step 3: Then insert the over girth sides through the saddle flaps...
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
           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...
     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-...