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

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...
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...
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...
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...
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 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 Tennessee Walking Horse is best known for its unique four beated “running walk”. They are a gaited horse breed that was first developed in the southern United States. The Tennessee Walking Horse is an extremely popular show horse, however they are also commonly used for pleasure and trial riding in both English and Western disciplines. There are two basic types of Tennessee Walking Horse competitions, the “flat shod” and the “performance” horse. Flat shod horses wear normal horseshoes and perform with less movement. The performance horses wear built-up pads so that they perform with high...
Tennessee Walking 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...
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...
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...
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...
          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...
Proper saddle fit leads to a balanced, safe ride for you, and it lets your horse work comfortably. If your horse pins his ears, flings his head, and wrings his tail while you’re on his back, or if he tries to bite you or the saddle while you’re tacking up, it’s extremely likely that the saddle you’re using fits poorly and causes pain. This is dangerous – and probably uncomfortable – for you, and it can permanently damage your horse’s back. Lastly, there’s no way a horse wearing an ill-fitting saddle is able to do his best on the trail or in the show ring. Look for these six signs that your...
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,...
                Buying a saddle can be tuff and frustrating at times. Figuring out how to buy the right saddle, and what to look for, can be tricky for a first time rider or a less experienced rider. With all the different types, models, and sizes within the saddle world, it can get a little overwhelming when trying to purchase the perfect saddle for both you and your horse.  But fear no more! With these ten easy questions, you will be buying saddles like a pro!                1.   What is your budget?                 It is always good to set a nice price budget when looking into purchasing...
           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...
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...
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...
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
               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...