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...
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...
  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...
Start shopping for saddles for sale, and in the blink of an eye you’ll find lots of attractive options to choose from. We’ll save discussions about types and styles of saddles for a different day; for now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of leather vs. synthetic saddles. Price Price is definitely one of the first considerations most riders make when looking at different saddles for sale, both online and off. If it’s the deciding factor for you, consider looking at synthetic saddles over leather ones. Synthetics are almost always priced a bit lower. Of course some synthetics do cost more...
                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...
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...
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 draft horse is a large and heavy type of horse. They were initially bred for such farming tasks as plowing, hauling, and driving. They are the original work horse. There are a wide number of different breeds of draft horse. The most common include the Clydesdale, Belgium, Shire, and the Percheron. All these different breeds vary in characteristics such as color and size. Draft horses are known for their tall stature and muscular build. The average height ranges from 16 to 19 hands and from 1400 to 2000 pounds. The largest horse on record stood 21.2 hands. Their shoulders are more upright...
Draft Horse
          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...
Trees you depend on! Trees are at the heart of nearly every saddle. Saddles started out as leather or cloth pads with a simple girth or surcingle. Many different people throughout history have improved upon that original design by adding more padding and stirrups. It wasn't until around 200 BC in China, that the first treed saddles where used. The first saddle trees were created to help reduce stress points on the horses back. By 477 AD the stirrup had been used in China then spread to Europe. Saddle trees have also evolved over time. Nowadays saddle trees can still be hand-made, but there...
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 Saddle was designed originally by English settlers, in the late 1700's, for the purpose of handling livestock. The settlers made changes to the English saddle they were commonly accustomed to.  These modifications where to accommodate long hours in the saddle, cow work, and steep/ uneven terrain. The most obvious changes to the traditional English saddle were the addition of the Poleys or the kneepads. When sitting in the saddle, these poleys help keep the rider secure over various terrain. The girth system was also changed for rider safety. The double girthing system...
Like with western horse saddles, English horse saddles can come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.   Each type of English saddle is designed with a certain purpose in mind.  Like a barrel saddle is designed with barrel racing in mind.  For example a dressage saddle is designed with dressage in mind.  In this article the different types of English saddles will be explained and what each saddle purpose is and how it designed to suit that purpose.  The All-Purpose Saddle (or Eventing Saddle):  The all-purpose English saddle is designed like its name implies, to be an all-around saddle...
Tan Leather English Horse Saddle Tack Pad Package
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
  While Western saddles often come with girths (called cinches) attached, English saddles do not and they are normally a separate purchase when buying English tack. In addition, if you choose to ride in some makes of Australian and endurance saddles, you will need to buy a separate girth. A girth that is too long for your horse and saddle cannot be tightened enough to hold your saddle in place safely, and a girth that is too short may constrict your mount’s breathing and freedom of movement, plus be hard to buckle. Deciding which size to buy is typically of matter of knowing where and how to...
Horse Girth
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,...
  The Differences Between Riding Styles English 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...
                Braiding your horse’s mane can be a great way to keep your horse’s hair from getting dirty and tangled. Braiding of the horse’s mane is also done when entering into the showing circuit for English riding events. Braiding the mane also brings elegance and a clean-cut look when entering the show ring, and It helps to show the curve of the horse’s neck and keeps it out of his face while jumping. Before braiding your horse’s mane, you should always make sure that it is clean and not tangled. You can do this by brushing through your horse’s mane before you start the braiding...
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...