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

Types of Martingales       Martingales are used as training aids and in other situations to control a horse's head carriage.There are a few different kind of martingales. The three most common are the running, standing, and German martingale. Each martingale has different actions on the horse and produce a different effect.      The most common martingale is the standing martingale. The standing martingale attaches from the girth through either a breast plate or yoke strap around the neck and attaches to the nose band. This style martingale prevents the horse from tossing its head up or...
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...
               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...
           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...
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...
What you need: wire (a wire hanger would work) paper or cardboard marker or writing utensil   Steps: Bend the wire over the horse's withers The wire will lay 2” behind the horse's shoulder blade. Bend the wire so that it lays over the horse's withers and against the horse's skin. Carefully remove the wire so that you do not bend the shape you had formed. Lay the wire onto the paper or cardboard and trace around the inside of the wire. Please note, depending on the size of your horse, you may need to use two sheets of paper. Once this is complete, you can fax us a copy of...
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
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...
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...
Types of Leather for Saddles           In the interesting world of saddles there are many different shapes, sizes, colors and makes. Each design is purpose built to aid the rider and horse in that specific discipline. There are some general terms that mean the same thing through out the saddle world. Suede being one of the most common terms applied to saddles, specificity the seats. However, there are more than just one term, here we will detail the meaning behind the words in the world of saddles.   Leather Types               When referencing saddles, the type of leather comes up a lot...
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
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...
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...
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
  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...
Horse and Harness In this modern day and age few remember when the only way to get your family from point A to point B was via the horse and carriage. Between the 1800’s and to the early 1930’s the carriage was slowly phased out due to the advancement in the automobile. It had become a pleasure sport and only in a few areas around the globe was it used for its intended purpose, hauling things. To truly understand the horse and harness is to also understand its history.   History of the Harness Evolution of the horse and its complete relation with humans, we will save for another article, but...
horse in harness
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...
The Differences Between Riding Styles English vs. Western   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...
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...