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

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...
               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...
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,...
                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...
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...
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...
Basic Breeds There are certain breeds of horse that are far more common than others. These are the breeds that even non-horse people know about and can recognize by name; typically, these are the horses that are seen in movies and on TV shows. The American Quarter Horse Association, for example, has registered over a million horses worldwide and is probably the most commonly seen horse breed in the United States of America. Even a large number of grade horses, those with no papers, typically have some quarter horse blood in their veins. Other common breeds include Thoroughbreds, Arabians,...
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
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...
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...
       Hunt seat horseback riding is a style of forward seat riding whose roots are based in fox hunting. In a hunt seat competitions, you can show over fences or on the flat. Hunt seat is an extremely popular sport of horseback riding in the US. It is recognized by the United States Hunter/Jumper Association (USHJA) and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).  While hunt seat is not an Olympic discipline, many show jumping and event riders begin there jumping careers with riding hunters and hunter equitation competitions. So if you are new to the English jumping world, hunt seat...
hunt seat horse and rider
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
          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...
            Clipping your horse is another name for giving your horse a haircut. It entails shaving your horse’s coat, either part way or fully, in order to keep them from getting over heated. Clipping is usually done to horses who will be working through the winter and won’t need their thick winter coats.  Depending on how much your horse will be working and how thick his winter coat is, will be the deciding factor on what type of clip your horse should receive. Clipping your horse has several benefits. These benefits include faster cool down time for your horse, it make is easier on you for...
When you think of horse driving you think of a horse or pony pulling a cart or a wagon.  However this is a very general notion about the sport of driving.  There are several different sports within the world of horse driving.  In this article each sport/style will be described.  If you are looking to join the world of driving there is a style for you!   Harness Racing: Harness Racing in North America is performed by Standardbreds.  In other countries other breeds, such as the Orlov trotter, are used.  The harness race horse runs the race in either the trot or the pace.  The trot is when the...
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
Saddle seat riding is a form of English riding that is designed to showcase horses with a high-stepping trot.  Saddle seat riding can trace its origins back to two sources.  The first being the Plantation style of horse riding, where a smooth moving and high-stepping horse was used.  The second source of saddle seat riding was an European influence of a flatter English show saddle.  These riders typically showed off their high stepping horses by riding them through the parks on Sundays.  Hence the term “park horse” was coined and is still used today.  The biggest differences in saddle seat...
English Saddleseat Traditional Show Leather Caveson Set