Wet winter and spring weather brings inconvenience along with it. Besides slippery footing and messes everywhere, mud can cause a horse health problem commonly known as mud fever. Also known as scratches or pastern dermatitis, it causes irritation, painful sores, and scabs that when left untreated, can cause lameness. While mud fever usually affects only the pastern and heel areas, it can also spread up the legs, onto the belly, and in some cases, it moves up onto the neck area, where it’s known as rain scald.
The history of the Western saddle is an interesting one, with origins that can be traced all the way back to the dark ages. When Moorish soldiers invaded Spain during the 8th century, they brought their unique riding style – and innovative tack – with them. Designed to stand up to the challenges of mounted battle, these saddles featured high forks and cantles for greater security, plus long stirrups that made it more comfortable to ride in full armor. This saddle – the precursor to the Western saddle of today – was soon adopted by knights and crusaders.
Saddle bags let you carry your lunch and other essentials with you when you ride, adding convenience and letting you enjoy yourself more. Did you know that it’s important to pack your saddle bags a certain way? Here are a few tips to make packing up quick, simple, and effective.
Consider Weight Distribution
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
Eager to try an Australian stock saddle for yourself, but not quite sure how to choose one that fits your horse (and you) perfectly? The following guide to fitting an Australian saddle will help you get it right.
Gullet Size Matters
As with English and Western saddles, gullet size matters greatly in keeping the weight of the saddle (and rider!) off the horse’s spine. One that’s too wide or too narrow will cause pain and could permanently injure your horse.
If your horse is kicking, chewing on his door, looking listless, or even banging his head on walls repeatedly, then the odds are good that he is suffering from a bad case of stall boredom. Let’s face it: Stalls keep horses clean, dry, and physically comfortable in winter, but too much time indoors is not conducive to your horse’s good mental health.
Most equestrians find themselves in the position of choosing or designing horse stalls at some point. Basic horse stall designs are quite similar: In most cases, stalls are square or rectangular areas inside a barn. All stall designs serve as shelter, most take the horse’s safety in mind, and the best also provide comfort for the horse. Safety and convenience for the handler are also some considerations. Whether you are building a barn or choosing a boarding stable, there are quite a few things to keep in mind. Here are our top tips for selecting the right stall for your horse.
While endurance saddles are designed for competitions in which horse and rider teams cover between 50 and 100 miles in a day, they are also the ideal choice for long trail rides. A gaited endurance saddle is specially designed to allow your gaited horse complete freedom of movement, ensuring he is able to offer his best performance while remaining comfortable and free from saddle sores. Here are some basic tips for choosing a western gaited endurance saddle that meets your needs.
Good winter horse care is essential to your equine’s well-being. Once temperatures drop, it’s time to be on the lookout for mistakes that could seriously damage his health.
Inadequate Food or Water
Snow and cold temperatures keep many people inside. There’s no reason to bench yourself and your horse though, because even the coldest days can be great for getting outdoors and treating yourself and your equine companion to some exercise. Use these winter horseback riding tips to get started!
Warm the Bit
Keep your bridle in the house or a heated barn, or invest in a bit warmer. You can also warm your bit by holding it in your bare hands for a minute before putting it into your horse’s mouth, or by wrapping it in a warm (not hot!) pack.