Saddles

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...
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...
Horse Saddle Rigging Unleashed! When riding western style most people know about the latigo and cinch straps. They are essential to keeping the saddle in position on the horses back, and therefor keeping the rider secure as well. A lot of people have also heard about the different ways to “rig” their saddles, but which is best and what is it used for? Those are the questions we are trying to answer here. So first a little information. First we will cover the placement and types of attachments. There are few current types of hardware for the rigging to attach to: “D”, Three-way, open three-way...
When talking about saddles it is important to know how and why they are the way they are. With saddles form follows function. A saddle's design can make the difference in working and in showing. There are saddles for every discipline in the western horse world. Here are some of the most popular.   Barrel Saddle The barrel saddle is designed for speed events. They have a deeper seat and wide swell/pommel that allows the rider to stay seated and balanced during fast turns. A slightly taller horn makes it easier to hold on to during the turns. It also weighs less than the average western saddle...
Treed or Treeless: the great debate What is all the hype about treeless saddles? It seems everyone and anyone recommends them at the drop of a hat, but is it really the saddle for you? Treeless saddles are often the go to saddle for hard to fit horses. It is an easy and cost effective solution if your horse would require a custom fitted saddle due to his shape. Treeless saddles mold and conform to the horse's back since there is no hard tree to cause pressure points. Another use for treeless saddles is if you are riding multiple horses, that way you don't have to have multiple saddles...
  A horse and rider team can only be successful if using the proper equipment. The right saddle is crucial if you plan to excel in your equestrian sport. English Sports Eventing and Pleasure English all-purpose saddles are used for eventing. This less expensive saddle option is also used by mature or pleasure riders. On fences or flat ground, an eventing or pleasure saddle provides plenty of support.  Show Jumping, Hunt Seat, Foxhunting and Show Hunter A jumping saddle or close contact saddle is used with jumping horses. The saddle with its rounder, shorter flaps, gives the rider closer...
  One of the first things that a new rider has to learn to do is tack up their horse. Tacking up is the term used to describe putting a saddle pad, saddle, girth and bridle on the horse. The process for putting an English saddle on a horse is different from putting a western saddle on a horse. If you want to ride English, you will need to able to put the English saddle on the horse correctly.   Step One Groom your horse thoroughly to make sure there is no dirt or debris in the area of the back and barrel where the saddle will go. Trapped dirt can rub and cause the horse to develop sores.  ...
English saddles are made to allow close contact between the rider’s seat and legs with the horse’s back and sides. The smaller, dipped seat, thin flaps, and free-standing stirrup leathers permit the equestrian to feel the movements horse’s shoulder, back, barrel, and rump muscles, and provide both rider and mount a means of unfettered communication. Making sure that your English saddle correctly fits your horse ensures that your animal stays pain-free from sore back muscles and pressure sores, and allows for both of you to have safe, fun rides. The best way to determine if your saddle fits...
How to Fit a Western Saddle Finding a saddle that correctly fits your horse is as important as finding one that correctly fits you. An ill-fitting saddle – one that is too large or too small – causes pain and discomfort that can make your mount ill-tempered and dangerous to ride. Halter your horse and place her in cross-ties or tie the lead rope to a something stable so she can’t move away. Place an old sheet on her back so that you don’t get the saddle dirty. Don’t try fitting a saddle over pads or blankets because that will not give you a true idea if the saddle is right for your horse....
Sit on a hard, wooden chair much as you would a saddle. Keep your back straight and your rear end away from the chair back, with your ears, shoulders, hips and heels in a straight line from top to bottom. Make a mark directly in front of your crotch and directly behind your bottom and measure that distance. That should give you an approximate size of how your body is going to fit in a saddle when you go to your local tack store or look online. Once you get to the tack store, sit in individual saddles as if you were on your horse to determine if they fit and if they are comfortable. A well-...

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