Western

Guide to Western Saddles, Types, Styles, Sizing, Fitting, and Care.

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
There are several different roping sports, the two most popular are team roping and calf roping.   Team Roping: Team roping can also be called heading and healing and is a rodeo event. There is a team of two mounted riders and one steer. The first roper is known as the header. The header is the horse and rider team that ropes the front of the steer, typically around the horns. The second horse and rider team is the heeler. Their job is to rope both hind feet of the steer. The run plays out like this. There is a barrier line across the horse and rider teams. The steer is attached to an easy...
cowboy roping a steer
The western sport of cutting is where a horse and rider are judged on their ability to separate and keep separate a single cow from herd of cattle. The cutting horse must possess the innate ability for “cow sense”. They are highly athletic, can turn sharply, and can respond quickly. The sport of cutting is open to any breed of horse, but the American Quarter Horse is the most preferred. During a run when a cow is separated from the herd and tries to return to the herd, the rider will loosen the reins and allow the horse to keep the cow separated. As a cow turns, the horse will turn with it....
          The western sport of reining is a competition where riders guide their horse through a pattern of circles, spins, and stops. Often called the western equivalent to dressage, reining became a FEI-recognized sport in the year 2000. Now the sport is competed worldwide, including at the World Equestrian Games. All the work that is done in the pattern is done at a lope and a gallop. For the challenging movements, such as the sliding stop and the spin, horse and rider must be harmoniously in tune with each other. Much like with dressage, the reining rider’s aids should not be easily seen...
Leather Horse Hand Carved Reining Trail Saddle
The offspring of a male donkey and a female horse is called a mule. The opposite combination of horse and donkey is called a hinny. Out of these two hybrids, the mule is easier to obtain. The build and size of a mule is largely dependent upon the dam (female horse). They can vary between lightweight, medium weight, or even in some cases heavy weight. A moderately heavy mule, called a “mammoth mule” is the outcome from a draft mare.  They share many characteristics of their donkey sires, such as a short thick head, long ears, thin limbs, narrow hooves, shape of neck and back, and short manes....
Black Western Mule Saddle
Are you looking to take your horse to a parade, then you need to follow these four simple S’s: Safety, Saddle, Style, and Smile.     Safety: Riding in parades can be very fun, but you do need to be prepared.  There are many safety factors that go into riding in a parade.  First and foremost, safety first: wear a helmet!  Anytime you ride a helmet can be a lifesaver, however when in parade it is that much more important.  Remember that you will likely be traveling on a road; a fall would not be very fun without a helmet.  Secondly, prepare your horse as well as possible to the environment of a...
The equestrian sport of endurance riding is a long distance race that is competed worldwide.  There are two types of long distance rides, the competitive trail ride and an endurance ride.  The competitive trail ride covers a distance between 15 and 40 miles per day.  The competitive trial ride can occur over the course of one to three days.  The ride is paced-timed, which means you must complete the ride as close to the objective time as possible to avoid penalty points.  The horse is evaluated on performance, criteria such as pulse and respiration, the way you handle obstacles, camping...
It's Show Time! And you need a saddle. The Western Show Saddle is designed to stand out! It is a saddle built on looks rather than hard work. These are very highly decorative saddles, that usually feature moderate to extensive use of silver trim on the skirts, cantle, horn, pommel/fork, and the stirrups. They usually contain a long and deep skirts which allow for additional silver and tooling. The tooling on show saddles is very intricate and usually covers nearly every inch. The seat of the saddle is padded or suede, which allows the rider more grip. This helps to create the picture that the...
Buying a new or first saddle can seem like a daunting challenge.   Next to the purchase price of your horse this is most likely the most expensive piece of equipment that you will purchase.  In order to make this task less daunting, this article breaks done the factors and features of saddle buying and what to consider when purchasing one.   Discipline:   The first factor that you should consider is what riding discipline you are interested in partaking in.  You do not want to purchase a western pleasure saddle if you intend on jumping in the hunter ring or riding in the dressage ring. ...
Flash Lightning Bolt Saddle
Pleasure saddles like their name imply are designed so that horse and rider enjoy the ride. These saddles are designed with the idea that you will be spending hours in the saddle. They are designed thus to be extremely comfortable. The saddle seat is typically heavily padded for hours of enjoyment in the saddle. The cantle is of medium height and dished to provide better cushion, so long trail rides will to not lead to saddle sores. This is the lazy boy version of the western saddle. They are typically lighter in weight than the traditional western ranch work saddle, which makes it easier on...

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