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

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...
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 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...
               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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Buying a New or Used Saddle                 The horse, there is a saying, “don't put the saddle before the horse”. Well take it literally. The saddle is what holds you to the horses back. It must fit the horses back for it to safely and effectively hold you on. That being said, horses are NOT just one size fits all. There are wide backs, narrow backs, long and short. In short, horses come in all shapes and sizes. To fit a saddle well you need to know a few things about your horses back. A wither tracing can help determine the first question of what size.               Measure the gullet of a...
           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...
How Saddles Fit It can be challenging to determine what type of saddle for a Missouri Fox Trotter will best suit its unique gaits. It is important to understand the basics of saddle fitting before going shopping. The basic saddle is constructed using a specially sized tree to provide the base structure of the saddle. Traditional trees tend to be constructed of relatively rigid materials, such as fiberglass, wood, rawhide, and even steel. The two most common sizes are semi-quarter horse bars and full quarter horse bars. Essentially, these fit medium-to-wide backed horses with normal or...
Black Gaited Saddle
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...
If you’ve seen old Western movies, then you’ve probably admired the men’s duster coats that are such a ubiquitous part of the traditional wardrobe! More than just a style statement, these cool coats have an interesting place in history, and they remain very popular today. Working horsemen, casual riders, and people who simply enjoy the iconic look of western clothing styles enjoy wearing dusters. What is a Men’s Duster Coat? Great question! There are a few different kinds of duster coats for men: some offer full-length coverage, hitting the leg at the ankle or just a short distance above it...
The Driving Horse Harness is a type of horse tack that allows a horse to pull vehicles such as carriages, wagons, sleighs, plows, or even canal boats. If you are just getting into the equestrian sport of driving, then the parts of the horse harness can be a bit overwhelming. In the following article, each harness part is described and their functions made clear.   Collar: Is a padded loop that fits around the horse’s neck. This piece may not be included in all horse harnesses as it is designed for a horse harness that is used for heavy pulling.   Breast collar:  Is the padded strap that runs...
 Black Horse Size Leather Driving Harness
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
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
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,...
          Have you heard other horse enthusiasts talking about gymkhana?  Have you ever wondered what gymkhana is?  In this article gymkhana is described and how to get involved in gymkhana is discussed.             Gymkhana is a term used to describe an equestrian event that consists of speed events. These events include barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole, keg race, and flag race. These competitions often center on children participation. Most gymkhana competitions are put on by young rider groups such as Pony Club or 4H.               In other parts of the US, this type of competition may...
Horse Pole Bending
          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...