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...
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...
               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...
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...
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...
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...
                Learning how to establish a good posting trot is essential for every English rider. Whether you are just starting out or at an advanced level, the posting trot is a key basis for riding. A posting trot helps the rider to be able to follow the horse’s movement and also learn how to flow together in the same rhythm. Doing a posting trot also helps with keeping both horse and rider more comfortable while riding. With beginner riders, the posting trot can be a hard motion to achieve. Learning how to post up and down while the horse is trotting can take a lot of balance and leg...
Horses are mammals so they are all warm-blooded creatures, however the equine community has developed the terms hot, cold, and warm blooded to mean something completely different. Have you ever had a fellow rider come up to you and your Thoroughbred and referred to your horse as hot blooded. Did you ever wonder what they meant? These terms, which no longer refer to body temperature, are discussed in this article.   “Hot” Blooded:  “Hot” blooded breeds consist of the oriental horses, which are ancient breeds that originated in the Middle East. These breeds include the Akhal-Teke, Arabian horse...
          The Australian Stock Saddles are designed for long, endurance, pleasure trail riding,   With a design that is half English saddle and half western the Aussie saddle combines the best of both worlds. Cantle-Horn       One major difference in an Australian saddle is the depth of the seat.  With a high pommel, with or with out the horn, and a high cantle this type of saddle really holds you in your seat.  Knee Pad      To aid further in that are the knee pads.  These "pads" are designed to be about 3/4 of an inch above your thigh as you are riding.  They are just another feature that...
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...
  While Western saddles often come with girths (called cinches) attached, English saddles do not and they are normally a separate purchase when buying English tack. In addition, if you choose to ride in some makes of Australian and endurance saddles, you will need to buy a separate girth. A girth that is too long for your horse and saddle cannot be tightened enough to hold your saddle in place safely, and a girth that is too short may constrict your mount’s breathing and freedom of movement, plus be hard to buckle. Deciding which size to buy is typically of matter of knowing where and how to...
Horse Girth
  The History of the Australian Saddle   When the English settled in Australia they brought with them the horse and saddle to a rough and rugged country. The saddle changed to better suit the harsh environment. The saddle differs little today from its predecessor. The main difference is the addition of the “poleys” or padded knee pads. Now a days some Australian Stock Saddles also feature horns.  Another major difference is the use of the over girth. This allows the rider to get the girth tighter to eliminate slippage and as a back up should a billet strap break.Like the English saddle...
Western vs. Australian So what gives? What makes one riding style better or worst than the other? Horse people are notoriously passionate about their riding style and discipline. We tend to back up our preferred style. That being said where is there an unbiased look into the different styles of riding, styles, and disciplines? Well here is one. Each discipline has its advantages and some disadvantages. Making the decision on what riding style you would like to pursue takes time and a willingness to try new things. For a western rider to switch to English there is a lot of different terms and...
           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...
You finally bought the perfect pair of English riding boots, but they feel so stiff on your feet and legs that you can’t keep your heels down! What to do? Here are some expert tips for breaking in tall boots. Before You Get Started Before beginning the process of breaking in a new pair of English riding boots, be sure that you really want to soften the leather. If your boots are for dressage, you’ll want to break them in very minimally at the ankles only, if at all. These show boots are meant to look and feel like stovepipes – thus the nickname! If your boots are ones that do need softening,...
Breaking in new boots takes time, but comfortable boots keep you safe and allow you to focus while riding.
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...
How To Put an English Saddle On a Horse   If you want to ride English, one of the first tasks you will have to accomplish is saddling the horse. Fortunately, putting an English saddle on a horse is a skill that can be mastered fairly easily by most new riders. 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. Step Two Place your English saddle pad on the horse's back, just barely covering the withers. Make sure the saddle pad is placed so that it...
One of the most important pieces of riding tack is the horse bit. The horse bit is the device that is placed inside the horse’s mouth and is the main tool that communicates with your horse. The bit lets your horse know what direction to go and when to stop. Depending on whether the rider wants to stop, turn left, or turn right, the use of the reins sends a pressure signal to the bit and puts a certain amount of pressure in the horse’s mouth. The horse then feels this pressure and will go in the direction that is being asked of him. There are many different types of horse bits. They are all...
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...