Horse Shoe

A horse shoe can serve many purposes. It can bring luck to the household over whose door it is nailed. It can be used as decoration or as a wall hook. It can be nailed to the bottom of a horse’s foot to protect the hoof or add traction to the movement. (It can be… Read More Horse Shoe

Side Pull Bridle

The side-pull or “breaking hackamore” is used completely without a bit. Generally, it is used when a colt is first broke to take a rider. It offers good lateral control without confusing him with a bit or damaging his mouth if hard pulls are necessary. The pressure is on the rope nose piece that can… Read More Side Pull Bridle

Introducing a New Bit

It is a good idea with a young, inexperienced horse to work with his mouth before introducing a bit. Play with his lips. Put your fingers into his mouth, massage his bars, rub his palate. This can be done with newborn foals during the imprinting process or on an older horse who has not had… Read More Introducing a New Bit

The Western Saddle: Overview

Enlarge Image – Anatomy of a Western Saddle A saddle is a supportive piece of horse equipment held onto the back of a horse by a cinch or girth and used to give stability and comfort to a rider as well as the horse. The western saddle has several distinct parts, each one used to… Read More The Western Saddle: Overview

Spurs Described

Spurs, worn in pairs, are worn on riding boots and used to help direct a horse’s movement forward and laterally.  Although common lore makes everyone think that spurs are used to gouge a horse’s side to make him run like the wind, they should actually be used to refine your leg cues. They are for… Read More Spurs Described

The Western Saddle: Saddle Pad

A saddle pad is used to protect a horse’s back during riding. It is usually thicker than a “saddle blanket” and often made of layers of wool, felt, sheepskin, or synthetic materials including gels. A saddle pad is designed to absorb shock, eliminate pressure points, and minimize your horse’s back fatigue. Equally as important, it… Read More The Western Saddle: Saddle Pad

The Western Saddle: Stirrups

Stirrups give a rider much more security in his seat than bareback riding. The stirrups are used to balance. By inserting his foot into the contraption at the bottom of the saddle fender, the rider gains stability and the ability to alter his center of gravity over the horse’s back. They also give some measure… Read More The Western Saddle: Stirrups

The Western Saddle: Seat

Balance: It is important to understand that to achieve a comfortable and secure seat, the classical rider position is a must. If seated properly, a vertical line can pass down through the rider’s ear, shoulder, hip, and ankle. Your inner ear balance system will tell you that this is a comfortable and secure alignment. Additionally,… Read More The Western Saddle: Seat

A New Perspective on Saddle Rigging

Experimental research with a modified saddle tree suggests that moving the rider’s weight forward on the horse’s back improves performance. Of course, one question leads to another … but is the performance horse industry ready to accept a design change? In a thesis offered by Garry Acuncius and Megan Cooke, these questions are explored and… Read More A New Perspective on Saddle Rigging

The Western Saddle: Rigging

Full rigging is the most forward position. It places the cinch under the fork or swells of the saddle. It does not stabilize the rear of the saddle and would require a back cinch if you are doing any type of riding other than easy arena work. Modern saddles usually use 7/8 or 3/4 rigging,… Read More The Western Saddle: Rigging