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

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

Leather Tanning

Tack Leather Tanning Hides are tanned to prevent rotting and to add suppleness. There are two main types of tanning: Chrome Tanning and Bark Tanning. Chrome tanning employs chemicals that can be detrimental to a horse when coming into contact with a horse’s sweat. Bark tanning uses only natural vegetable compounds. Latigo refers to a… Read More Leather Tanning

Types of Martingales

Tie Down Sometimes referred to as a “Standing Martingale”, but usually referred to as a Tie-Down by Western Riders, this is a single, fixed-length strap that goes from the D-ring on the cinch up between the horse’s front legs and attaches to the nose band. (The nose band is a separate piece of equipment from… Read More Types of Martingales

The Western Saddle: Breast Collar

A Breast Collar is used to keep the saddle from slipping backwards. Because it is also attached to the cinch, it may be part of a tie down or martingale attachment. Western work with cattle requires a sturdier, thicker breast collar than English riding, which uses thinner straps of leather. Usually attached to the saddle… Read More The Western Saddle: Breast Collar

Lead Ropes

Horse leads come in various lengths, diameters, materials and buckle-types. If you can’t keep track of leads for routine ranch work, try an inexpensive lead made of cotton, 5/8″ diameter, at least 10′ long. It is comfortable on the hand and easy to grip, and you can keep several around the ranch and barn for… Read More Lead Ropes


Horse Halters are a common type of bitless headgear used on a horse. They are most commonly used by a person on the ground leading or directing a horse’s movement or for tying him. A halter is preferred for tying because bridles are usually made of more expensive and lighter materials (which can break) and… Read More Halters

Curb Chain

The curb chain or strap is mounted in the chin groove under the horse’s chin between the bit shanks of the bit. It steadies the bit within the mouth (keeping it centered), and it controls the lever action of the reins. It keeps the bit shanks from bit from over-rotating. The curb strap acts as… Read More Curb Chain

Bits, Horse – Intro

Shop Horse Bits Why a Bit? Start Here Horse Bits Explained A horse’s mouth is one of the most sensitive parts of his anatomy. He can discern and manipulate his environment from his first days as an inquisitive foal, chewing on everything, practising separating grass from weed and food from dirt. Bitting a horse and… Read More Bits, Horse – Intro

Tack & Equipment

Tack is a term used to describe the equipment worn by a horse during any of a number of activities in which a domesticated horse and human participate. Tack items include such pieces of equipment as saddles, bridles, halters, stirrups, cinches, breastplates, reins and many other items. Preparing a horse for work is often referred… Read More Tack & Equipment