Tack Tips

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What Benefit Is The Dressage Double Bridle?

Dressage Double Bridles/Bits

In Dressage, the Double Bridle is used. The curb controls the flexion and the collection of the horse. The snaffle helps to elevate and laterally balance the horse, as well as assist suppleness.

How Do I Know A Dressage Saddle?

Dressage Saddles

English Dressage Saddles have very deep seats. Padded restuffable panels and often wide gullets. High, round cantles. Knee & thigh padding & blocks. Long flaps. Provide a very upright (vertical) position. Very secure feel.

How Do I Recognize A Western Cutting Saddle?

Western Cutting Saddles

Western Cutting Saddles are very low and flat in the seat, with a higher, squarer cantle and swells. This is to help the Rider stay seated.

Why use a neoprene pad?


Saddle pads made of neoprene serve many purposes. Neoprene is non slip and easy to clean and generally provides some protection for your horse's back. They come in many styles, including therapeautic for your horse, and rebalancing types for fit adjustment. they are generally very cost effective.

How Do I Fit An English Saddle For Horse and Rider?

Choosing A Saddle

The saddle should be chosen for the type of riding that you will be doing the most frequently. It can be English or Western, and in those 2 Disclipline Divisions, you have a world of selections.

In Choosing a Saddle To Fit you, the Cantle should not extend more than 1 palm width past the back of your bottom when you are sitting in the saddle.

Your Knee should comfortably fit behind the Knee Roll in English. With a balanced amount of saddle in front and behind the point of the knee.

Let your legs hang naturally as you sit in the lowest point of the saddle, on the lowest point of your seat bones. Do you legs hang ever so slightly behind you...helping to assist you in maintaining a correct position (yet not making your body feel thrown forward at all)

Once you have put on saddle leathers (for English saddles)...(in the shop you should be able to put on leathers, and get a feel for how the stirrups will hang from the bars)...do they help your position or hinder it?

A perfect saddle for anyone, should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS help to keep you in a perfect natural balanced position once on the horse. You worry about the heels down, the saddle should do the rest! It should be comfortable (even new) and it should not interfere with a relaxed and natural position in any way. The flaps shouldn't extend down past the widiest part of the calf of your leg.

Remember, quality always has it's own rewards...should you have to sell the saddle earlier than expected, a quality, well fitted saddle never looses it's value; but value priced saddles almost never resell for what you initially paid. You will be riding in this saddle and want to be comfortable, thus your horse will be comfortable as well.

How Do I Know A Snaffle Bit?

Snaffle Bits

Snaffle bits have a jointed mouthpiece,come in many sizes and varieties

How Do I Recognize A Roping Saddle?

Western Roping Saddles

Western Roping Saddles are the heaviest of the lot. The horn is the tallest and the thickest. The cantle is low, for easy dismount. The swells are almost cut away so to minimize interference with the rope.

How Do I Recognize A Sidesaddle?


Sidesaddles are generally only used by Women. Both legs are usually on the horse's left side. Saddles can be specially made though with both legs on the right side. A cradle hold the right leg on the left side. A Sidesaddle always should have a girth, and an overgirth.

How Do I Know A Mild Curb Bit?

Severity of A Curb

With curb bits, usually the lower, the smaller, the softer the curve within the mouth (or the port) the milder is the effect.

How Does A Spade or High Port Effect A Horse?

Curb Bits - The Port

The higher the spade or the port of a curb bit, the greater the severity it will utilize upon the horse.

The Proper Way To Hang or Put Away A Double Bridle?

Putting Away A Double Bridle, or A Bridle with a Curb &/or Lip Strap/Chain

Putting up the bridle is in the same manner as the Single or Snaffle bridle. The curb chain/strap, and lip chain/strap are done up after the reins have been drawn up onto the throatlatch. Then finish off with drawing the noseband through the snaffle bit rings and the bridle is completed and ready to hang up.

How Does A Snaffle Bit Exert Control Over A Horse?

Control With Snaffle Bits

Snaffle bits apply pressure to the roof, bars, tongue, lips of the horse's mouth. Always remember that the thicker, smoother, lighter a snaffle bit, the milder.

What Is The Name of A Bitless Bridle?

Bitless Bridles

Bitless Bridles also known as Bosals or Hackamores.

What Is The Proper Way To Put Away or Hang A Bridle After Use.

Proper Putting Away Bridles After Use

After a bridle has been removed from the horse. Use leather clean wipes to remove any & all debris and sweat stains. Use a squeezed out sponge from water to wipe the bit clean. Take the center fastener from the reins (where reins meet on the neck of the horse) and draw them up into the center of the bridle. This way the reins are inside of the center of the bridle. Take the throatlatch and cross over the back of the bridle to the opposite side, draw the middle of the bridle (inside) and pick up the reins. Draw the throatlatch upwards to the opposite side in the back of the bridle, and attach. Take each side of the noseband & keeping the noseband circling the outside of the bridle, loop the strap through the bit rings on the same side as the noseband strap, and then fasten them together at the back of the bridle. This keeps your bridles clean, neat, secured and looking orderly in your tack room, waiting for the next use.

How Do I Recognize A Western Barrel Racing Saddle?

Western Barrel Racing Saddles

Barrel Racing Saddles are the lighest of the Western saddles. Barrel saddles have cut away fenders, and very lightweight stirrup flaps, with small western stirrups.

What do i look for in buying my first saddle?


FIT! FIT! FIT! Whatever u buy , it must FIT you and your horse and be properly balanced, for comfort, to assist positioning you, and to protect your horse from pain or injury.
A good rule of thumb for rider fit is four fingers space behind your seat to the top edge of the cantle, and three or four inches below your knee bend to the bottom of the flap, depending on the use. The saddle should allow you to feel balanced when on your horse, not force you to work to maintain proper position or balance.

There are many factors affecting saddle fit for your horse, including conformation, training, physical development and purpose. Some of the newer brands offer adjustable trees and air panel systems to assist in better fits. Generally, the saddle should sit balanced on the horse (center of the seat being the deepest point)without pinching at the shoulders and be gulletted wide enough to clear any back bone pressure. Certain tree and panel styles allow more shoulder freedom and distribute the weight across your horse's back more evenly.
Money well spent on a quality saddle is never wasted, they hold value and often increase over time.

Why use a wool or sheepskin pad?


Sheepskin and wool pads offer the benefits of natural fiber.
Wool does not allow significant heat build up making it ideal for use when riding for long periods of time.It is able to absorb up to 40 per cent of its own weight in moisture without feeling wet. This drastically reduces the chance of rubbing or chaffing.It's natural fibers deform and reform to their original state during and after use allowing the saddle pad to mould easily to the horse's back and the saddle.It is very durable and able to withstand regular washing.
Many types are now available, with cotton or original sheepskin backing, in many therapeutic styles.
Wool is initially more expensive than some man made materials.

How Do I Recognize An Australian Saddle?

Australian Outback Saddles

Australian saddles are a modified version of our English and Western Saddles. Thinner swells, with or without a horn, very high deep seat with a cantle that resembles a Dressage cantle. Very long stirrup flaps with English stirrups. With or without a breastplate and/or a crupper.

How Do I Recognize A Western Pleasure Saddle?

Western Pleasure Saddles

Western Pleasure Saddles have a deeper seat, and moderate in horn/cantle height/width. Pleasure saddles have large double fenders. Stirrup flaps are set further back with wide stirrups.

How Do I Fit A Bit To A Horse´s Mouth?

Proper Fit Of A Bit

Every bit should rest comfortably in the horse's mouth, with a 1 finger or 1/2" width on either side between the corner of the bit, and the side of the horse's mouth to avoid pinching. The bit should be high enough in the mouth that the horse can not easily get his tongue over the bit while being comfortable. While each type of bit will lay slightly different in a horse's mouth, a good rule of thumb for most snaffle bitsis one wrinkle in the lip above the bit when laying softly in the mouth. IF it needs to be changed , then move the cheek pieces up or down a notch trying to balance the adjustment equally on either side of the Bridle.

How Do I Recognize A Curb Bit?

Shank or Curb Bits

Any bit with a shank is USUALLY considered to be a Curb bit. Usually with a fixed mouthpiece.

What Does A Saddleseat Saddle Look Like?

Saddleseat Saddles

English Saddleseat or Lane Fox Saddles are VERY flat, with virtually no padding through the gullet or on the flaps. Can be available with a square cantle.

How Do I Know An All Purpose or Eventing Saddle?

All Purpose or Eventing Saddles

English All Purpose or Eventing (once called Hunting Saddles) have a padded or blockknee roll. Some even have a thigh block behind the leg to keep it from slipping back. Usually a round cantle. Deeper seat than a Close Contact saddle. Forward seat.

How Can I Get The Best Dollar For Used Tack?

Best Dollar For Resale

To get the best dollar for resale of your tack, repair and clean it to the best of its ability before you advertise or consign it.

How Does The Curb Bit Exert Control Over The Horse?

Curb Bit Control Over The Horse

A curb bit exerts control over the horse by applying pressure at the same time to the tongue, roof, bars of the mouth, as well as the poll at the top of the head, and the back of the chin through the curb chain/strap.

How do you remove a double bridle?

Proper Removal of A Bridle With No Curb/Lip Attachments

To Properly remove a bridle with no curb or lip chain or attachments:

Have a halter with lead rope attached on the near arm. Tie the lead rope around the horse's neck lower than the reins. Place reins at the mid neck length as though for riding. Loop the near arm through the reins. Undo the noseband, then the throatlatch. Take ahold of the crown with far hand. As the bridle comes off of the front of the horse's face, allow the horse to release the bit from his mouth before taking the bit away from the horse. Once the bit is clear/free, then let the bridle slide down the far arm until elbow level. Use the near, and far hand to draw the halter over the horse's head, and fasten on the near side. Slide the reins over the horse's head, and completely remove. Undo the lead rope from the horse's neck, and either cross tie, tether tie, or lead to.....

How Do I Know The Severest Of A Curb Bit?

Shank Length In Curb Bits

Always, the length of a curb increases the power or the strength of the curb. A 4" curb is considered the norm. A curved shank is the mildest of the curb bits.

Can I See How To Fit English Saddles Correctly?

Why should your saddle fit properly for your horse?

An unbalanced or ill fitting saddle may cause soreness or behavioral problems in the horse and a loss of position and effectiveness for the rider. Saddles come in various tree sizes, some being adjustable. A too narrow saddle will cause pinching at the withers or restriction in the freedom of shoulder movement , therefore inhibiting the horses natural performance. A too wide saddle can distribute the weight of the rider across the horse's loins causing back soreness and bucking. Proper gullet width is also of importance to avoid pressure on the prostheses of the backbone, restricting lateral flexibility and causing skeletal injury and damage. Some newer saddle models offer adjustable trees, so they may be fitted to different horse sizes and body types.

Why should i use a saddle pad?


A good saddle pad is a wise investment. It can help adjust a poor fitting saddle, prevent back soreness by offering protection of your horse's muscles and backbone, and wick away sweat. It will also protect your saddle from sweat and dirt damage.

What Is A Close Contact Saddle?

Close Contact Saddles

English Close Contact Jumping style saddles have a small amount of padding through the gullet. Have a square cantle. Have minimal knee padding or none at all. Have a shallow seat.

Why Use A Double Bridle In Saddleseat?

Saddleseat Double Bridle

The Double Bridle in Saddleseat is very different in appearance to the Double Bridle used in Dressage.

In Saddleseat, the snaffle elevates the front end of the horse, from the head down through the front end motion.

The curb provides the flexion to come behind the vertical, and keeps the horse's motion from becoming strung out. Rather, the curb keeps the horse's motion rolled and bent.

How do you remove a double bridle?

Removing a Double Bridle or Bridles with Curb or Lip Attachments

Use the same method as a Single or Snaffle Bridle to the point of taking ahold of the crown. Before you take ahold of the crown piece; undo the curb chain/strap on the near side. You shouldn't have to undo the lip strap/chain as well, but look and if it appears that it will restrict the removal of the bridle in any way, then do so. Take ahold of the crown piece, and remove. Put on the halter in the same manner as a single or snaffle bridle.

Why Use A Double Bridle or Double Bits?

Double Bridles & Bits

Only Dressage, and Saddleseat utilize a Double Bridle, with both a Curb and a Snaffle bit.

What pads will help me if my saddle doesnt fit?

Special saddle pads

Lift back, wither, air cushion and therapeutic pads all assist in gaining a more correct fit and balance for you, your saddle, and your horse. They can protect and or prevent back and shoulder soreness or injury when properly used. They will help you to rebalance your saddle if it does not easily fit a certain horse, allowing you to maintain proper riding position. All should be used under the initial supervision of someone familiar with each type's purpose.

How Does A Bosal or Hackamore Control A Horse?

Bosal or Hackamore

Bosals or Hackamores are efficient at controlling a horse without a bit

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Jolyn Wells-Moran