Category Archives: Horse Equipment

Horse Riding Helmets Must Fit Correctly

Horse riding helmets should fit correctly. You need to protect your head – it’s the only one you’ve got! A wide variety of items can scare or spook a horse. I’ve seen them run away from a bag that is blowing in the breeze.

When they react to something different or new in their environment, you can never be sure what their reaction will be.

Wear a riding helmet and make sure that it fits correctly!

I’ve had ambulances at my farm several times over the years. I have seen horse riding helmets be the difference between a serious injury, to something that you can walk away from, or get right back on and ride again.

Charles Owen helmets aren’t the least expensive, but they are excellent quality at a decent price.

If you are not in an area where you can try on horse riding helmets then you need to measure your head. If you don’t have a cloth or flexible tape measure, you can use a string.

Measuring Horse Riding Helmets

Take the string or tape measure and wrap it around your head about 1.5 cm, or about 1/2 inch, above your eyebrows. Go around above the top of the ears encircling the fullest part of the head.

Assuming you used a string, lay it down next to a tape measure and get the measurement in centimeters. Once you have that you can use the table below to select the correct size for your head.

Head Measurement Hat size Skull Cap Size
49cm 6 000
50cm 6 1/8 000 1/2
51cm 6 1/4 00
52cm 6 3/8 00 1/2
53cm 6 1/2″ 0
54cm 6 5/8 0 1/2
55cm 6 3/4 1
56cm 6 7/8 1 1/2
57cm 7 2
58cm 7 1/8 2 1/2
69cm 7 1/4 3
60cm 7 3/8 3 1/2
61cm 7 1/2 4
62cm 7 5/8 4 1/2
63cm 7 3/4 5

The best way to see if a helmet fits, is try it on. When you do this, make sure you are standing comfortably erect.

Next, place a helmet on your head. When you push it down it should feel snug and the straps on the inside should come to the top of your head.

Have someone stand alongside of you and have them gently rock the helmet back and forth.

You want a horse riding helmet to move only slightly, causing your eyebrows to move up and down. Make sure the helmet isn’t so tight that it hurts you.

You’ll want to move your head around and make sure that it stays in place and that all the straps fit snugly.

The Troxel Liberty Schooling Helmet is a less costly alternative to some of the more expensive horse riding helmets. It has an attractive profile and is available in a variety of colors. We use Troxel helmets extensively in the lesson program at my farm.

Riding Helmet Damage

If you fall off and hit your head with a helmet on you should replace it. Even though it doesn’t appear to be broken, something may have happened to the inside, rendering it unable to protect you.

You also need to replace it every three years or so, as the padding on the inside can become compressed, as well as the sun or other elements wear on the plastic. this compromises the strength and safety of your horse riding helmet.

Saddle A Horse The Right Way

saddle a horse

                 All saddled up and ready to ride!

You are ready to saddle a horse once you have learned how to properly groom and get them ready to be tacked up (saddled and bridled.)

You should retrieve everything you will need from the tack room and have it ready near where you will be putting your horse for grooming.

If this is your very first time learning how to saddle a horse everything that you will need should be ready for you.

The synthetic Wintec 250 is a great saddle to get you started riding comfortably and in the correct position. A synthetic saddle makes for easy care and this saddle has the changeable gullet system so that, if necessary, you can change the gullet to fit your horse.

There are several steps involved in saddling a horse. You will begin by placing a saddle pad on your horse at its withers.

You will want to place it a little further forward than you want it to end up. The reason for this is that you never want to pull your pads or saddle against the way the horse’s hair grows.

If you need to re-position anything, you want to shift things in the direction their hair lays.

Sometimes you may need an extra pad to help your saddle stay in place, or to help it sit evenly on your horse’s back. At my barn many people like using a half pad. Their favorite brand is a Mattes half pad, although there are other brands that aren’t as pricey.

saddle a horse - Saddle PadsYour next step is to set the saddle gently on its back, placing it over the withers. You then want to slide the saddle back into place.

You shouldn’t need to slide it very far. You want to make sure that when you saddle a horse you don’t allow your saddle to interfere with the movement of its shoulders.

Once the saddle is in place you want to pull your saddle pad up into the gullet of the saddle so it isn’t pulling on your horse’s withers.

Make sure the stirrups are secured and not hanging. This is an important safety rule when you saddle a horse.

Hanging stirrups can get caught on gates or doors as you walk through. If your stirrup catches on something your horse may panic and hurt you or itself. At the very least you can damage your saddle.

Once the saddle is in place, the last step to saddle a horse is to attach the girth. A girth is used to keep the saddle from slipping. It has buckles on both sides and at least one end is usually stretchy. In my barn most riders prefer a girth with elastic on both ends.

Take the girth over to the right side of your horse and attach it to the billets (the straps under the saddle flap.) Let the stretchy side of the girth hang.  While it’s hanging, check to see

saddle a horse - pad

                            Mattes Half Pad

if the girth is the right length.

It should reach to the bottom of the horse’s ankle. Once you have adjusted the girth to the approximately correct length you want to go to the left side of the horse and attach it to the lowest hole, using the same billet straps you used on the other side.

This is so you apply even pressure. You also want to have the girth up approximately the same amount of holes on both sides.

Tightening the girth should be a gradual process in order to saddle a horse properly. Once the girth is on, you can tighten it ansaddle a horse - girthother hole or two. You never want to yank the girth up right away…think how it would feel if someone did that to you!

Save your final tightening for when you have reached the ring or mounting block.

Make sure to follow these steps to properly saddle a horse!

 

Horse Halters and Leads

My goal is to have horse halters and leads on every stall in my barn. I own an active horse farm with over 40 horses and we do about 60 lessons a week.

The main reason is safety. If you have to get the horse out of the barn in a hurry for an emergency, halters and leads are very important.

Not to mention the fact that the first thing you need when you want to deal with the horse in its’ stall is a halter. Keeping horse halters and leads on the stalls is a constant battle.

When I finally come up with the perfect plan for accomplishing this I will let you know. Until then I’ll just shake my head in constant disbelief….it’s like they grow legs and walk away!

One of the first things I see a new student purchase for the horse they are in love with, and it doesn’t have to be a horse that they own, is a halter.

Make sure to get a halter that fits your horse well. They generally come in sizes like foal, yearling, pony, cob, horse,etc.

At our farm the halter is one of the first ways that you learn how to control your horse. Taking them out of the stall, leading them down the aisle, and putting them on cross ties in order to begin grooming.

We make sure that all the horse halters at our barn are “breakaways.” This means that they have a breakaway strap made of leather that goes over their head behind the ears or a leather fuse just under the buckle.

The Perris horse halter shown here is pretty and very durable. We have several Perris halters at our farm, they are my wifes’ favorite brand.

If the leather crown piece of your halter ever breaks (which it is designed to do if your horse gets caught on something) it is easily replaced.

It is best to get halters that snap at the cheek. This is MUCH easier than fastening the halter by the strap that goes over the horses’ head!

I also recommend buying a halter with an adjustable nose band. It helps make a better fit.

Horse leads are used to guide and control your horse, much as a dog leash, but these dogs can weigh over 1000 pounds!

Leads are made in a wide variety of materials. For every day use we prefer soft woven horse leads with a big brass snap.

Most of the horse lovers I know buy a lead to match the horses’ halter!

We also have a couple of leads that are nylon and have a 24 inch chain and a snap on the end that attaches to the halter. These leads are used for horses that can be more difficult to handle and should only be used by an experienced horse person, as they can cause damage to the horse if not used properly.

Leather horse leads are used in halter and showmanship classes and are often used at shows because of their nice appearance.

When you’re leading or grazing your horse, don’t ever let the lead shank drag on the ground because if the horse steps on it he could freak out. You and/or your horse can be injured this way.

Once again, this is my opinion and experience on horse leads. Your barn may have its own standards, so it’s important for you to ask and take their opinion.

Hopefully you will have a fun time accessorizing and choosing the color(s) of your horse halters and leads! 🙂