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!


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