Article

How To Properly Saddle Your Horse

By Christy Mellington

Saddling your horse for an enjoyable ride can seem like a chore so here's a few tips to make this task a little easier for the both of you.

 

Properly saddle your horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Begin by catching your horse and tying him securely. (Remember to use a quick release knot, for safety purposes).

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go quietly to his left side with your saddle pad under your left arm and saddle in your right hand, balanced against your hip.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stand at his left shoulder and turn yourself toward his hips. Now, gently place your saddle pad on his back, slightly farther forward than you want your saddle to be when were done. We will adjust our saddle and pad toward the rear of our horse, in the direction his hair lays, to prevent irritating his back.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hold your saddle with your right hand on the right side of the cantle (back of the seat), and your left hand on the left side of the front skirt.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, swing your saddle, from your hip, gently onto his back. Throwing your saddle in this manner takes all of the work out of it, as the momentum of the swing carries the weight of the saddle for you.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure that your saddle lands softly on the back of your horse. Slide your saddle back into position.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to keep all of my rigging neatly tied up on my saddle; this keeps it from dragging on the ground and getting all dirty. It’s also much more professional and makes the job of saddling simpler.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move to the right side of your horse and let down your cinches.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to the left side to cinch your saddle in place. For a proper fit, your front cinch (girth) should be placed 3 to 4 inches behind your horses elbow.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facing the rear of your horse, reach under him with your left hand and get a hold of your front cinch.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run your latigo through the ring, and buckle, or tie it snugly. Do your final tightening before you mount up. Since I start a lot of colts, and generally there’s a little hopping around, I prefer to tie my cinch rather than buckle it.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice how the cinch and latigo are both vertical, this is how your rigging should lay for a proper saddle fit.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buckle your rear cinch in the same manner as the front cinch.  Allow enough room to fit your hand sideways under the rear cinch. It should neither be really tight, nor loose enough to catch a hind foot.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, we’ll attach the breast collar. I lay mine across my saddle when I untack my horse and buckle it to my left stirrup, leaving it attached to the D-ring on the right side. Unbuckle the breast collar from your left stirrup.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toss it gently over your horses back, and around his chest.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buckle it to the left D-ring.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snap it to the D-ring on your front cinch.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow enough room between the breast collar and your horse’s shoulder to fit your hand sideways, this will prevent rubbing and chafing, yet be tight enough to serve it’s purpose in holding your saddle in place.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The underside of your horse, with the breast collar and back cinch snapped to the D-rings of your front cinch, should look like this. Take care that nothing is too loose, or hanging too far down.

PROPERLY SADDLE YOUR HORSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure that you run the end of your latigo through the keeper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, our properly saddled horse is ready for a ride! Thank you and happy trails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1647 days ago
 
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