It takes practice to tack up a horse, especially when putting the saddle on. Learn the procedure, and the first few times you try it, ask a seasoned equestrian for assistance. It’s crucial to ensure the saddle is properly fastened because you don’t want it to come off while you’re riding. For the horse’s safety and comfort, the saddle must be placed and fastened correctly; if done incorrectly, the saddle may injure the horse, which may cause it to rear or buck. Here are some guides on how to bridle and saddle a horse.
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How To Bridle A Horse
The bridle needs to be put on before we can saddle the animal. The horse equipment known as the bridle enables you to guide and control the horse. It consists of a bit that fits into the horse’s mouth and a few leather straps that go around the horse’s head and muzzle. You use the reins, which are attached to the bit, to “guide” the horse.
Secure The Horse
Unbuckle the halter, slide it off the horse’s head, then buckle it around the animal’s neck while the lead is still attached to keep the horse under control as you bridle it. You will be able to hold the horse if it decides to bolt thanks to this setup.
Putting The Bit
Knowing where the bit should go in the mouth is necessary before placing it there. The interdental space, sometimes known as “bars,” is the region between the horse’s incisors and molars. As seen above, the bit will be positioned in the interdental area. With your right hand, place the bit over the horse’s bit, and your left hand, the bridle. Put the bit on the animal’s lips. Put your thumb in the area between the horse’s teeth and move it around to get the animal to open its mouth and accept the bit. Gently move the bit over the horse’s front incisor teeth and into the interdental space as soon as the animal opens its mouth.
Adjusting The Bridle
The bridle crown should be slid over the horse’s ears. Do each ear separately. To fit the crown over the ears, fold the ears either back or forward. While doing this, try to avoid pulling the bridle up excessively because doing so will draw the bit into the horse’s mouth. For aesthetic and comfort reasons, adjust the bridle. Your entire hand should fit between the strap and the horse’s jaw when the throatlatch is fastened loosely enough. One wrinkle should appear at the horse’s mouth corner as a result of the bit’s adjustment. The cheekpieces can be used to modify the bit if it hangs excessively high or low.
How To Saddle A Horse
Your horse should accept saddling from either side, whether you saddle from the left or near side.
Place the saddle pad or blanket, fold facing front, right behind the horse’s shoulder blades, partially covering the withers. Stand back from the horse’s shoulder. Move it across the horse’s back, leaving a little more than an inch above the withers. The hair that will be beneath the saddle is straightened by doing this. Make sure the pad or blanket covers the horse evenly on both sides.
Placing The Saddle
Make sure the saddle is nicely centered before mounting the animal. When using an English saddle, the girth should be stretched over the seat, and the stirrups should be run up on the leathers. The right stirrup and the cinches are fitted over the seat of a Western saddle.
Install the saddle and then fasten the girth or cinch to the off-side of the saddle first. The girth should dangle around 4 inches behind the elbow’s point on both English and Western versions. The front cinch, which is the large strap that passes under the horse, needs to be fastened. Latigo should be laced through the front cinch ring.
Tighten the front cinch as you bring the latigo’s end back up near the saddle. Make sure it’s not too tight. As demonstrated above, pass the latigo’s end through the saddle’s D-ring and then pull it down toward the cinch ring. Pull back up to the saddle after lacing the end of the latigo through the cinch ring once more.
Make sure the saddle gullet is not pressing against the withers by checking it. Fistulous withers can develop as a result of severe wither bruising. There should be some space between the gullet and the pads to avoid this happening.
Final Thoughts On How To Bridle And Saddle A Horse
You are now prepared to mount once the horse has been saddled and the bridle has been correctly adjusted. Before mounting, don’t forget to check the girth or cinch once more. Untack the horse and groom it after you have dismounted. In cold weather, cover the horse with a wool cooler if it is sweaty and towel it off. Give it a sponge bath or a hose rinse in warm weather. Before storing the tack, clean it all. After each usage, saddle soap the leather, and frequently wash the pads. Brush off any loose hairs.