Hi … Susan here
“You may have met me earlier when I was posting on one of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club sites about the Paleo diet. Irrespective, with that said, on behalf of Rusty Hart, I’d like to welcome you to this site, Easy Horse Care.
“On this Homepage is my article talking about the importance of considering safety and comfort for both you and your horse when you’re buying horse tack. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this … and, I hope act on!
“Finally, before you leave this site I’d like to suggest that you browse through the Recent Posts and the Archives to find all the other great content on this website.”
Horse Tack for Safety and Comfort
Undoubtedly deciding on your horse tack is the most important decision you can make for your horse.
If the tack you select doesn’t fit properly it could become a disastrous situation. When I use the term ‘horse tack’ I’m talking about orse tack includes such items as saddles, saddle pads, lunge lines, blankets and sheets, halters and bridles.
You’ll likely get by with one each of these items items, but if you’re going to show your horse or participate in events, you’ll probably need a few duplicates of the items.
Horse tack can get expensive – especially if you’re showing your horse, but if you know where to look and how to choose, you’ll find you can come out ahead.
Your riding style is one of the factors you need to consider when choosing your horse tack.
Bear in mind that the tack will be different if you’re a western-style rider as compared to an English-style rider. Because nof this you need to be sure that your horse is fitted according to the style of rider you are.
Now let’s look at some of the considerations you should have in mind when you’re buying horse tack to ensure both your (and your horse’s) comfort and safety:
Saddles – There are so many shapes and sizes of saddles, choosing one can be a daunting task.
This may be obvious, but it’s important that the saddle meets your needs. And you may need more than one saddle if you plan to show your horse. You’ll need one for show and one for trail or exercise.
Western pleasure riding saddles are very different than a Western saddle used for barrel racing. An English saddle might be dressage or close contact saddle, but they’re constructed very differently. All should be fitted perfectly by an expert.
If you’re using a Western saddle, be sure to check out the cinch strap. It should be supple leather – not dry or cracked – and show even width and thickness. Check for unusual amount of wear on the saddle and strap if you’re purchasing a used one. Also, check stirrups for cracks.
If you’re going to have an English saddle, be sure to check the stitching on the girth straps. It needs to be well made because the same holes will be used each time. Check the stirrups for cracks and bends.
Bridles, Halters and Leads
There are three components in a bridle – a headstall, reins and a bit. Choose a headstall according to how you’re going to ride the horse.
I suggest you consult a professional horse fitter before you purchase a headstall for your horse fas it’s very important that it’s the correct fit.
Western style riding requires a split rein and an English rein should be short and stitched together.
Make sure the reins are strong and always look for fraying or breaks and the bits for cracks. Leather or synthetic straps should be strong and ready for lots of wear and tear.
And one point I must emphasise that what I’ve just said is vital as if a rein breaks, there could be disastrous consequences.
Halters and leads should also be of high quality or barely used if you purchase used tack. You can choose from leather, nylon or breakaway so that it can break easily in case the horse gets trapped or tangled.
However, but if you’re going to be handling your horse in crowded or potentially dangerous environments choose a strong one.
Sheets, Blankets and Rugs
Blankets for horses such as rugs, cooler and fly sheets should be high quality and free of rips and tears. I mention this because if a leg strap became tangled, for example, it could wrap around your horses legs.
If your horse’s sheets, blankets or rugs become damaged, try to repair them. However, if in doubt you’de be wise to purchase new one rather than using it and risking an accident.
A horse blanket is also used to keep your horse warm and cozy. You can choose blankets for turnout (if your horse spends a lot of time outdoors) or to be used in a stable.
Blankets, sheets and rugs are a matter of what you prefer, but be sure to make allowance for when your horse has a full winter coat. In the early summer you may still want to use a blanket, but choose one made of lighter material.