Saddle Up

by Hidden Trails 04/08/2010

Since many types of saddles are used on Hidden Trail tours, your guide will give you a run down on how to saddle your horse with the specific tack you are given.  However there are a few things that apply to any saddle. 

1)      Check the blanket or pad for foreign objects such as dirt, straw or sticks. These will cause an irritation if placed against the horse’s back. Put the blanket and pad in place, always a little forward of where they actually belong. They are then slid back into position to “set the hair” on the horse's back.  This helps eliminate the possibility of saddle sores.

2)      Ensure all parts of the saddle are secure (cinch/girth, stirrups etc.) when you heave it onto your horse’s back.  You don’t want anything to slap against your horse’s side and spook him. 

3)      Check that the blanket or pad is not pressed tightly against your horse’s withers.  This is uncomfortable for your horse and may make him irritable. 

4)      Make sure you re-tighten your girth/cinch before you mount, and then check it again after riding for a moment.  Many horses will take a deep breath as you tighten the girth/cinch the first time, causing the saddle to be loose when you mount. Give him a chance to relax and completely exhale so you can get your saddle tight.