step by step - how difficult can it be......?

There has be nothing like good marital spats in the barn the last few years regarding how I saddle my horse. Brian (the perfectionist shall I say) has struggled with the way I saddle my horse with a western saddle. Well needless to say he has had to meet me halfway and he is okay with my process in the western world. Long story and I will cut it short ...if only the barn walls could talk!

now lovingly (hee) we absolutely agree with the process of putting an equestrian english saddle on and these are the steps I must follow for my own safety as there really is not much to an english saddle ...oh but there is here goes...hope this is not too boring (nod..)

here is what an english saddle looks like (when it is not on horse) this is a fox hunting saddle it is inbetween a jumping and dressage equestrian saddle... with me so far ( I sort of am..)

here is what the girth looks like (can you see a thick strap hanging on the stall gate in front of the saddle) that goes under the belly of the horse and attaches to the saddle at each end.

the saddle blanket goes on first...(pretty colour i think...oh sorry i must focus)

my horse needs a saddle wedge (the black thing on top of the blanket) under it to keep the back of the saddle higher...this is a "wedge" ..not a wedgie!

now here is the saddle on top of the wedge..see how it fits?

when you lift the side flaps on saddle up you see these straps with holes in them (there are 3) I am going to attach the girth buckles to 2 of these straps on each side of saddle...

now the girth strap with the buckles must go through the saddle pad loop (as shown)

then you must pull the buckles through the top roller until you have it placed in the hole you want - both leathers (not the middle one are used)

see..i have flipped up the flap under the stirrup and voila there are the straps i was talking about (above).. am i losing you?

a bit of strength is needed here as I have attached the other end of the girth to the other side of the saddle and know I needed to stretch and pull and make the girth tight so it does not slide when I am on it (this tightens under the horses stomach as you do this)

this is what it looks like when the girth is attached and tightened on either side of the saddle

now before you think you are happy with everything - check to make sure the saddle is not too far back - see the little hill or bump between Rocky's neck and saddle pad? that is called the "wither". I want the saddle to be right beside that wither if it is too far back then I have to move the whole saddle forward - which means remove the girth and slide saddle back and then re-girth! this is not very exciting is it?

you are now ready to move the stirrup in the proper position for riding - just pull on the stirrup on each side of the horse and it slides down.. You can adjust the length to suit your leg length.

slidy down...

and "voila" it hangs there waiting for your adjustment when you get on.

Brian and I are bridling Rocky and that means the bit, chin strap, (basically a halter with the reins attached)

ooh "Rocky" looks a little stressed - he needs a treat, he has been so patient with us

Wow, this has helped me alot to document the process. It is almost being at work and writing up procedures!

This has been fun and a very cooperative project for Brian and I to work on.


Catherine said...

I didn't know what an english saddle was - now I do! I can picture the Queen riding on one while hunting those poor little foxes!! We used to have a horse when we lived on the farm (MANY years ago) and he would always buck my brother off...but not me! We rode him bare back. No saddle of any kind! We moved from the farm shortly after and that is the last time I was on a horse! Can you picture me on a horse? Hmmm....nope! I am thinking your barn is a very wonderful place to be! Good stuff!

katrina lauren said...

Love the tutorial!! Very good photo journalling! To me nothing better than hanging out in the barn with horse buddies with the smell of hay in the air!

Brandi said...

Your horse is beautiful! I want to come out to Kirkville sometime to see all your animals.....looks like fun! I have never ridden with a english saddle before!
Can't wait to see you on the 23rd

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