Saddling Your Horse

Knowing how to saddle your horse is an important step in learning how to ride.  Following are steps to safely saddle your horse.  In this demonstration the saddle has a rear cinch and a breast collar.  It is not necessary to have all that on your horse if you are just out for a leisurely ride.  I just have them included on here in case you decide to use them.

Let your horse see and sniff the saddle pad.  This will let the horse know what you are putting on him, and he will feel more secure about being saddled.

Rub the saddle pad on your horses neck and shoulder.  These lets the horse know it’s okay for the saddle pad to touch him.

Place pad on horse’s back.  You want the front of the pad to sit on the withers.

This is how I like to have my saddle before I approach my horse.  The off side (right side) stirrup and all the rigging (cinches and breast collar)  are on top of the saddle.  With the saddle like this you can sit it on the horse instead of throwing it on him.

Let your horse sniff the saddle so he knows what it is.  Then place the saddle on your horse and put the stirrup and rigging down on the off side.

I like to check to make sure that the center seam of the saddle pad and the thread on the center back of the saddle match up with the center of my horse.  I’ve had saddle pads that would make my saddle ride crooked if they weren’t matched up.

Lift up the front of the saddle pad slightly so that it doesn’t pull down on your horse’s withers.  I also like to  check to  make sure the front is centered.

As you reach for the cinch, you rub your hand along the horse’s belly.  This assures that he knows where you are and what you  are doing.  Always fasten your front cinch before any of the other rigging.  This way if your horse decides to act up, the saddle should stay in place.

Typically I run my billet through my cinch twice.   At this point  only make the cinch snug, not tight.  After I do a little ground work with my horse and I’m ready to mount up, I finish tightening the cinch.

Fasten the back cinch.  Make sure that your back cinch touches your horse’s belly.  I’ve seen people have their back cinches hanging a couple inches below the horse’s belly.  This can cause a major accident if your horse goes to kick at a fly or something and gets his foot caught up in the rear cinch.  The rear cinch doesn’t need to be tight, but you don’t want it hanging down.

Finally fasten the breast collar.  This you want to go over the points of the shoulders.  You want it to be secure but not overly tight.

Now your ready to go do your ground work.  Don’t forget to finish tightening your cinch before you mount up.  Below is a link to my video on how to saddle your horse.

Thanks to Gabby, Mirandah  and Dollar for being so great and helping me today.