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.
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.
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.
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.
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.