It's Time for a Ride!

Many people believe that saddling up a horse seems too complicated. This may even keep some from riding. In reality, saddling a horse is simple and an important part for the pre-ride preparation that allows the rider to feel comfortable and secure during the ride.
The difference between English and Western styles of riding are defined by the practicality of their saddles. Western saddles and style are uniquely American, developed by cattlemen. Western saddles have deep seats to provide comfort and security during long hours of ranch work. A Western saddle's horn, used to secure a lariat while roping cattle, is tall. The Western saddle is secured differently than an English saddle. An English saddle uses billets with a buckle girth, while the Western saddle secures with a latigo, cinch, and cinch knot.
As a precaution, make sure to always touch the horse’s hindquarters when walking behind them. This lets the horse know that someone is there, so they won’t get spooked and possibly kick. First, always saddle a clean, dry horse. If the horse is wet, allow the horse to dry in the sun, or towel the horse dry. Dirt and moisture trapped between the saddle and the horse can cause painful saddle sores, girth galls, or blisters. To clean the horse, curry the horse in circular motions with a rubber currycomb to loosen the dirt. A stiff dandy brush can be used to flick dirt off the horse. Next, place the saddle pad or blanket high on your horse’s shoulders and slide it down toward the middle of the horse’s back. Doing this ensures that the hair under the saddle pad stays smooth and prevents hair from being rubbed out by friction between the saddle and the horse’s back. Once the saddle pad is in place, the pad should lie equally on both halves of the horse’s back, the front of the saddle pad resting on the horse’s withers. While holding the saddle with the horn in the left hand, take the right hand and hook the right stirrup and cinch over the horn. This prevents the horse...