Maintaining Your Horse's Health
Horse Health In Depth
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General Info & Care Tips
Ride For Perfection
Tips From The Pro's
Techniques Of Care 1
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|It is in the interests of both horse and rider that the tack fits properly.
Ill fitting tack can cause your horse pain, which may lead to it resisting your aids.
Loose fitting tack may fail to pass a signal to the horse, or in the worst case scenario may come off altogether causing a serious accident.
If you have any doubts about the equipment you are using consult an expert.
Tack In Detail - Saddle
|The Majority of saddles are made from Leather Saddles which are designed for comfort for both horse and rider, although it is possible to purchase synthetic saddles.
This is the most popular and widely used known as the General Purpose Saddle which can be used for:
The General Purpose saddle evolved from the jumping saddle; it still has knee rolls,although these are smaller; the panels and flaps are somewhat straighter and the stirrup bars are positioned further back.
The waist is wider to allow the riders weight to be distributed evenly over a greater area and therefore reduce pressure points.
The Jumping Saddle
|The Jumping Saddle has a slightly deeper seat larger more supportive knee blocks giving greater security whilst riding.
Exclusively developed and designed panels moulded from bayer laytex rubber.
At the beginning of the 20th Century an Italian Cavalry Officer called Frederico Caprilli put into effect his then revoluntionary theories on riding.
He propounded the idea of the forward seat, arguing that if one should be in balance with
the horse at slow paces, then one should also
be balanced when galloping and jumping.
He taught his pupils to shorten their stirrup leathers, and to adopt a forward raised seat over fences, which placed their weight over the horse's centre of balance, hence aiding the horse as much as possible.
Roughly 50 years after Caprilli's death, the modern jumping saddle evolved - credit for this goes to the Spanish nobleman Count Illias Toptani.
Count Toptani developed the jumping saddle with the stirrup bars placed forward to assist the rider to achieve the forward seat.
Large knee rolls were added under forward cut flaps and panels, and the waist of the saddle was narrowed.
The Dressage Saddle
|The Dressage Saddle has been designed to help the rider adopt the most centrally balanced seat while performing the movements of Dressage.
Pictured above is of the new classicly styled dressage saddle with newly positioned stirrup bars and flexiblocs which secure the rider in the correct sitting position.
Uniquely positioned stirrup bars ensures the rider sits in the correct dressage position. CAIR panel system for better performance and freer movement of horse.
Easy change gullet system allows the saddle to be fitted to suit the horse's changing shape.
Adjustable flexibloc system to provide a more secure position for the rider. Adjustable Y-girthing system secures the front and back of the saddle.
The CAIR panel system will revolutionise the way your horse feels the weight on its back, cushioning the saddle with air to evenly distribute the rider's weight, virtually eliminating pressure points and discomfort.
Replacing flocking, the four air filled sealed panels allow the rider's weight to be evenly distributed over the horse's back.
They fluidly adjust as the horse's muscles move, and are constantly adapting to the changing shape of your horse's back and shoulder.
Easy to use, and maintenance free, the CAIR system, combined with the Easy Change Gullet System provides the most technologically advanced saddle range in the market place today.
The International Eventing Saddle
|A high quality saddle with cut back head, spring tree, knee roll|
|The racing saddle pictured above is leather saddle, 2x 1" girth straps, conventional stirrup bar. Half tree. Approximately 7lb in weight.
One of the main priorities with the racing saddle is its weight as little as 0.2kg (8oz).
Racing saddles have a virtually flat seat, not having been designed for sitting in.
The saddle flaps are cut forward to allow for the extremely short stirrup leathers that jockey's use.
They were originally made using a wooden tree, but are often now made with a fibreglass one which is very light.
How to Put on a Saddle
Always make sure your horse is tied up when putting tacking up.
When picking up the saddle check the stirrup irons are run up the leathers
The girth is attached and folded over the seat of the saddle and you have a numnah or saddlecloth.
When you approach your horse speak to him/her and let him/her see you.
Brush your horse making sure the saddle area is clean and the hairs are lying flat.
Standing by your horse's nearside (left) shoulder place the numnah or saddlecloth above your horse's withers and move it back into position by sliding it with the horse's hair and not against it.
Make sure the numnah or saddlecloth is pulled up into the saddle arch to avoid pressure on the withers.
Go around to the offside and take the girth down from the seat of the saddle and check the numnah or saddlecloth and underflaps are lying flat. Return to the nearside and reach under his belly for the girth.
NB: If you are using a numnah secure it to the saddle by threading the loops through the girth straps and the girth through the loops on each side of the numnah. Fasten the girth gradually and evenly on both near and offside buckles.
By flexing the front legs forward you'll pull out any caught skin from under the girth which could otherwise pinch.
Bridles - Explained
|The main function of the bridle is to hold the bit in the horse's mouth.
Bridles may be made of leather,webbing or synthetic material, and are secured by stitching, buckles and billet hooks.
The most common bridle you will see is the basic snaffle bridle which has one bit and one set of reins.
Whereas double bridles have two bits and two sets of reins which can offer a finer degree of control of the horse, though they do require careful hands.
There are variations on the design which are mostly modifications to the noseband; called flash, drop and grankle nosebands.
They all aim to stop the horse evading the bit by providing extra control of the jaw movement, and to some extent have become a fashion item and are often used where not needed.
Bridle's - Explanation Diagram
|Bridle's are made up of 6 parts
which passes over the horse's head and ears and supports the bit in the mouth. It is cut from the same piece of leather as the...
fastens around the gullet of the horse to prevent the bridle slipping forwards. Must not be fitted too tight or will restrict the horse's throat when he bends his head. In reality plays no useful part except for keeping the bridle on should the rider fall off over the front of the horse still holding the reins.
a loop across the forehead which stops the bridle slipping back. Should not be too tight or loose as this can be a cause of head shaking in horses.
Cheek Pieces - one on each side, attach to the bit and to the headpiece. These are adjustable in length with buckles and are adjusted to hold the bit in the correct position. Many people advocate adjusting the bit until you can see several wrinkles in the horse's lips. We believe this is too much. Just being able to see the bit contacting on the edge of the lips will be much more comfortable for the horse. A bit adjusted too long could bang on the horse's teeth.
not essential for holding the bit in place but can be used to help stop the horse evading the bit.
attach to the bit rings beneath the cheek pieces. They should not be so short that you are caused to lean forward to hold them or too long that there is danger of the excess getting caught up in your feet or the saddle.
|It is VITAL to ensure that your bridle fits correctly, by making sure that it is not too tight and that it won't irritate and rub your pony's/horse's skin
All bridles come in three sizes:
How To Fit A Bridle Correctly
Make sure the throat lash and nose band are undone.
Standing on the near side (left) of your horse along side his neck put the reins over his head and neck.
Put your right hand under your horse's jaw and pass the bridle to your right hand taking hold of the two cheek pieces.
Hold the bit in your left hand and gently press your horse's gum at the gap between his teeth until he opens his mouth. This will allow you to gently pull the bit up over his tongue by lifting the cheek pieces.
Keep the bit in his mouth and using both hands, gently slide the head piece over his ears, one at a time.
Then pull his forelock over the browband. From the front make sure that the bit, noseband and browband are level and make sure that there are not any twists.
Fasten the throatash - there should be a hands width between the throatlash and your horse's jaw.
Fasten the noseband allowing for two fingers width between it and your horse's nose.
There should be room to fit two fingers under the browband of the bridle
When leaving the horse tacked up in its stable it is so important to leave it tied up, to do this it is important to twist the reins together and fasten them through the throatlash, and then placing the headcollar over the bridle and attaching the lead-rope, and tying the lead-rope with the usual safety knot to allow quick release should this be required.
This prevents them from slipping over the horse's head and getting tangled in his legs resulting in broken reins and a panicked and possibly injured horse.
|To release the reins undo the throatlash at the buckle allow the reins to untwist and then refastening the throatlash.
This should be done up with enough room to allow 4 fingers to be slipped between it and the horse's cheek.
Jeffries - Falcon Snaffle Bridle
The hides have been carefully selected and inspected before going through scrupulous hand preparation.
Rounded and sealed edges protect the fibres from the elements and sweat as well as ensuring comfort for the horse.
Stained and sealed the leather has then been buffed an polished for a fine sheen ready for stitching.
Stress points have been double hand-stitched with hand waxed thread the accuracy and quality of stitching is second to none.
The reverse is also coloured to match the top surface.
Plain 5/8" Browband
Plain 1" Noseband
5/8" Cheek pieces
Complete with matching rubber grip reins