Introduction: Saddling Western
6)Saddlepad or Blanket
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Step 1: First Step
1) Get a Blanket or Saddlepad (Make sure the saddlepad fits the horse.)
Tip- Place the saddlepad or blanket on top of the withers so the horse won't get saddle sore.
Step 2: Second Step
2) From the left side of the horse, carefully put the saddlepad or blanket on the horses back.
Tip-Make sure there are no wrinkles in the saddlepad.
Step 3: Third Step
3) Get the saddle, and from the LEFT side of the horse, throw the saddle over the horses back and make sure the stirups aren't caught under the saddle.
Tip-Don't slam the saddle on the horse's back. Place it carefully in order to not hurt the horse.
Step 4: Forth Step
4) From the left side, grab the girth from under the horses stomach and slip the leather latigo (a part of the saddle) into the rigging ring (a part of the girth) and pull the latigo up.
Tip-You want the girth to be snug, but not too tight causing the horse to be uncomfortable.
Step 5: Fifth Step
5) Tie the rigging ring into a typical cinch knot, tighten again before you mount the horse.
Tip-Have an adult or friend check your girth to ensure safety before you ride.
Step 6: Sixth Step
6) After you have tightened the girth, it is time to put the bridal and reins on the horse. Position yourself next to the horse's shoulder on the near (left) side, hold the bridal and reins in your left hand. Slide the reins over the horses head, (make sure there are no knots or twists in the reins).
Step 7: Seventh Step
7) Next, pass the bridle under the horse's chin to rest on its nose.
Step 8: Eighth Step
8) Lay the reins across the horse's neck and put the bit mouthpiece in your left hand. Open the mouth by working your thumb into the corner of the mouth until he opens it.
Tip-A horse may not accept the bit if it is very cold so try warming the bit in your hands first to make the bit more welcoming.
Step 9: Ninth Step
9) Place the headstall over the ears, gently pushing the ears into the ear loops and pulling away any forelock. (If the forelock gets tangled in the bridal it won't be comfortable for your horse)
Tip-This may be difficult if you're short, so make sure you have a stool nearby.
Step 10: Tenth Step
10) After putting both ears in the headstall, you need to secure the throat latch. You should be able to fit your fist through the throat latch. If you can't, that means the throat latch is to tight.
Step 11: Ready to Mount
11) Once you are finished saddling the horse, you are ready to mount.
Tip-If your horse gets frightened easily, have someone hold the horse's reins while you mount.