Wondering how saddling a horse western style goes? Well, we’ve helped break it down into 10 easy steps!
Before we get into it, make sure you read about the different Horse Riding Styles out there. This will give you a clearer understanding of where Western riding originated from, and its tack features functionalities.
Step 1: Groom Your Horse
First things first, groom them horses! This is so important, and often people will look past this step or find it to be less important than others. When in fact there is a multitude of benefits in grooming your horse. Have a read on all the reasons why in our Horse Grooming write-up.
Remember, this is your moment to bond before your ride.
Step 2: Place Your Saddle Pad
When were placing our saddle blanket on our horse’s back we want to make sure we give it a good shake. We also want the pretty side up and the open side back. Meaning, if we’re folding our blanket over the horse’s back we want the meeting sides of the blanket to face the rear. The reason we do this is so that when the wind blows on it, it doesn’t flip up.
We also want to make sure we align it above their shoulders, and that it is even on both sides of the horse.
Comfort is key in having a good ride.
Step 3: Place The Saddle
The next step in saddling a horse western style is placing the saddle on top of the saddle pad. Approach the horse from it’s left side, and swing the saddle up onto its back. Ensure the saddle has the girth already buckled on the right side prior to placing.
Move it gently around and find the perfect placement, make sure it is square to the pad.
Note, a Western saddle is heavy. Be mindful of how you place it on your horses back.
Step 4: Tighten the Tie Strap & Girth
We’ve included a video for a better visual of this step of the process.
Remember, its very similar to tying a tie!
Tip, Before mounting, check your cinch and tighten or loosen the latigo a hole or two if necessary.
Step 5: Bridle Up
Leave the bridling for the last step while saddling a horse western style. Keeping the same routine when tacking up is important, horses will remember. Therefore, it will get easier in time, and more enjoyable for both you and your horse.
First, place the reins over the horse’s head. Then, guide the horse’s muzzle between the nose. Gently hold the bit before you help it into your horse’s mouth.
Move the headstall up the horse’s head and place the horse’s ears in the gap between the crown piece and the browband. Then secure the throat latch, making sure there is a fist of space between the latch and his neck.
Remember to hold your horse’s bit in your hand prior. A cold bit is cruel, also do the right research on bits. Use a gentler, kinder bit. It is important to learn to ride with legs, voice, and gentle hands.
Ensuring all the right steps are in place before a ride is crucial, however anything can happen regardless of how careful you are.
If tack breaks, or something becomes undone just ask your horse to halt, and fix the issue. This will ensure the safety of both you and the horse. Feeling safe and secure is all apart of enjoying the ride!
What I like to keep in mind before any ride is a positive attitude, light hand, and open mind.
Hope you enjoyed this step-by-step of saddling a horse western style! I would love to hear your feedback, drop a comment below!