Stuff to make life easier
As the nights start to draw out (for those of us in the run-up to spring, anyway) many of us are thinking about bringing horses back into work, starting youngsters and planning the year ahead. This period of being so close and yet so far from being able to go for lovely long evening rides is the ideal time to give your tack a really good check over.
I have used mine on and off over the winter but not very consistently so I start off with giving it a really good strip clean and oil, taking the time to check for mould, dodgy stitching and general wear and tear.
Having a youngster and a veteran I’m amazed at how much they’ve changed shape over the last few weeks. We all know how important a well-fitting saddle is to your and your horse’s comfort, safety, performance, health and well-being. A video tutorial can obviously never replace the experience of a qualified saddle fitter but it can give you an idea of what to look out for if your horse has changed shape over the winter.
I came across the “Saddle Fitting in 9 Steps” series of videos the other day and found it to be clearly explained and well-illustrated. Often when people discuss saddle fitting it sounds like something of a dark art that only saddle fitters could understand. Other times it’s over-simplified to the point of “stand in your stirrups and lean forward with your fingers under the pommel – if it doesn’t pinch them it’s fine” (it may well not be!) The presenter not only shows you what to check and how but also illustrates the difference between well- and poorly-fitting saddles in each of these areas. The playlist starts with How to Tell if Your Saddle Hurts Your Horses and then moves on to the 9 steps.