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Knife Edge Stainless Steel Stirrup

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WearResistant Arrow Saddle Pad

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Frequently Asked Questions Tack

Last Updated on 09.06.2024
Our horse tack shop offers a wide range of horse tack for sale, including saddles, bridles, reins, bits, girths, and more. We provide high-quality tack for all riding disciplines and levels.
Our team at the horse tack store does their best to provide detailed size guides and fitting instructions for all tack items. Additionally, our expert staff is available to assist you with any questions to ensure a perfect fit for your horse.

Step-by-Step Guide to Measuring Your Horse for a Saddle


1. Determine the Type of Saddle
Before you start measuring, decide on the type of saddle you need (e.g., dressage, jumping, all-purpose). Different types of saddles have different requirements for fit.

2. Gather Your Tools
You will need: A flexible measuring tape or a piece of string and a ruler A helper (optional but can be useful) A saddle fitting template (optional, available from some saddle makers)

3. Measuring the Withers The withers are a critical area to measure because they help determine the saddle's width and shape.
Locate the Withers: Stand your horse on level ground. The withers are the highest part of the back, located between the shoulder blades.
Use the Measuring Tape: Place the tape or string at the base of the withers and wrap it around to the other side, creating a "V" shape.
Measure the Gullet: Note the distance across the withers. This measurement helps determine the gullet size (the space under the saddle that sits over the spine).

4. Back Length Measurement The length of the saddle should match the horse's back length to avoid pressure points and discomfort. Find the Last Rib: Locate the last rib on your horse and follow it up to the spine. This marks the end of the weight-bearing area. Measure the Saddle Area: Measure from the withers (just behind the shoulder blade) to the point where the last rib meets the spine. This gives you the maximum length your saddle can be.

5. Shoulder Measurement
The saddle should not impede the movement of your horse's shoulders. Identify the Shoulder Blade: Find the edge of the shoulder blade.
Measure the Shoulder Angle: Measure the angle of the shoulder blade by placing the tape or string along the blade from the base of the withers to the point of the shoulder. This helps in selecting a saddle with the right tree shape.

6. Consider the Horse's Shape and Muscle Development
The shape and muscle development of your horse's back influence the fit. Assess the Back Shape: Determine if your horse has a straight, curved, or sway back. Saddles are designed differently to accommodate these variations. Evaluate Muscle Tone: Check if your horse has well-developed muscles or if there are areas that lack muscle (atrophy). This will affect how the saddle sits on the back.

7. Test Fit with a Template (Optional)
Many saddle manufacturers provide templates that you can use to check fit before purchasing.
Print and Cut Out the Template: Follow the instructions to create a cardboard or plastic template. Place the Template on Your Horse: Place it over the withers and along the back to see how well it conforms to your horse's shape.

8. Trying the Saddle
Once you have a saddle, you should try it on your horse.
Place the Saddle: Set the saddle gently on your horse's back without a saddle pad. Ensure it sits level and doesn't tilt forward or backward.
Check Clearance: Ensure there is at least 2-3 fingers? width clearance between the withers and the saddle's gullet.
Secure the Girth: Tighten the girth and observe the fit. The saddle should not pinch or cause discomfort.
Check Movement: Lead your horse around to see if the saddle stays in place and doesn't restrict movement.

9. Consult a Professional
If you're unsure about any measurements or the fit, consult a professional saddle fitter. They can provide expert advice and make adjustments if necessary.
By following these steps, you can measure your horse for a saddle that ensures comfort, performance, and safety for both you and your horse.

General Tips


Regular Cleaning: Clean your tack regularly to prevent dirt, sweat, and grime from causing damage. Aim for a thorough cleaning after every ride or at least weekly.
Inspect Frequently: Regularly inspect all pieces of tack for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, loose stitching, and worn-out areas. Address any issues promptly to avoid accidents.

Cleaning Leather Tack


Daily Cleaning
Remove Surface Dirt: Use a soft brush or cloth to remove loose dirt and debris.
Wipe Down: Dampen a sponge or cloth with warm water and gently wipe down the leather to remove sweat and dirt.
Deep Cleaning (Weekly or After Heavy Use)
Disassemble Tack: Take apart your bridle, reins, and other tack to ensure all parts are thoroughly cleaned.
Use Leather Cleaner: Apply a quality leather cleaner or saddle soap with a damp sponge. Work it into a lather and scrub all surfaces, paying special attention to areas with sweat and dirt buildup.
Rinse: Use a clean, damp sponge to wipe away the soap residue.
Dry: Allow the leather to dry naturally away from direct heat or sunlight, which can cause cracking.
Conditioning
Apply Leather Conditioner: Once the leather is dry, apply a leather conditioner to keep it supple and prevent drying out. Use a soft cloth to work the conditioner into the leather, following the product instructions.
Polish: Buff the leather with a clean cloth to give it a nice shine and finish.

Cleaning Synthetic Tack


Remove Dirt: Brush off loose dirt and debris with a soft brush.
Wash: Clean synthetic tack with mild soap and water. Use a sponge to scrub and remove grime. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse off all soap residues with clean water. Dry: Allow the tack to air dry completely before storing it. Synthetic materials generally dry faster than leather.

Cleaning Metal Parts (Bits, Buckles, Stirrups)


Rinse Immediately: Rinse metal parts with water after each use to remove saliva and debris. Scrub: Use a brush and soapy water to scrub bits and metal parts. For stubborn grime, a bit of baking soda paste can help. Polish: Dry thoroughly and use a metal polish to keep the metal parts shiny and free from rust.

Storage Tips


Cool, Dry Place: Store tack in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and mildew. Avoid damp areas. Use Covers: Use saddle covers and bridle bags to protect your tack from dust and sunlight. Hang Properly: Hang bridles and saddles on appropriate racks or hooks to maintain their shape.

Regular Checks and Maintenance


Check Stitching: Regularly check the stitching on all parts of the tack and have any loose or broken stitches repaired by a professional. Inspect for Wear: Look for signs of wear and replace worn-out parts, such as girths, stirrup leathers, and reins. Reconditioning: Periodically recondition leather items that are heavily used to ensure they remain soft and flexible.

Additional Tips

Use Protective Gear: When storing and transporting tack, use protective gear to prevent scratches and damage. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Do not use harsh chemicals or detergents on leather or synthetic tack, as they can cause damage. Prevent Mold: In humid climates, use dehumidifiers or silica gel packets in your tack room to prevent mold growth on leather. By following these care and maintenance guidelines, you can extend the life of your horse tack, ensuring it remains safe, comfortable, and in good working condition for many years.
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