The Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle is a heavy testament to the excellent craftsmanship while being light on the wallet. From the stunning designs on the outside to the advanced technology put into it, this is a saddle that will please any rider.
Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle Technology Meets Comfort
This is a saddle that’s equipped with the latest and greatest advancements in saddle technology while remaining a lightweight and durable option for riders. For example, the leather itself has been treated so it already feels broken in, and the seat is made up of a special foam to provide a soft cushion for riding those long distances.
Endurance riders will love this saddle given not only its light weight but the short skirt length will fit most Arabians. The Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle also comes with the ErgoBalance Stirrups, which make rides easier on the knees and ankles. The popular Flex2 tree has a proven track record of giving the rider balance and stability while being easy on the horse.
But now focus on the exterior of the saddle. Having already touched on the soft leather, look at the fine details. The hand tooled camo border pairs nicely with the hardware that alternates between copper and nickel spots. And it comes in brown or black seats!
Small Business With a Big Market
Circle Y has a big reputation, and it started in a small town in Texas in the 1960s. Since their first orders of Leland Tucker’s saddles, they haven’t forgotten their roots. Every saddle is made in the same small town where it all started, Yoakum, Texas.
Every time you buy a Circle Y saddle, you’re really supporting a small business. But their saddles, like the Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle, speak for themselves of the employees’ craftsmanship and pride in their work.
Customers have a high regard for Circle Y saddles. They’re well known amongst Endurance and trail riders, especially for those with Arabians as they’re built for short back horses.
Specs: Tooling: 1/2 Spider with Camo Border Hand Tooled Skirt: 15″ D x 26.5″ L Rigging: 3-Way Adjustable In-Skirt
Compared to similar saddles out there, the Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle is lighter (coming in at around 30 pounds), flashier (loving those details and the bits of bling), and cheaper (only on the wallet and never on the quality).
Given the fact that this saddle’s price tag isn’t big, this could easily be a starter saddle for the show ring. It’s suitable for multiple sizes of horses and riders since it comes in so many seat and tree sizes.
Versatility is a rider’s friend, especially if you have multiple horses, and this saddle has many options to choose from to make sure both you and your horse are comfortable for those long trail rides.
My Final Word
The Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle is as good a deal as you’re going to find. With everything else in the world getting more expensive, this price tag makes buying this saddle an easy decision. Would you like to read more trail saddle reviews? Please read my “Circle Y Flex2 Trail Saddle Review”.
What’s the best food for horses with ulcers? You may be surprised to learn that feeding a horse with ulcers is more a matter of common sense than anything else. What might surprise you even more, or maybe even shock you, is how many horses are estimated to have ulcers.
Once you know the odds of your horse having (or developing) ulcers, you can determine if you need to have your veterinarian confirm the condition. If your horse does have ulcers, this article will help you learn about them and understand how to feed your horse to help him regain his health.
What Are Ulcers?
EGUS or Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome is associated with ulcers in horses. Ulcers are sores that develop in the stomach lining. The lesions are typically in the gastric, esophageal, or duodenal mucosa.
Horses that have ulcers constantly secrete gastric acids. It doesn’t matter if food is present in the stomach or not.
Types Of Ulcers
There are four kinds of ulcers that horses get:
1. Equine Squamous Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, these affect the upper third of the stomach 2. Equine Glandular Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, these affect the lower stomach 3. Hindgut Ulcers 4. Oral Ulcers
Does My Horse Have Ulcers?
Not all horses with ulcers show clinical signs. It’s estimated that 30% to 50% of all foals have ulcers, and in foals with clinical symptoms, more than 50% of them have ulcers.
In symptomatic horses more than 2 years old, 90% have ulcers. And roughly 50% of non-symptomatic adult horses have ulcers. At some point in their life, more than 90% of all horses will develop ulcers.
Many horses (60% – 90%) under heavy performance demands, like racing horses, competition horses, and endurance horses, develop ulcers.
⦁ Loss of appetite ⦁ Difficulty or refusal to eat and drink ⦁ Weight loss ⦁ Poor body condition ⦁ Abdominal discomfort when grooming or girthing ⦁ Attitude changes ⦁ Poor hair coat ⦁ Low performance ⦁ Reluctant to train ⦁ Mild Colic ⦁ Chronic diarrhea
Contributors To Ulcers
⦁ Diets heavy on grain. The majority should be roughage. ⦁ Frequent use of NSAIDS ⦁ Too much time in a stall ⦁ Too little fresh grass ⦁ Heavy performance demands ⦁ Frequent trailering ⦁ Stress in general
Diagnosis has to be done by a veterinarian. It’s necessary to perform a gastroscopy to determine the presence of ulcers and the severity of the lesions. The horse will need to fast for about 12 hours before the gastroscopy. Water should be withheld (in most cases) 4 hours before the procedure.
Riding A Horse With Ulcers
Is it okay to ride a horse with ulcers? Probably. Unless your horse has been sick for a long time and is weak, it should be okay to ride him.
But, cut down on the intensity of your riding activities. When a horse is worked hard, stomach acids slosh around and can irritate lesions in the stomach lining. You want your horse to heal, so keep your riding to an easy level and don’t stress your horse.
Best Food For Horses with Ulcers Tip#1 – Prevent Ulcers
It’s better to prevent ulcers than to deal with them. Some steps for prevention are: ⦁ Feed a small (preferably alfalfa) portion of roughage a half hour before riding ⦁ Use slow feeder nets ⦁ Avoid using NSAIDS whenever possible ⦁ Reduce the use of grains (doesn’t apply to extruded, pelleted, or complete)
⦁ Horses need to eat 12 hours out of the day. This does not mean to give grain to your horse every hour for 12 hours. That could be fatal. Horses need grass at liberty and hay with small supplements of alfalfa. Note that too much alfalfa will make a horse very energetic if he’s not exercised enough to burn off the excess energy. This is due to the high amount of calories in alfalfa. ⦁ The best diet for ulcer prone horses is high in fiber and low in starch. ⦁ Focus on feeding small amounts often. ⦁ Keep a regular feeding schedule. ⦁ Introduce food changes gradually. ⦁ Prolong foraging time.
Best Food For Horses with Ulcers Tip#2 – Feeding Right
You don’t need to buy specialty feeds or add supplements to help your horse recover from ulcers. You may simply need to change the way you feed your horse and make a few changes in the balances of the feeds to help your horse’s gut heal.
In nature, when undisturbed by human beings, everything works as it should. A horse doesn’t develop ulcers when he roams at liberty. Mustangs on the range don’t develop ulcers.
It’s when horses are stalled and fed large amounts of grain, maybe twice a day, add the stress of training or performing, and problems start cropping up.
Despite the lifestyle of a domesticated horse, you can keep your horse healthy by knowing how to feed him in the best manner.
Best Food For Horses with Ulcers Tip#3 – What To Feed Horses with Ulcers
⦁ Make sure to give enough water. ⦁ Add caloric energy with fats. ⦁ Alfalfa is a better acid buffer than other sources of roughage because of its protein and calcium content. (Don’t replace hay with alfalfa, supplement hay with alfalfa.) ⦁ Turnout on green grass. ⦁ Increase protein intake. ⦁ Protein rich sources
⦁ Spirulina: 52% ⦁ Soybean meal: 44-48% ⦁ Canola meal: 36-41% ⦁ Ground flax: 26% ⦁ If grain is fed, it should be in small, frequent amounts. Limit grain intake. ⦁ Hay and forage should be fed at 1 to 2% of horse’s body weight per day.
Best Food For Horses with Ulcers – My Conclusion
It isn’t that difficult to get your horse back on track and healing from ulcers. You don’t need to buy expensive supplements. You just need to know what feeds to provide for your horse and how much to give.
Many issues with ulcers are grain related when horses don’t have adequate turnout time on grass. Unfortunately, most horses will develop an issue with ulcers at some time in their life.
If you know what symptoms to look for, and how to feed your horse, the ulcers will heal in a few months. If your horse is healthy, but you aren’t feeding him in a way to prevent ulcers, gradually change the way you feed him.
Small frequent meals and adequate turnout on fresh grass are keys to getting and keeping your horse’s gut healthy. Was this post helpful? Want to learn more about horse health? I would encourage you to read my post “Horse Hoof Abscess Treatment”.
Horse hoof abscess treatment is something every horse owner should be adept in – even if their horse, thus far, has never developed one. Why? Because most probably, at some point your horse will develop an abscess.
You should always have the necessary supplies on hand to treat an abscess.
Because abscesses develop quickly and look serious, you may be shocked at the physical symptoms. The pain of an abscess will make your horse limp. You may even think he has a broken leg.
This article will help you understand what a hoof abscess is, how to treat it, and how to keep an abscess from developing again. With proper care, your horse will be back under the saddle in no time.
What Is A Horse Hoof Abscess?
A hoof abscess is a localized bacterial infection in the hoof. It happens when bacteria gets trapped between the laminae, which is the tissue bonding the hoof capsule to the coffin bone, and the hoof wall or sole.
Often times, changes in moisture in the soil or environment are the trigger point for an abscess.
The white line along the surface of the hoof wall opens and closes and the periople (the wax-like hoof coating) can become compromised. When that happens, the hoof wall can crack and split, allowing bacteria to invade more sensitive parts of the hoof.
When Does a Horse Hoof Abscess Develop?
It usually takes several days to develop, and most horses only show signs of being lame when the pressure inside the hoof starts causing pain.
There’s an accumulation of puss, often accompanied by gas and inflammation. Because a hoof can’t expand to accommodate the inflammation, it can be quite painful. The pain levels can be severe enough that your horse will need medication for relief.
Additional Symptoms Of A Hoof Abscess
It’s possible that there will be no symptoms and you won’t know your horse has an abscess until it blows out.
Blowing out is when the puss seeks the path of least resistance to relieve the pressure, which is up the hoof wall. Usually it will break out at the coronary band. But it can break out through the bulbs of the heel too.
A horse with an abscess can have the following 6 symptoms:
1) Limping 2) Swelling in the lower leg (heel bulbs, coronary band, pastern). This is when the infection is actually moving up the leg. 3) Horse attempts to walk only on the front of his hoof (like walking on one’s toe) 4) Heat in the exterior hoof wall 5) Increased arterial pulse in the hoof 6) A drain track (where puss has drained after blowing out)
Find The Source of Pain
It can be more difficult to tell if your horse has an abscess or some other problem if it’s in a hind hoof and your horse is showing lameness. You’ll need to determine if the problem is in the hoof or if it’s higher in the leg. That’s because an injury to the hip or stifle will cause the same type of lameness as an abscess as far as appearance goes.
If your horse is showing lameness in a front leg, you can usually tell the problem is in the hoof if the horse is willing to flex the fetlock joint, knee, elbow, and shoulder. If he isn’t willing to flex those, the injury is more likely to be something other than an abscess.
One way to learn if it’s in the hoof is with a pair of hoof testers. Everyone who has a horse should own a pair. They’re inexpensive and easy to use. Your farrier or veterinarian can show you how to use them to find sensitive or painful places in your horse’s hooves.
If your horse has an abscess in a rear hoof, you may have to use the hoof tester to find it in the foot. You may be able to see a black line on the bottom of the foot once you clean out any debris in the hoof. The black line (it isn’t a thin line…if it’s there, it’s probably fairly obvious) is the location of the abscess. But if the abscess is higher in the hoof, the black line may not be there.
Common Causes Hoof Abscesses
Some common causes of an abscess are:
A foreign item lodged in the foot Going from shod to barefoot Shoe nails too close to the laminae Shoeing difficulties Contracted heels Bruising reaction Laminitis Navicular disease Nail, screw, glass, or other object lodged in the foot (never pull these out) Poor quality hooves Poor hoof care Wet weather Wet, dirty stall Hot, dry weather
Drastic change in weather…going from very wet to very dry and the reverse (very dry to very wet).
How to Treat an Abscess
Even if you know how, and plan to treat the abscess yourself, you should have your veterinarian examine your horse. If the horse is shod, the shoe will have to be pulled. Treatment is to drain the abscess, dry it out, let it heal, and prevent further infection.
Horse Hoof Abscess Treatment Tip #1 Cleaning The Abscess
Make sure no rocks, glass, nails, or wood chips are stuck in the frog or sulcus. Check the heel bulbs and sole too. If you do find a nail, screw, or some other object pierced into the foot. Do Not Pull It Out. Call your veterinarian.
Your vet will need to know how far the object penetrated and if there is any damage deeper inside the hoof.
You’ll need to wrap the foot in cotton then use VetRap or Duct Tape to wrap around the cotton to protect the foot until your veterinarian can get there to examine it. You may need radiographs to see the extent of any damage. Call your veterinarian immediately.
Horse Hoof Abscess Treatment Tip #2 Soak Your Horse’s Foot
There are some commercial products you can use to soak your horse’s foot. Or you can make a solution of Betadine, Epsom salts, and warm water. This is your next step if cleaning debris out of your horse’s foot didn’t help. Soak the foot for 15 to 30 minutes then pack the foot with a poultice, an osmotic paste, or ichthammol.
Horse Hoof Abscess Treatment Tip #3 Drain The Puss to Relieve Pressure
To treat an abscess, the puss has to be drained to relieve the pressure. If the black line (the area of infection) can be found, it may be possible to create a small hole in the sole or white line area to allow the puss to escape.
Many times when the hole is made, the puss, which will look black or brown tinted (and will smell nasty) will ooze out of the hoof.
Sometimes, the horse will need pain medication or local nerve blockers before the hole can be made. Normally, once the infection is drained, your horse will have immediate pain relief.
Horse Hoof Abscess Treatment Tip #4 Bandage Correctly
Once a hole is made, you must keep the hoof clean, packed (your vet will use an antiseptic bandage to keep the puss draining), and wrapped. Note, the bandages have to be changed daily.
And it will take from several days to a week in most cases for the lameness to disappear. You must keep the hoof bandaged until then. If the infection is deep inside the hoof, it will take longer for the infection to heal.
Your veterinarian can show you how to pack and wrap the hoof to keep it dry. You can even use a diaper over the hoof if necessary. There are hoof boots made for keeping a hoof clean and dry that you can purchase and have on hand for situations like this.
You will need to keep the horse in a clean, well-bedded stall or turned out in a small pen (turnout is the better option). Change the bandage every day until the draining has stopped and the hole stays dry and the lameness is gone.
With a mild infection, the horse can usually return to working in less than a week. When the infection is deep, healing can take several weeks. It’s important to note that if a deep infection isn’t treated, it can lead to laminitis.
Horse Hoof Abscess Treatment Tip #5 Call Your Veterinarian If These Issues Occur
Drainage hasn’t stopped after 48 hours Your horse shifts his weight frequently Rests his good leg Lies down more than usual Doesn’t want to eat Tissue grows from the drain hole Needs pain medication for more than 2 days
How to Prevent Abscesses
It’s better to prevent an abscess than to treat one. These common sense measures can help keep your horse’s feet fit in tip top shape year round.
Maintain a regular farrier schedule. This is a key component to preventing abscesses. Without hoof care, the hoof wall will split, open up the white line and allow infection to move up into soft tissue structures.
Use hoof dressing if your horse doesn’t have good hooves or periople (the waxy outer layer of the hoof). Products containing natural resins like pine tar and turpentine are the best options. Avoid petroleum products as they often aren’t as good as natural resins, and can be drying and a bit more irritating.
Avoid extremes of wet or dry conditions as both are damaging.
Wet conditions are damaging to the periople and will pull it away. Dry conditions make the hoof crack and open up the white line. Keep in mind that bedding stalls with dry shavings can be very drying to hooves.
Keep an eye out for objects in your horse’s turnout area that could cause problems if stepped on. Remove rocks that surface and anything else you find that shouldn’t be there. Consider shoeing a barefoot horse that doesn’t have good hooves.
Keeping the hoof shaped and off the ground can help avoid problems.
Most horses will have one or more abscesses throughout their life. But knowing how to recognize and treat them will go a long way toward keeping your horse sound and pain free. Taking reasonable precautions in stabling and hoof care will ward off a lot of hoof trouble and that should be your aim.
Even if your horse does develop an abscess, when you know how to manage the situation, your horse will be ready to go back to work in short order. One last tip… horses often buck when they’re in pain.
Something people rarely prepare for, but should know before jumping in a saddle, is how to stop a horse from bucking. A bucking horse is a headache, no matter where you are. Speaking from an evolution standpoint, a buck was developed by horses to ward off predators. Since horses can’t see directly behind them, the buck is the only tool in their arsenal that’s a true weapon.
Why Horses Buck
When a rider is in a horse’s saddle, it’s generally agreed that bucking is an avoidance behavior. In this post I’ll give you tips on how to stop a horse from bucking.
Bucking is considered natural for a horse to buck when they’re playing in the pasture. However, it isn’t recommended due to injury risks. Because of this, bucking is a no-no in 99% of instances. But adding a human to the equation is a giant red flag that should be addressed.
How to Stop a Horse From Bucking Tip# 1 – Look For Cues While In The Saddle
When you’re in the saddle, you need to look for cues that your horse will give off before the buck comes. They can’t just let a buck loose without exhibiting some body changes.
The easiest way to know a buck is coming is the horse’s head lowering. They have to throw their head forward and down so their weight will be shifted off the hindquarters. If you feel this, pull your horse’s reins to alternate pressure from one side to the next. This engages the horse’s head so they can’t drop it to buck.
How to Stop a Horse From Bucking Tip# 2 – Pull Your Reins Tight to One Side
But the best-laid plans don’t guarantee success. Your horse may begin to buck and not stop.
If that happens, the best and easiest way to correct your horse is to pull your reins tight to one side or another. Make your horse’s nose touch your leg. No horse can buck in this position, and instead, it’ll force your horse to turn a tight circle.
Hold the horse like this until they stop moving altogether. This will also assert your dominance in the herd and let your horse know that bucking isn’t acceptable and it isn’t going to get rid of you.
Now, because you want to make sure they understand you mean business and that they aren’t going to get a vacation for their behavior, back your horse up a few paces. Once they do as you ask, move them forward again and resume your ride.
How to Stop a Horse From Bucking Tip# 3 – Know Your Horse’s Personality
A bucking horse usually has a reason to make a buck necessary. Sometimes, horses buck to regain their balance. Often, horses will buck when they’re learning lead changes. That’s because cantering and loping are the easiest gaits to buck from.
Make sure your horse is healthy and examine the cues he or she is giving before you ask for the lead change again. This is where it helps to have a trainer or friend watch to see if the horse is off.
If nothing is wrong, the horse needs to be corrected and ridden consistently. You may have to start over to re-teach your horse the cues and what’s expected. Training a horse is not for the impatient.
Consider Poor Saddle Fit
Knowing your horse’s personality and physique will help treat his or her bucking best. A horse that continues to buck no matter what you do needs to be evaluated.
Does your tack fit correctly? Are you communicating your cues correctly? Is there an underlying health issue that a vet, a chiropractor, or a farrier needs to look at? These are all questions that should be answered. Oftentimes, a horse is trying to tell you something in the best way they know.
If you’ve exhausted all those efforts, your horse may be one that you just have to watch out for when you’re riding. Sometimes, those horses will calm down with consistent correction and work.
However long it takes, though, you shouldn’t lose your temper, and you want to be firm but fair in your corrections.
Was this post helpful? Your saddle could be part of the problem when trying learn how to stop a horse from bucking. Read my Horse Saddle Shop Review and see if your saddle may be the problem.
Beginner barrel racing tips can help you get started if you’ve been wanting to jump into one of the most exciting equine sports you could undertake. This rodeo event has been around for many years, and what was once a women’s only activity, is now open to anyone who wants to pursue it.
But you can’t just go saddle up and put your horse to the barrels.
Of course you can learn on any willing horse, but not just any horse will be successful if you want to compete professionally. However, before you worry about that, you have to learn, and odds are, the horse you have now will be acceptable to learn on. Even if the horse will have to learn along with you.
This article will go through some tips to help you get on your way to the adventure and fun of barrel racing.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #1 – Set Up Right
Before you can ride the barrel pattern, you need to take care of a couple things right up front. When you have an inexperienced horse that’s learning with you, make sure you have at least 15 feet, preferably more, of clear space between the barrel and any fencing.
An untrained horse can often go way past the barrel. You don’t want to run into a fence.
Always remember, a green rider on a green horse, can end in disaster. (Green usually refers to a horse that hasn’t much training and a rider who is new to riding. But in this case, I’m referring to a rider who may have a lot of riding experience but be completely new to barrel racing.
And the same for a horse. A horse may be very well-mannered and used to working, but be completely new to barrel racing.)
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #2 – Health Matters
Educate yourself on horse health.
You’ll need to be able to discern if your horse is sore, stiff, or his mental game is off. A horse that doesn’t feel good, for whatever reason, will not perform well. And you’ll want to be able to work with your horse’s health providers and know for certain your horse is getting what he needs.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #3 – Protect Your Head
Wear a helmet. No excuses. You’re learning. Don’t take a chance on an injury that could be devastating.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #4 – The Right Equipment
You’ll want to get proper leg protection for your horse as well. Outfit your horse with splint boots and bell boots, front and back. These will protect your horse from any interference and anything they may hit.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #5 – Take it Slow
Start learning the pattern. You should walk your horse through the pattern until it’s familiar to you, then begin trotting, and finally cantering the clover leaf. Get comfortable with this phase before you move forward.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #6 – Learn the Game
Thoroughly learn the sport and the rules. You can’t compete if you don’t know the game. You don’t want to have to guess about anything. Know your sport.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #7 – Get a Trainer
If you really want to barrel race, find a trainer who has done well at it. A good trainer can teach you things they’ve learned from experience. Their help will be invaluable.
If you’re serious and planning to eventually go pro. You can’t skip this. You need someone to teach you. Even if you just want to compete locally, you still need the guidance of someone who knows the sport inside and out.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #8 – Avoid Over Training
Don’t rush and don’t over train your horse. Over training poses the risk of souring your horse on barrel racing. Don’t make every session about training. Go for a hack through the woods and give your horse a break.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #9 – Work Together
You and your horse need to be in tune with each other. If he doesn’t listen to you at home, he won’t listen at an event.
You and your horse are partners. You want a horse that will help and not hinder your learning. Do your best to keep your horse motivated and happy.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #10 – Visit an Event
If your horse isn’t used to noise and a showground atmosphere, take him to some local events but don’t compete. Just let him get accustomed to the sounds, smells, and activity. You don’t want to compete the first time on a horse that’s never been exposed to so much stimulation.
Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #11 – Money Matters
Know where this sport is going. If you find you love it and want to pursue it, be aware this is a big dollar activity. While it’s possible to buy a horse that isn’t trained and bring that horse up to pro level, you will need to put in a lot of work.
If you’re going to buy a horse that’s proven to have some ability, you’ll be looking at a price of $20,000 to $30,000. If you’re looking for a horse that comes from a proven line of winners or has a winning record, you’re going to be looking at $50,000 and up, just for the horse.
There are many other expenses, such as travel, lodging, entry fees, and assorted smaller expenses.
Pro barrel racing can be very rewarding, both in satisfaction for a job well done, monetarily, and in recognition in the equine world. But it won’t come cheap.
My Beginner Barrel Racing Tips Conclusion
Barrel racing is a sport with many fans, both riders and spectators. And why not? There’s excitement, thrills, and big money. It’s a partnership and teamwork with your horse. And once you get the barrel racing bug, there’s no cure.
So if you’re going to pursue this sport, you have a lot of company. Follow these tips, learn all you can, and go for it.
There are many rewards in working with a horse in the pursuit of something you both enjoy. And barrel racing may just be the perfect thing to cement your partnership through trust, teamwork, and competition.
How to calm horses is a commonly Googled term for anyone dealing with an energized equine. Horses are anxious creatures by nature; they’re not at the top of the food chain, and they can’t see directly behind them. There are natural remedies to calm a horse, and there are some that are anxious enough to need medication. It’s all about figuring out the root cause and tackling it.
How to Calm Horses – Natural Tips to Calm a Horse
Like with humans, a horse’s nerves can get the best of him or her. This is especially true when new things are introduced. It goes into overdrive when the horse is introduced to new surroundings, like at shows or off-property trail rides. It’s okay for a horse to be inquisitive and even a little anxious. However, it becomes a problem when safety is jeopardized.
Try talking in a low, calming voice to your horse. Let him or her know that you’re there to help and keep them safe. It can be good for both of you since horses can sense what you’re feeling too. Take deep breaths and try to relax a bit. Make your movements slower so as not to startle your horse into the natural fight or flight instinct.
Remember that it’s often due to new things that a horse acts up. Let him or her investigate the offending object. Overall, the goal is to not make a big deal of it. This will calm your horse immediately until you can figure out what’s going on.
How to Calm Horses – When to Seek Medication
Many horse owners need to feel confident they can depend on their horse in new environments, like shows, hauling, or sales. Because of this, they modify their horse’s behavior using medication. Much like anti-anxiety medication in humans, these work by altering the way certain chemicals are processed in the brain.
There’s a catch, though. Sometimes these medications can’t be used in competitions. You have to be aware of what’s on the banned substance list of your sport’s governing agency.
Sometimes, you need your horse to focus rather than be fidgety. This is especially true for show horses. Rather than focusing on the activity happening outside the show ring, the horse needs to have its attention on the rider’s cues. For this problem, riders have discovered Ramisol, a chemical that decreases cortisol levels.
Cortisol is released by the horse’s brain when exercising. High levels of cortisol can lead to fatigue, mood changes, and depression. This one is safe to use in most sports, too.
Another safe to use supplement, this one is pretty simple. You just put it in your horse’s feed. It even comes with instructions on doses and how often to use it. It’s also an FEI clean sport guaranteed substance. Because of this, it’s a favorite among equestrians.
The way it works is that the calming chemicals, such as magnesium, combine with herbs to soothe a horse’s nerves without tampering with memory or motor skills.
If your horse is at a show and acting as if they’ve never been outside of their stall, you’ll want to keep this around. It’s in a convenient, single-dose container. Just like a wormer, you insert it at the back of the horse’s mouth, just under the tongue.
This FEI-compliant gel isn’t a sedative, so your horse won’t be sleepy or dull; it just reduces nervousness and puts the horse in a better mood. How does it work?
It contains an amino acid that produces serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps stabilize your horse’s mood.
Medication v Natural
When it comes to deciding whether or not to use medication to calm your horse, it can be a difficult decision.
Horses are naturally flighty creatures, and some breeds have a worse reputation than others. However, the truth is that all horses have some natural instincts to be nervous. Giving them medications like these is no different from a person seeking medication for their anxiety and stress.
It’s an equestrian’s job to help a horse be happy, competitive, and safe. Medications, especially when used appropriately, have helped many with that.
Was this post helpful? Please post your comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. By the way, I have another post you might find helpful. Read, “5 Horse Barn Safety Tips” you might find helpful.
Designed to fit horses with a more prominent wither, the High Horse Daisetta Cordura Trail Saddle is a top choice for trail rides. But that’s not all—the High Horse Daisetta Trail Saddle is actually a top contender for a variety of horses.
As horseback riders, our equine buddies are very special to us, and they rely on us to keep them as comfortable as possible. So, it’s no wonder that this saddle is a fan favorite. Let’s take a closer look at what this saddle has to offer!
The High Horse Daisetta Cordura Trail Saddle is a great choice if you’re looking for customization. Customers rave about the saddle’s ability to conform to horses with not-so-average physiques.
We’re talking about horses with different-sized shoulders. The adjustable position flat plate rigging enables the rider to choose the best fit for the horse.
Highlights: Customizing capabilities Multiple seat sizes Adjustable flat plate rigging Choice of three different tree sizes Rounded 25” fleece-lined skirt
This saddle also comes in two different colors (walnut or black) and in several seat sizes ranging between 13″ to 18″, with the option to choose between three different tree sizes. Additionally, the tall cantle makes the rider feel secure under most trail conditions.
I have to say that one of my favorite features of this saddle is its weight. At only 21lbs, not only is the High Horse Daisetta Trail Saddle very easy to pick up and move around, but it’s also less burdensome for the horse. And we all know the less load a horse carries, the better its performance can be.
A Padded Seat and Fleece-lined Skirt
And that’s not all! Customers can choose between a black suede or black grain out double padded seat. The best part of this saddle is its comfort factor, with a soft cushion and just the right amount of padding to maintain stability.
The High Horse Daisetta Cordura Trail Saddle is designed with uneven and steep terrain riding in mind.
This saddle comes with a contoured, rounded, 25″ fleece-lined skirt, making it an excellent option for short-backed horses. Fleece-lined saddle skirts are also easy to clean, which is a bonus.
High Horse Daisetta Cordura Trail Saddle – And a little dash of detail…
Did you know that conchos originate from the Mexican Vaquero tradition? Why does this matter? Well, because the little details of the High Horse Daisetta Cordura Saddle are kind of what sets it apart from other trail saddles.
Perhaps its most identifiable feature is the subtle border tooling work and the copper flower conchos. Used in combination with silver hardware, this saddle has a very sophisticated design.
The High Horse Daisetta Trail Saddle also has Cordura fenders, which are exceptionally well-made and nicely designed. Cordura fabric is thick, durable, and more flexible than leather.
It provides an added comfort for the knees and does not need to be broken in.
But it’s more than just a trail saddle.
Most trail saddles are specifically designed to keep the rider pain-free for a more extended period. But all the bells and whistles and customized features of the High Horse Daisetta Cordura Trail Saddle make it an excellent saddle for western dressage, obstacles, and endurance.
So, what’s the vote?
Every saddle tends to have a unique quality or two—and the High Horse Daisetta Cordura Trail Saddle is no exception. This saddle has everything that’s needed for a perfect trail ride.
It’s lightweight, secure, has a very comfortable seat, an adjustable flat plate rigging, three different tree sizes, durable material, and a classic look.
And the best part of all is that it is very reasonably priced at only $1,099.
If comfort and affordability are what you’re looking for in a trail saddle, then you may not need to look any further than the High Horse Daisetta Cordura Trail Saddle.
There are many horse barn safety rules everyone should follow, but some rules you might not think of as often as others. As owners and managers of horses, it’s our responsibility to be aware of dangers lurking in the barn as well as when we’re riding.
Some things are obvious…so obvious that we don’t even see them as dangerous – until something happens. Others are nearly impossible to miss. This article will discuss five safety rules everyone should know and follow.
Burning Down The Barn
Horse Barn Safety Rule #1 – No Smoking
No smoking. Period.
Smoking should not be permitted even remotely close to a barn and certainly not inside one. Keep buckets of sand near all barn entrances (for cigarette butts) with visible No Smoking signs posted.
Fire extinguishers in proper working order should be located at every entrance.
If your barn is large with long shedrows, place an extra fire extinguished halfway down the walkway. A barn fire is one of the most devastating disasters that can happen. Make this your number one rule and enforce it – with no exceptions for anyone.
Horse Barn Safety Rule #2 – Tie Smart
Never tie your horse without a way to release fast.
One of the best ways to tie a horse is with cross-ties equipped with safety release snaps. If cross-ties aren’t available, never tie a lead rope with a hard and fast knot. Only use a quick release knot. This is a knot that can be untied even with a big horse pulling against it.
It’s crucial to be able to untie a horse quickly in a situation where a horse fights being tied and falls. A quick release knot could be the difference between your horse living or dying in a falling accident.
Additionally, a flailing, panicked horse endangers anyone who gets near to try to help it. This dangerous situation is easily avoided by tying your horse in a safe and sensible manner.
Horse Barn Safety Rule #3 – Be Prepared
Always keep a halter and lead rope hung right outside each horse’s stall. In the event of an emergency, you want to be able to get horses out of the barn as quickly as possible. Having to search for a halter and lead rope could cost a horse its life in dire situations. It could even endanger your own life.
Horse Barn Safety Rule #4 – No Chow Downs
If grain is stored in the same area where horses are stalled, make sure it’s not in a container a horse could open.
Grain that’s easily accessible will go stale and draw rodents, but worse, it can also draw an escaped horse. And it’s an incentive for any horse who knows where the container that holds his favorite thing is located, and fancies himself as a Houdini, to try to get to it.
We all know of at least one horse that’s a master at freeing himself from stalls and pastures.
You don’t want that horse opening the grain container and going on an eating fest. A grain binge can lead to colic or laminitis. If grain must be stored where horses are stalled, secure the lid so it won’t come off even if the container is turned over.
A metal trash container is a good option when you securely tie the lid to the handles.
Horse Barn Safety Rule #5 – Keep It Clean
Keep the barn clutter and garbage free.
Remove items that could trip a horse or person, such as loose baling twine, lead ropes, wash hoses, extension cords, etc. from the barn floor. Keep isles clear of tack trunks, tack, stall cleaning tools, trash, spare buckets, etc.
Check floors for items you wouldn’t expect, a loose nail or screw can easily puncture a hoof…or go through your boot (you are wearing boots…right?).
It’s amazing how items such as these just seem to appear on the floor.
Remove any chemicals that someone might have left behind that could be harmful to humans or animals. Don’t forget that where there’re horses, often there’s a dog or two and some barn cats. Watch out for these animals too.
Place a secure trash can out of the way but accessible and make sure everyone uses it and not the floor for trash disposal.
But That’s Not All (Extra Tips)
These, and many more, are sensible horse barn safety rules that everyone should follow.
But there’s one more that could turn out to be the most important of all if you ever find yourself in an unexpected disaster in which the very lives of your horses are on the line. No list of rules is complete without knowing how to prepare for the very worst situations that could befall a horse barn.
And that brings us to a bonus barn rule that needs to be implemented and understood by everyone who owns a horse or stables horses for others.
That rule is having a plan.
Tip #1 – Emergency Planning
You need to have a plan and know how to execute it if a disaster strikes, or is about to strike, your barn.
You should know what to do if there’s an event endangering your horses. Not all disasters are the same. If you have warning that an event is coming, you have more time to get your horses to safety.
At the least, whether you will trailer your horses to another location or move them to a different part of your property, make sure you have at least 3 days foodand water available for them.
Tip #2 – Keep These at Your Fingertips
In addition, make sure you have at the ready:
First aid kits for people and animals
Health papers (if you’re trailering your horses, you may need them)
Battery operated radio
Extra halters and lead ropes (you should always have a few stored somewhere other than the barn too)
If a disaster is imminent, be aware of the following.
Human safety comes before everything else. Never forget that a panicked horse can become dangerous to anyone around it. And that includes the gentlest, elderly granny horse. Horses are flight animals, and a panicked horse only wants to get away at any cost.
Tip # 3 – Not All Horses React The Same
Not all horses will react the same in an emergency situation.
Some horses can be haltered and led out of the barn. Others might be so frightened that you can’t get near them. Your only option, in the case of a panicked horse, may be to open the doors and try to herd them out of the barn.
Also, if there are stallions, you will need to know how to manage getting them out. Stallions present an entire set of problems on their own. If you have one or more stallions, be prepared to get them out safely and separately.
If there’s a barn fire, you need to get the horses far enough way that they aren’t breathing in smoke. Health issues can arise from smoke inhalation.
Never underestimate a panicked horse’s likelihood of making a bad decision in an emergency. A horse feels safe in its stall. A horse that’s been removed from a burning barn could run back to the one place it feels safe, its stall.
After all, they are creatures of habit. And while you would expect a horse to want to run from a fire, it’s not out of the question that they would run back into a blazing barn.
Once you get horses out of a burning barn, the further you can get them from the barn, the better.
Tip #4 – Prepare Others In Advance
Make sure everyone knows what to do if the worst happens. And if the unthinkable develops in your rescue efforts, your own safety and life comes first.
Never do anything stupid in an effort to get your animals out. Have a plan, make sure it’s workable, give it a dry run if you want, then if a disaster strikes, you have the best chance of saving your horses without harming yourself in the process.
Horse Barn Safety Rules Conclusion
While there’re lots of rules you could enact for your barn, these six will go a long way toward keep people and horses safer.
Make signs and post them for everyone to know and follow. Have your emergency supplies ready. If you need them, you’ll have them. You don’t always get a warning that disaster is about to strike. Flash floods and fires can spring up in a moment. Be ready.
Enforce your rules.
Then if despite your best efforts, something does happen, you’ll stand your best chance of things working out for the better.
The Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle is made for hard-to-fit horses. What kinds of horses are those you ask? Well, it’s time to talk about gaited horses and what these breeds need in a saddle. Then we’ll talk about the Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle (broken down below).
What’s a Gaited Horse?
A gaited horse moves a little differently than other horses. That’s because no matter their stride, one hoof is always on the ground. This style of movement allows the horse to conserve energy while trotting. Gaited breeds were bred for traveling since their distinct gaits gave them more stamina and endurance.
Typically, a gaited horse will have a four-beat gait where its hooves follow a pattern if observed closely (right hind, right front, left hind, left front). When watching a gaited horse walk from the side, you’ll also likely notice that the legs on one side move together forward and back.
This movement is popular because it eliminates the sometimes jarring movement of a regular horse’s trot.
Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle… Does my gaited horse really need a special saddle?
Some will say that a gaited saddle is just a fancy way of getting money out of your pocket. However, anyone who has invested in a gaited horse should also know that a saddle’s fit goes a long way to making your horse comfortable. Many suggest going with a treeless saddle, and while that may work for some riders, it probably won’t be comfortable for a shorter rider on a wide horse.
Regular horse vs. gaited horse saddle
Think of it like this: you wouldn’t stick a saddle made for Quarter Horses on a Shetland Pony. Certain conformations need special consideration. Gaited horse breeds are built differently, and their movement makes it difficult to find an appropriate saddle that isn’t made for gaited horses.
This is why it’s important information to know all aspects of the horse and its tack before purchasing either. If you purchase a gaited horse and only have a saddle made for a narrow horse, you’ll likely need a new saddle as they’re usually built wider than most horse breeds.
The Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle… What’s to a gaited saddle?
This is a new phenomenon. Before around 1996, all saddle trees were designed to fit Quarter Horses. When research showed the benefits of saddle fit, gaited riders took notice and began looking for saddles that helped (rather than hindered) their horses’ movement.
The main difference between a gaited saddle and a typical western saddle is the shape of the tree. Now, a gaited saddle can be English or Western, but that tree design is made so the gaited horse’s shoulders and back are free to move in their specialized gaits. Gaited horses also carry their heads higher to assist in their gaits. Because of this, the gullet height is higher.
My Circle Y Alabama Flex2 Trail Gaiter Saddle Conclusion
A special horse with special movement deserves the Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle. This saddle is customizable to fit a wide range of gaited breeds and their riders.
Not only that, but your horse will have a greater range of motion thanks to the NeoShock skirt with its shorter, rounded design. The leather is Circle Y’s Softee leather, which means the saddle is ready to go and is pretty much already broken in straight out of the box.
The Ergo-Balance stirrups are designed to help relieve the fatigue felt by the knees and ankles on rides.
Odds are that you’ve bought a gaited horse for its comfortable stride. Why wouldn’t you get a saddle that ensures both of you are comfortable? Was my Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle Review helpful?
The Circle Y Salt River Flex2 trail saddle – wild horses won’t drag fans away from this saddle. Well, at least not any time soon. Designed with equine ergonomics in mind, this saddle is meant to withstand long hours of riding without compromising on comfort (or style).
And once you read all about its bells and whistles, you may become a fan favorite too!
The Circle Y Story
It all started in 1960 in Yoakum, a small town just east of San Antonio, Texas. With a small dream and a big penchant for excellence. Founder, Leland Tucker, set out to make the best saddles possible. And he has.
From the barrel racer to the trail rider, Circle Y makes everything for everyone.
Eventually, Circle Y grew from a family business into a team of over 20 employees. In 2003, Circle Y underwent new ownership when Steve Tucker, founder of Tucker Trail Saddles, came on board. Under Steve’s guidance, the company continues to deliver excellent equine equipment.
It’s still one of the leading saddle-makers in the industry.
Stylishly Comfortable and Flexible
The handcraftsmanship of Circle Y saddles contributes significantly to the superior quality of these products. The designers use leading technology and extensive research to create long-lasting equipment that provides years of enjoyable rides.
But what really takes the cake with Circle Y is the company’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve.
They do this by fitting hundreds of horses annually and have even developed the Flex2® Tree: A tree with a dual-bar system that provides maximum flexibility and stability. This progressive thinking sets the company apart and makes its saddle designs unique.
Now, let’s check out what the Circle Y Salt River Flex2 Trail Saddle is all about!
Specifications Multiple seat sizes Multiple color options Flex2® Tree Design Softee Leather Three-way adjustable in-skirt Impact foam seat
Why The Circle Y Salt River Flex2 Trail Saddle?
Okay, you might be thinking, what’s so special about this saddle, right? Well, according to most customer reviews, comfort clearly plays a big part. Many riders describe little to no knee pain at all, which, as veteran riders know, is a necessity.
The ErgoBalance Stirrups help prevent the ankles and knees from twisting.
That means the elimination of sore joints (which helps with sciatic pain as well). Additionally, the Flex2 Tunnel Skirt keeps things cool as it allows hot air to escape, decreases rubbing, and prevents sore spots along the spine.
Lightweight and Broken-In Feeling
It’s hard to believe that a saddle could pack more punch. Yet, the Circle Y Salt River Flex2 Trail Saddle surpasses expectations. Check out these additional features!
The impact foam seat appears to be unmatched and is another highly regarded saddle feature. As such, trail guides praise this saddle’s ability to deliver extended hours of comfortable horse riding.
And, to boot, the ‘Softee’ leather already comes with a worn touch, meaning you won’t have to worry about breaking in the saddle. Not to mention that it weighs in at only 24lbs. But there’s still more!
Circle Y Salt River Flex2 Trail Saddle Functional and Good looking
Just like how an embroidered saddle might scream elegance, this Circle Y trail saddle is synonymous with sophistication. Customers remark about its sleek design, polished finish, and timeless appeal.
They’re also big fans of the black strings and stirrups, with many highlighting that these delicate details and traditional look are what make this saddle stand out.
Yay or Nay?
It would be hard not to like this classic-looking saddle, with its wide selection of seat sizes, Flex2® Tree, and a three-way adjustable in-skirt that allows for long-lasting rides.
Most importantly, it provides uber comfort, security, and control for the rider. If you’re looking to invest in something stylish and durable, you won’t be disappointed with the Circle Y Salt River Flex2 Trail Saddle.
List Price: $2,308.90 Our Price: $2,099.00 Specifications: Color: Golden, Brown and Black With Black seat and Black knee pads Seat Sizes: 15 1/2 to 18 1/2 Tree: Medium, Wide, Extra Wide Hardware: Tucker conchos with brass or chrome rings Tooling: Smooth Rigging: English Fender: English Stirrup Leathers Horn: None Swell: 10 1/2″ Cantle: 3 1/2″ Skirt: 24″ Round Weight: Approx 20 lbs. Spot Package: Spot Trim, Silver Berry Slotted Conchos, Leather Covered Stirrups, Leather Latigos
Anyone who’s ridden in a Tucker saddle knows the quality and craftsmanship that go into each one. These are no different. It’s not uncommon for owners to recommend their Equitation Endurance saddle to friends and acquaintances who also ride.
Neither is it out of the ordinary for strangers to ask about Tucker saddles when they see others using them. They’re good looking. But they have so much more than great looks.
Why An Endurance Saddle?
Whether you compete in distance riding or just love going on super long rides, you need tack made for the kind of miles that leave saddle pads wet and horse and rider tired, but feeling great.
Not all saddles will do that.
Nothing will ruin trekking the trails quicker than a saddle that doesn’t fit or has a seat like a rock. And while an uncomfortable saddle can make the ride miserable and leave you aching, a bad fit is worse for your equine friend.
It can not only hurt your horse, but it can become a safety issue for both of you.
This Tucker is made for miles of comfortable riding. Plus it’s light-weight, and beautiful. You simply can’t go wrong with this one.
English Riders Will Approve
An English rider looking for a crossover will find a great fit with this saddle. English style stirrup bars allow posting and lots of leg freedom. Ergo-balanced stirrups prevent knee and ankle strain. Staying in position with a correct, balanced seat is a breeze, and padded flaps and knee rolls help with grip.
You’ll feel secure even on an energetic horse.
A Lot To Offer
The Tucker Equitation Endurance Saddle has much to offer besides comfort and great looks. Lots of choices are available to get the perfect fit for horse and rider as well as the look you want.
A Decision You Won’t Regret
This is a saddle made with quality, workmanship, and pride. You just can’t go wrong with a Tucker endurance saddle. With a track record of happy customers, Tucker knows a thing or two about fitting saddles and making them to last.
You won’t be thinking about replacing this one any time soon.
List Price: $2,308.90 Our Price: $2,099.00 Specifications: Color: Golden, Brown and Black Brown and Golden saddles come with an Brown seat Black saddles come with a Black seat Seat Sizes: 15 1/2 to 18 1/2 Tree: Medium, Wide, Extra Wide, FB Medium Hardware: Tucker Conchos with Brass or Chrome Rings Tooling: Tooled or Smooth Rigging: In-Skirt Western – Single Front Dee (straight rear dee), Enduro Balanced Single Tie (angled rear dee), Enduro Balanced Double Tie (angled rear dee), Adjustable Position In-Skirt Western (straight rear dee) Fender Options: Western or Trail Horn: None Swell: 10 1/2 Cantle: 3 1/2 Skirt: 23″ Round Weight: Approx 20 lbs. Spot Package: Spot Trim, Silver Berry Slotted Conchos, Leather Covered Stirrups, Leather Latigos
Built For Demanding Trails
This super-popular style saddle is meant for long hours of riding in comfort. You’ll be able to take everything you want and need with all the rings on this saddle where English meets Western in one great piece of tack.
The padded seat is a rider’s dream. It’s no coincidence this saddle’s so popular with trail riders.
English or Western Cross
You won’t find a better saddle for hitting the trails regardless of your style preference. Whether you enjoy English or Western, this Tucker’s more than able to give you an experience you’ll appreciate.
Maneuvering rough terrain takes a saddle you’ll feel secure in. And you will with this one. And a lack of a horn will be something western riders will like.
No more being jabbed while leaning forward to clear low hanging branches.
My Tucker Endurance Saddle Reviews Conclusion
If you love riding trails, this saddle won’t disappoint. You’ll cover miles in style and be ready to do it all again the next day. A saddle that won’t leave you and your horse aching from a long ride is what everyone wants.
Because what’s better than going back the next day and doing it again?
And if you’re a weekend riding warrior, you may know from experience, not all saddles will let you do this. One that will is a Tucker. So take on the weekend, or any day of the week. Tucker’s got your back…and you’re horses.
And that’s what it’s all about, fun, comfort, and doing it all again. This is only one of many Tucker endurance saddle reviews. Did you find this post helpful?
The Circle Y Alpine Flex2 Trail Saddle isn’t an ordinary trail saddle. To put it into car terms, this saddle is made to feel as luxurious as a Cadillac while still remaining as rugged as an off-road vehicle.
It combines the scientific approaches of ergonomics to help ease the stress of the ride on both horse and rider, and the craftsmanship is just as advanced as the technology used to design it.
Circle Y Alpine Flex2 Trail Saddle – Who is Circle Y?
Simply put, Circle Y is a company located in Yoakum, TX (hint: the Y in Circle Y stands for Yoakum). It began in 1960 with founder Leland Tucker.
In that short amount of time, Circle Y has taken over several markets and established a Team of Champions that includes several Hall of Fame riders. It also has a dedicated I Ride Circle Y membership group that’s included in every part of the manufacturer’s design process.
This is how the company has been able to produce top-quality saddles that incorporate what riders are really looking for. It’s also why their saddles are such a great investment for any rider.
Specs: Tree: Flex2 Trail Regular and Wide Skirt Size: 15″ x 26-1/2″ Weight: Approximately 28 lbs.
It’s now headed by none other than Steve Tucker of Tucker Saddles. He’s made it his mission to produce high-quality saddles that promote superior comfort for both horse and rider. To do this, he’s utilizing technology and ergonomics.
That’s why this particular saddle is so much more advanced than a typical trail saddle.
As mentioned above, the Team of Champions and I Ride Circle Y memberships feature a star-studded list, including multidisciplinary rider and celebrated clinician Julie Goodnight, two-time World Barrel Racing Champion Kelly Kaminski, and owner and operator of Nowhere But UP Performance Horses Cody Crow.
Circle Y Alpine Flex2 Trail Saddle Shocking Technology
Okay. For starters, anyone who’s ever ridden on a long, rough trail ride knows he or she is going to be sore the next day.
Often, this isn’t due to being out of riding shape or having a bad seat, but instead points to problems with the seat itself. In this saddle, there’s an impact foam designed to offer cushion without wearing down quickly like other saddles.
That means it’ll last through longer trail rides. Think of it as the shocks on your car when driving down a bumpy road. Those shocks can make your ride smooth or make you regret taking the road in the first place.
Circle Y Alpine Flex2 Trail Saddle – Engineered Comfort
If you’ve ever had to deal with sore knees and ankles after a ride, you’ll be happy to know that this saddle offers ErgoBalance Stirrups. This means the bar at the top of the stirrup has been tilted so as to allow the foot to be even during the ride.
The skirt and tree have been designed with balance and comfort in mind. How? The tree has a dual-bar system that gives stability to the rider. But the beauty in this saddle is that the skirt creates a path along the spinal area.
This has proven to decrease rubbing, sore spots, and all the problems associated with pressure points along the horse’s spine. The skirt also has a neoprene filler that soaks up all the shock from rough terrain.
And if that’s not enough, the seat and fenders are made of Circle Y’s softest leather ever. It’s so soft that breaking it in isn’t an issue anymore!
What’s this saddle good for?
Seat Size: 14″, 15″, 16″, 17″
Color: Walnut, Regular Oil
Tree: Flex2 Trail Regular and Wide
Hardware: Engraved Stainless
Rigging: 3-way adjustable inskirt
Swell Width: 14″
Cantle Height: 5″
Horn Size: 3″ Neck 2-3/4″ Cap
Skirt Size: 15″ x 26-1/2″
Weight: Approximately 28 lbs.
This lightweight saddle is designed to be beautiful to look at as well as easy on long rides. It’s best to use the Alpine Flex2 saddle for trail rides, but it can be used in endurance, ranch riding, training, and other areas where you need a comfortable saddle.
As always, be sure to measure yourself and your horse appropriately before purchasing any saddle. Overall, this saddle is perfect for pretty much any rider who wants to enjoy life on the trails.
Did you find this review on Circle Y Alpine Flex2 Trail Saddle helpful? I’d love to hear your comments below. If you’d like more reviews on trail saddles, please read my Julie Goodnight Trail saddle review.
Crates reining saddle 2221 is as good as its price tag suggests.
Crates saddles are among the elite class of lightweight comfortable saddles. The Tennessee manufacturer has been around since the 1940s when Robert H. Crates and T. Fletcher Sims came together to form Simco Leather Company.
After World War II, rising popularity of rodeos created a new market and demand. In the 1950s Crates took over Simco and eventually renamed it Crates Leather.
In 2016, an agreement between the Crates family and owners of Fabtron signaled a new era where Fabtron would have exclusive manufacturing and marketing rights to Crates products. The two families are heavily involved in their businesses, which means these saddles aren’t only made in the USA, but also family-owned and operated.
Before going into the details about this saddle and why it’s a bargain, remember what a reining saddle needs and why.
Crates Reining Saddle 2221 – What Exactly is Reining?
Reining was created by cowboys to judge which horses would work best on ranches. Think about it. A quality ranch horse needs to be able to stop quickly, run and turn just as fast, and respond to light guiding. On top of that athleticism, the horse had to have a good attitude and a solid mind.
If you’ve never watched a reining competition, it’s a western riding competition where horse and rider go through a particular pattern of circles, spins, and stops. Many liken it to figure skating or ballet for horse and rider.
If you’re familiar with dressage, reining is similar (though not to be confused with western dressage). Throughout the ride, a rider controls their horse’s movement, whether they’re standing still or on the move. The key is to make it look effortless and like the rider isn’t doing anything but sitting on the horse.
Because of these rigorous requirements, every rider competing in reining needs to have equipment that allows for close contact and excellent communication.
Crates Reining Saddle 2221 vs Regular Western Saddles
A great reining saddle will allow the rider to sit the sliding stops as well as minimize any interference by aiding in balance and stability during a ride where precision is paramount for higher scores.
They need a low horn so they have free movement for the reins and their body. They also need a cantle that won’t hit the rider’s back when they’re sitting that drastic but impressive sliding stop.
Tree: Crates exclusive Equifit Reiner, Quarterhorse bars or Full QH Bars (16″ and 17″ Only) Gullet: 6 5/8″ (QH); 7″ (FQHB) available in 16″ and 17″ only Rigging: In-skirt, Stainless Steel, “C” Plate Skirt: Saddlefleece lined, 27″x13″
This particular Crates reining saddle features a butterfly-shaped skirt. Never heard of it? Most western saddles figure into two categories: round or square skirts. Round skirts are made for horses with shorter backs, like Arabians, while square skirts are for horses with longer backs, like Quarter Horses.
A butterfly skirt is an added bonus for a reining pair.
The cutouts in the skirt that create the shape give the rider more leg freedom, and the close contact helps the rider cue the horse. This is important because if a horse pins its ears or gets frustrated, the pair are judged accordingly.
This model is incredibly light at about 30 pounds, and it comes in three different finishes. With a wider gullet size, it’s sure to fit most horses. The tree is made with the Crates Equi-fit reining tree, which means the tree is solid wood covered with fiberglass.
This gives it extra strength and prevents the wood from decaying. Overall, this isn’t a bad investment for trails, ranching, or reining.
If you’re looking for style and variety, then the Ariat Women’s Cowboy Boots are the way to go.
But did you know that this wasn’t always the case? Cowboy boots are a relatively newer invention compared to the history of equestrianism. And while style is kind of a big deal when it comes to women’s cowboy boots, functionality and safety are just as important too.
A Little Bit of Cowboy Boot History
First introduced in the Mid-West in the 1800s, the Spanish vaquero-style riding boot inspired the original cowboy boot. Meant to hug the calf and protect the legs from brush and other hazards, the cowboy boot improves the riding experience.
While it’s hard to say when the first female pair came into the market, we know for sure that Tinseltown played a big part in its introduction (we’ll talk more about Hollywood’s role in just a sec).
What’s So Special About the Cowboy Boot Design?
When cowboy boots first entered the scene, there were only one or two styles. The original toe was either rounded or squared for easy insertion. The leather sole and angled heel would snuggly sit at the bottom of the stirrups and prevent the foot from getting stuck.
Can you imagine having to get off a horse, and your foot gets stuck? Scary! Even the stitching served a purpose by helping maintain the boot’s shape, keeping the leather from folding over. But then, things changed.
Enter the Modern Cowboy Boot
In the 1940s, we started seeing a change in the cowboy boot design. Unlike the previous style of cowboy boots, the introduction of the pointed toe did not serve a purpose. It even made the foot insertion a bit more challenging.
But with modern rodeos and calf roping, the roper boot is eventually developed. The lower heels and shorter sides enable the rider to dismount the horse quickly and easily. The latter is critical for the rodeo. Roper boots are also the preferred choice for first-time cowboy boot wearers.
An All-American Footwear Classic
While Hollywood can take the credit for popularizing women’s cowboy boots with all its 20th century western flicks, female western saddle riders actually benefit from its design. Not only do cowboy boots aid in riding, but they also make for great worker boots.
However, whether for riding, working on the farm, or as a fashion statement, one thing is sure: cowboy boots are as Americana as it gets. Let’s look at some of today’s fan favorites.
Ariat Women’s Cowboy Boots – Pick #1 Ariat Heritage Round Toe Western Boots
Ariat is best known for its use of advanced technologies and high-quality materials. This round toe western boot is coveted for its comfort and classic aesthetic, an homage to the original cowboy boot. The rounded toes and 11.5″ shaft (from the arch) make it easy to put on and are great for extended wear.
These boots even have rubber soles that allow for walking on most surfaces. So, ladies, if you’re looking for both day and nightwear, this women’s cowboy boot is the way to go.
Another customer favorite by Ariat is the roper western boot. Reviewers describe this style as perfect for barn work and trail walking because of its four-row stitch pattern and high-quality leather lining. This gives the wearer a little extra cushion while keeping the boot in place.
The Ariat Heritage Roper Western boot is also really well-liked because of its robust quality and durability, making it ideal footwear for the workplace.
Wide-square toe is the name of the game with this women’s cowboy boot. Square toes, like rounded toes, are all about space. Your phalanges (toes) can wiggle and have room to breathe, and the square look is all about adding style.
What’s also fun about this boot is that it comes in a wide range of shaft colors. True to quickdraw boots, this design performs in the harshest conditions. The Duratread rubber outsoles make them weather-resistant and long-lasting.
What Boot Should You Pick?
While there may be several checklist items when choosing the perfect cowboy boot, some good things to consider are comfort, purpose, and price point. Of course, style is important too, but you really want to make sure that you get great use out of your cowboy boot.
Anything uncomfortable will just pick up dust in your closet. Once you determine what you need your boots for, you can narrow down the style. Then try on a pair and walk around the store. Ensure that it fits snuggly, but with enough room in the toes.
And remember, women’s cowboy boots are more than just a style. They are a lifestyle. And Ariat Women’s cowboy boots put you in a league of your own. It’s okay to take your time in picking the right pair.
What are the best barrel racing horse breeds for barrel racing? Not many equine sports can match the thrill of barrel racing. And if you plan to pursue barrel racing as a career, you’ll want a horse that gives you the greatest chance of success.
That means, you’ve got to choose from the best barrel racing horse breeds if you want to win.
You’ll be investing countless hours in training and working with your horse. So, selecting from the best barrel racing horse breeds is crucial.
Buying a horse is a giant investment of money, time, and dreams. And you need to get it right. In this article, you’ll learn what a horse needs to be a contender. I’ll also show you which breeds have the characteristics to make a great barrel racing horse.
Western Riding’s Greatest Sport
While any horse can compete in local fun events, if you want to become a professional barrel racer, you’ll need a horse that has what it takes to be a contender. And not every horse can or will measure up. But when you find one that does, it’s spectacular to watch. In western sports, barrel racing is huge.
The Thrill Of The Challenge
It takes speed, agility, and excellent horsemanship to excel. It’s pure excitement to watch the adrenaline-charged team of horse and rider race through the clover-leaf pattern as the time clock measures their performance.
For many, barrel racing is the most exciting equine sport in existence.
Barrel racing has been an enthusiastically embraced sport for a very long time. Though originally, it was strictly a woman’s sport. In the early 1930s, speed wasn’t as important in judging the contest. Speed was secondary to the rider’s clothes and their horsemanship in riding the patterns. The sport didn’t become all about speed until 1949.
Modern Barrel Racing
Today, barrel racing is highly competitive, and for good reason. Payouts and award packages combined can be greater than $250,000 at the professional level. But it’s also a very expensive sport to compete at top levels.
No longer is it a sport where clothing is considered in judging.
It’s all about speed. One minor error can cost a rider a win. Also, barrel racing is no longer strictly a woman’s sport. Though women and girls still dominate as competitors, it’s open to everyone…women, girls, men, and boys.
The Right Horse
It doesn’t matter who the competitor is, the one thing they all have in common is the horse. The best rider can’t make a winner of the wrong horse. And most horse breeds are not cut out for barrel racing at the professional level.
Crucial to winning is the horse’s athleticism and mental state, in addition to the rider’s horsemanship. While these are not “judged” they are needed to win. The only judge in barrel racing is the timeclock.
And the list of horse breeds ready to take on that clock is short. But the ones that measure up don’t just meet what’s needed to excel, they define the sport.
What Makes A Winner?
Barrel racing requires a strong horse with speed, agility, the ability to turn fast and take off with an explosive burst of speed. But that isn’t enough. The horse needs a good temperament, and must be intelligent and willing to learn.
A good barrel prospect must have the right conformation. It takes an athletic, balanced horse to excel at barrels.
Characteristics of the Horse
A barrel racing horse should be short backed with a long underline. It needs to have a compact body, a sloping shoulder, good muscles, and strong, powerful hindquarters. The legs should be strong and clean with short cannon bones and good hooves to withstand the impact of racing.
A few breeds meet these requirements better than all others. To decide what kind of horse you want, you need to determine which breed is perfect for you.
Top Barrel Racing Horse Breeds
One breed outshines all others.
The undisputed ruler of barrel racing is the American Quarter Horse. One of the oldest breeds in North America, it’s also one of the most popular. This versatile horse excels at rodeo and speed events.
Built for sprinting, no breed is faster at the quarter mile, for which the American Quarter Horse is named. With top speeds of 55 mph, this is a racing force to reckon with. With a long history of racing, these horses can fly through the patterns and race the timeclock in spectacular style. American Quarter Horses have a good temperament, are intelligent, and are easy to work with and train.
They excel at executing agile, tight turns, then making explosive take offs to the next barrel.
Barrel Racing Horse Breeds Pick #1 Appendix Quarter Horse
Another strong contender is the Appendix Quarter Horse, which is a first-generation cross between an American Quarter Horse and a Thoroughbred.
This can be a cross of an American Quarter Horse mare and a Thoroughbred stallion, or a cross of a Thoroughbred mare and an American Quarter Horse stallion. And it is the only cross permitted by the American Quarter Horse Association in which the foal may be registered.
The mix of these two great racing breeds creates another powerhouse barrel racer.
Appendix horses have a similar personality to the American Quarter Horse. They also have the same versatility. These horses can be on the bigger side like a Thoroughbred, or small and stockier like an American Quarter Horse.
They also tend to be very competitive.
Barrel Racing Horse Breeds Pick #2 Thoroughbred Horse
The right kind of Thoroughbred, placed in the right hands, can excel at barrel racing. The right Thoroughbred is intelligent, eager to learn and please, has stamina, and is tenacious.
The Thoroughbred, while with the ideal conformation for barrel racing, does not have the build of distance racing horses. The right horse will have a compact and athletic frame.
Sprinting Thoroughbreds can usually turn with agility and accelerate with ease. While Thoroughbreds are hot-bloods, and may need an experienced rider, the top barrel racing riders are all pros and should be able to manage them with ease.
Barrel Racing Horse Breeds Pick #3 Paint Horses
The Paint horse was in the same gene pool as the American Quarter Horse. In 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association formed and excluded all horses with too much white (paints).
They are strong, well balanced, and have powerful hindquarters. And they possess speed and agility from the American Quarter Horse, making them an excellent choice for barrel racing.
They’re intelligent, very trainable, good tempered horses. Paints can have vivid and beautiful coloring that makes them stand out. The Paint is basically a Quarter Horse wrapped in a spectacular coat.
Barrel Racing Horse Breeds Pick #4 Appaloosa Horse
Appaloosas also have American Quarter Horse blood.
They’re fast, agile, and athletic. Appaloosas are intelligent, willing horses with compact, muscular bodies. These horses are tough, versatile, and excel at barrel racing. They make an excellent choice for a competition horse.
They can have beautiful spotted coats in many patterns and will stand out at any competition.
Barrel Racing Horse Breeds Pick #5 Arabian Horses
Arabians are race horses of the desert. They’re exceptionally beautiful too. Arabians are known for their stamina, speed, and agility. These horses definitely excel at barrel racing. The Arabian horse is highly intelligent, a quick learner, and good temperament.
They’re versatile and loyal horses.
Barrel Racing Horse Breeds Pick #6 Mustang Horses
Mustangs are the descendants of Spanish type horses. They’re on the smaller side, but they’re fast, agile, and tough. With proper training, some of these horses can excel at barrel racing.
The difficulty of training will depend on the horse’s personality itself.
Mustangs who have been feral will take a lot more work than one that was born to a now domesticated mare. Horses that have been feral for most of their lives may take a lot more work to get them to a level where they can remain calm in a crowded, noisy atmosphere.
They’ll need the mental capacity, temperament, and willingness to become good at the sport. But if you find the right horse, Mustangs can be excellent competitors.
Best Barrel Racing Horse Breeds Conclusion
The list of breeds to pick from for a barrel racer may not be long, but the quality of those breeds is top notch. Barrel racing is a demanding, exciting event where big money can be won. But considering the costs associated with this sport, if you’re serious, you need to carefully evaluate any horse you’re considering.
Pick the right horse, train him well, and you may very well be on your way to the best numbers on the timeclock. If you find that barrel racing is something you want to pursue as a career, you’ll probably want to purchase more horses at some point.
The first step is knowing which barrel racing breeds to pick. Then you can achieve your goals. Stay with the breeds that have a great track record time and time again. Those are the barrel racing horse breeds that can and will get the job done.
You’ll be miles ahead of the person who doesn’t know that only certain breeds will consistently produce winners. How about you? Did you find this barrel racing horse breeds post helpful? If so, please leave your comments below.
If you’re reading this, then odds are you’re learning how to groom your horse as a beginner. Horse grooming is an essential responsibility of an equestrian. As humans, our jobs often require us to be well-groomed.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that our equine friends need to be regularly well-kempt, too in order to perform at their best. A saddle sitting on a dirty horse can cause sores and discomfort—ouch! Plus, a tangled mane and tail look shabby and prevent hair growth.
But the benefits of grooming a horse are many. Not only does it improve the bond between horse and groomer, but it’s excellent for skin health and improves the horse’s mood. So, it’s safe to say that a healthy horse means a well-groomed horse.
How to Groom a Horse for Beginners – Use These Tools
The following items are what you’re going to need to groom your horse. They’re not listed in any particular order of importance. In fact, all of these tools are important. So don’t stress. Also, I’ll provide links for where you can buy some of these items.
8 Must-Have Tools for Grooming Your Horse
A curry comb loosens dirt and helps remove mud and hair from the horse’s coat. With this particular rubber curry comb, you can actually brush your horse’s face as well as his full body. It’s ergonomically designed so that it’s easy to grip, but comfortable in your hand.
Now, you can buy these tools individually, or you can buy them in onekit. I highly recommend you buy the kit.
How to Groom a Horse for Beginners – Step 1
First things first – tie up your horse. This step probably seems obvious, but it’s important not to skip even if your horse is great about staying in place. Horses suddenly move their feet and shift their weight, causing issues while grooming. So, to avoid any problems mid-groom, it’s best to tie your horse up.
How to Groom a Horse for Beginners – Step 2
The curry comb, hard brush, soft brush, and a wide-toothed comb are your friends.
A horse is all coat. So the next few steps in the grooming process are brushing. Now, you can add all kinds of brushes to your collection, but you’ll really only need four to get the job done.
The Curry Comb
Old hair, debris, and dirt can get stuck in your horse’s coat, and this is where the curry comb comes into play. Start with very small (palm-size) circular motions from the neck, down each side of the horse. This will begin loosening the mud from the coat. But remember, stay away from the legs, ears, face, and tail with this comb, as these areas are more sensitive.
The Hard Brush
After using the Curry comb to break up all the dirt, it’s time for the Hard brush. Using short but brisk strokes, go over your horse’s coat. You’ll need to avoid the sensitive areas with this brush as well, as it can irritate. The below Wahl Combo Brush combines soft and hard brush in one.
The Soft Brush
Next comes the soft brush. The soft bristles of a soft brush release the horse’s natural oils and provide an overall sheen. It might even be worth investing in a higher-quality brush if you’re looking to achieve that extra slick and smooth appearance.
The Wide-Tooth Comb
A wide-tooth comb is used for the mane and tail. Some groomers avoid using a comb on their horse’s mane and tail to prevent pulling out hair. However, if using a wide-tooth comb, then keep in mind that it works best when coupled with a detangler.
But there’s more to this step, so here are some other items to keep in mind:
Mane andTail – It’s Kind of a Big Deal
In addition to a wide-tooth comb, several other items will help ensure beautiful hair. First, a tail conditioner is needed to soften the hair. Make sure to run your hand gently through the tail to help loosen any major knots and kinks.
Next, holding the bottom of the tail, gently begin to comb upwards. The more course the hair, the more tangles there are, and adding an excellent detangler to the mix will help solve this problem.
How to Groom a Horse for Beginners – Step 3
Now we’re getting into a really sensitive area. The horse’s hooves. You really need to be careful. If you don’t have a good relationship with your horse, he may not comply. So read below how to gingerly clean your horse’s hooves.
Cleaning Hooves – Not As Scary As You Think
This step requires a bit of patience as you’ll need to have your horse lift its legs so that you can pick and condition its hooves. To do this, you’ll first need to establish a positive connection between you and the horse.
Hopefully, you’ve been establishing a positive connection with your horse all along so that he’s not alarmed by what you’re asking him to do.
Next, you’ll want to run your hand slowly down the horse’s leg and gently squeeze its ankles. This lets the horse know that you want it to lift its hooves. Then, using a hoof pick, begin digging out the dirt. Finally, apply a small amount of hoof conditioner depending on how brittle they are.
Keeping the horse’s feet moisturized is vital. Otherwise, the hoof wall will dry up.
How to Groom a Horse for Beginners – Step 4
Now, you say, what about the face? No grooming session is complete without a face wash. Gently wash around your horse’s eyes, face, behind the ears, and dock area (by the tail) using two damp washcloths (one for the front and the other for the behind).
How to Groom a Horse for Beginners – Step 5
Don’t Forget the Horsefly Spray
Last but not least, it’s now time to apply the horsefly spray. Flies are pesky little things, and they can be a nuisance to both the rider and horse. The latter is particularly true during the hot and sticky times of the year.
So, when finished with the grooming process, spray your equine down with some horsefly spray to help prevent your horse from getting bitten.
Super Important – Never,Ever Stand Behind a Horse!
Whether you are a seasoned rider or a brand-new equestrian, it’s necessary to consider the potential dangers. Always groom your horse from the side and never from behind. A bonus is to touch your equine regularly while tail-grooming as a friendly reminder that you are still nearby.
Now You’re All Set and Ready-to-Go
Now that you have the basic steps in grooming a horse, it’s time to put them into action. It takes practice before getting into a proper grooming routine. But patience is your friend. And in no time, this daunting task will become a soothing therapeutic session for both you and your horse.
By the way, now that your horse is groomed, you’ll want to keep your saddle cleaned too! Don’t know how? Then, read my post, How to Clean a Western Saddle. Was this post helpful to you? Please leave your comments below. I love hearing from my readers.
A Cashel Trail Saddle used, should be music to everyone’s ears. The problem is, they usually sell out fast. Why? Because Cashel saddles, even the used ones, are high-end saddles. They’re made with the highest quality materials. Their saddles last a long time.
What Does Cashel Specialize In?
Cashel saddles are made to be safe, convenient, and, above all, affordable. The company specializes in everything you’d need to enjoy any pleasure that stems from horses. From saddlebags to boot scrapers, they make just about everything.
Their products are built for the comfort of both horse and rider, excelling at both. And the prices aren’t bad, either.
When it comes to enjoying nature, a Cashel saddle helps. Anyone can be a professional horseperson with these saddles’ prices. But if you’re looking to save, a used saddle is definitely the way to go.
Pros of Owning a Cashel Saddle Used
Owning a used Cashel saddle won’t just save you money.
You’ll save the time it would take to break in the saddle. You’ll save yourself from being sore or oiling the new saddle until it’s worn in enough to accommodate your body. You’ll save your horse from feeling the stiffness of new leather on its body.
Sound good? Then here’s a deal for you. But you’d better hurry before it’s gone!
SADDLE TYPE: Trail TREE SIZE: Wide TREE MATERIAL: Fiberglass Covered Wood SEAT SIZE: 16 Inch SEAT MATERIAL: Leather CANTLE HEIGHT: 5-1/2″ SWELL WIDTH: 11-1/2″ HORN SIZE: 3″ x 2-1/2″ RIGGING: In Skirt Single Dee HARDWARE: Stainless Steel SKIRT LENGTH: 25-1/2″ WEIGHT: Approx 32 lbs
A new Cashel Trail Saddle that comes off the rack is beautiful – and comfortable. It has a double-padded seat to give riders extra comfort. The fenders are positioned to give the rider more stability. A larger cantle helps rider and horse through the long trail rides.
If you’re on the lookout for a saddle that’s built better than most and comes with a variety of options, this saddle is for you. Trail and endurance riders can rest assured that they’ll get the best of both worlds with a Cashel trail saddle. It’s a great investment, but it does cost.
If you’re getting a new one, the prices start around $2,500.
Not ready to spend that kind of money on a trail saddle? Consider a used one.
Why Should You Buy a Cashel Trail Saddle Used?
There are quite a few things going for used saddles. The costs are lower, so you can usually find higher quality brands for cheaper prices. You’ll also avoid depreciation. That’s right. Just like your car, new saddles lose value as soon as they’re bought.
You won’t have to wait for the saddle to be made. The only wait time associated with a used saddle is the time it takes to ship.
Biggest Advantage of Buying Cashel Trail Saddle Used?
Here’s the real kicker:
Trusted websites and sellers will usually give you a free trybefore you buy kind of deal on used saddles. Because of this, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting the second you ride in it. That means there isn’t any waiting to let the saddle settle or break in to know exactly what it’ll be like for both you and your horse.
When the term “trusted websites and sellers” is used, it’s used for a reason.
Buy Used Saddles That Are Trusted Brands
One way to make sure your used saddle is a good investment is to make sure that the seller is one who operates in good faith. Buy used saddles that are trusted brands. Look at the seller’s reviews, and make sure the prices line up with similar sellers.
Look over the saddle when it arrives to make sure there’s no damage.
Has The Used Saddle Been Oiled and Cleaned Well?
That’s one more selling point for used saddles like the one linked above. The saddle posted here has been through a rigorous process to get it to you. This includes a thorough cleaning, oiling, inspection, measuring, and other steps that are meant to guarantee the saddle is worthy of your purchase. You get all that – and it comes with free shipping.
As you can see, a used Cashel Trail Saddle is worth every penny, especially from a trusted seller.
Did you enjoy this post? Hopefully, the above saddle isn’t sold out. But if it is, you can always take a look at my Cashel Trail Saddle Reviews post and buy one of those.
How to clean a western saddle, if you own one, is something you definitely need to know. Without proper care, normal wear and tear from use, and the environment it’s kept in, your leather saddle will degrade.
And if you ignore your saddle too long, it will eventually reach a point where cleaning and conditioning won’t be able to salvage it. So, when you’re tempted to put your mud-splattered, sweat-stained saddle back on the rack and leave the barn, don’t.
It won’t take a lot of time to clean off the grime. When cleaned regularly, doing so will add years to the life of your saddle. So here are some tips on how to clean your Western Saddle.
Reasons for Regular Cleaning
It’s worth the time and nominal cost to keep leather clean and conditioned. You want to take care of your saddle because:
A good saddle is an investment. Quality saddles aren’t inexpensive. You’ll want to protect your investment.
Your saddle will last many years.
A well cared for saddle will retain value.
Cleaning and maintaining will keep a saddle safe to use. Cracked leather is dangerous and cannot be restored.
When Should You Clean
It depends on how frequently you ride and the conditions.
If you only ride under optimal conditions and you’re riding once a week, you should clean your saddle every month. Two months at the most. But when riding more often, you’ll want to clean your saddle each week.
However, other factors will make cleaning your saddle necessary.
If you get mud on your saddle, remove it immediately with a damp (not wet) towel.
Horse sweat is damaging to leather. Never leave sweat on your saddle. Clean it right away.
If your saddle gets wet (rain or crossing a body of water), clean it immediately. Water may mark the leather if it isn’t cleaned. Allow it to air-dry (drying time will depend on how wet the saddle got).
When the leather is almost dry, apply a small amount of conditioner. The leather will need to be completely dry before you can thoroughly condition it.
Clean immediately if you find mold (a white or greenish powder) on your saddle. To clean off mold, mix one part rubbing alcohol and one part water. Then wipe mold off the leather. You’ll want to condition after cleaning because rubbing alcohol is drying to leather.
Clean and condition if the leather becomes dry. If a saddle becomes dry and isn’t cared for it will eventually crack. Cracked leather is dangerous and should never be used. It can’t be repaired and should be replaced immediately.
Additionally, clean your saddle if you’re going to:
Compete in it
Put it in storage
Supplies You’ll Need
Saddle soap – the best is glycerin-based and retains moisture. Saddle soap can be a liquid or paste. Paste can fill crevices, requiring a toothbrush or cotton swabs to remove it.
A small bucket (or other container) for warm water.
Make sure they aren’t abrasive.
Leather conditioner – when needed. Do not over condition. Leather can lose rigidity when over conditioned. Use it sparingly. Lanolin, a product of sheep’s wool is a waterproof moisturizer. Neatsfoot oil can also be used before conditioning, but some leather can darken, so be aware of that possibility, and make sure it doesn’t contain mineral oil, which is not good for a saddle. Neatsfoot oil should be pure and not an oil blend. After oiling and the leather has dried, then use a conditioner.
Soft towels (3 or 4).
A still bristle brush
Toothbrush for hard to reach spots.
Cotton swabs (optional)
How To Clean A Western Saddle Tip #1
If you have an air compressor, you can blow out dust and grit from hard to reach places. When grit is left between pieces of leather, it will rub and cause damage. You want to get as much of it out as possible.
Use a brush to clean any fabric parts.
Suede can be refreshed with a stiff brush. Don’t do this too often or with too much force as you will damage the suede. If it doesn’t come clean, you can use a suede cleaner.
How To Clean A Western Saddle Tip #2
Remove any mud accumulated around stirrups. Use a stiff brush to remove as much as you can. You may have to scrape some of it off.
Dampen a towel, make sure it isn’t too wet. You don’t want to get the leather wet. And wipe off the saddle. Don’t skip this step even if it looks clean. You don’t want to grind gritty dust particles into the leather.
Note, always read and follow all directions on cleaning products you aren’t familiar with.
Take a damp sponge and work up a lather with the saddle soap. If this is the first time you’re going to clean the saddle, try the soap in an inconspicuous spot. Some cleaners, especially all-in-one cleaners, can change the leather’s color.
How To Clean A Western Saddle Tip #3
Clean leather with small circular motions. Rinse the sponge often and re-lather. Change the water frequently. You can’t clean something by putting dirt back on it.
Start with the seat and work your way down to the stirrups. Clean all leather parts. Make sure you clean beneath flaps and all parts of stirrup leather.
If the stirrups are covered in rawhide, you’ll need to use a rawhide cream to clean and condition them. Never get oil on rawhide.
How To Clean A Western Saddle Tip #4
Once you finish cleaning, make sure you don’t leave any residue on your saddle. Clean off any remaining soap with a damp towel.
Use a toothbrush or cotton swabs to remove soap from crevices or tooling if it doesn’t wipe out.
Some More Tips…
When all of the leather has been cleaned and no residue remains, wipe it down with a dry towel.
Clean any conchos on your saddle. If they’re so tarnished they need polish, you’ll have to take them off the saddle. Never get silver polish on your saddle. It will remove the color from the leather.
Make sure to clean the girth. Pick out anything that has become lodged in it and brush off mud.
Don’t Over Oil Your Saddle
Oiling shouldn’t be overdone. Don’t do it more than once or twice a month. Too much oil will saturate and damage leather. Make sure the leather is dry. Use a light coat of oil. Only use products that are not made of animal or vegetable oil.
Those can get on the stitching and turn rancid – which may rot the stitching.
Don’t Over Condition Your Saddle
You won’t need to condition as frequently as cleaning. You will need to condition more often in dryer climates. Conditioners work best if the leather is slightly damp. Don’t use too much. An excess can result in the conditioner soaking all the way through the leather and causing damage.
Don’t leave residue from the conditioner. Buff with a clean towel until no residue remains.
Brush the Underside Fleece
Brush the underside fleece…but be gentle. Don’t rip stiff bristles through the fleece, or you may damage it. You just want to remove any debris caught it in and fluff it a tad. Fleece should be handled with care.
Important Points to Remember
Always let saddles air dry. This is super important. Don’t dry a saddle in direct sunlight or with a heat source (such as a heater or hair dryer). Saddles placed in direct sun or next to heaters can become unsafe to use.
Leather needs to breathe. Only use products made specifically to clean leather. You don’t want to clog the pores.
Pick an all-in-one cleaner and conditioner with care. Some can damage leather over time. Some may discolor leather. Always test for color-fastness in an inconspicuous place.
Don’t stack saddles. Store each one on a rack. Saddles are best kept in a climate controlled environment. Leather exposed to excessive moisture can mold. Leather stored in too much heat can crack.
Cleaning and conditioning your saddle is the most important thing you can do to keep it in great shape.
No matter what type of riding you use your saddle for, maintaining it will keep it looking good and you won’t have to worry that it has become degraded and is no longer safe to use.
What are all around work saddles great for? If you have dreams of racing your horse in the Kentucky Derby and watching him gallop around the racetrack at breakneck speeds, you’d do well to have a thoroughbred.
However, if you just need help moving large numbers of sheep across your farm, a simple draft horse will do. In other words, the type of horse should match its function.
Likewise, when shopping for a horse saddle, its function should be your main consideration before whipping out your Visa Card. This short post is about the features and functions of the All Around Work saddle.
The Function of the All-Around Work Saddle
The All-Around Work saddle is made for heavy-duty, long hours of work on a ranch or farm. Its features are perfect for a wide range of ranch and cowboy work. These saddles tend to be large and pretty heavy.
How Are All Around Work Saddles Made?
All-Around Work saddles are usually made with a strong, wooden tree because they have to withstand the pressures of roping and pulling. Ranch work usually requires long hours in the saddle. So the All-Around Work saddle is made to endure while being comfortable to ride in.
Features of the All-Around Work Saddle
The All-Around Work saddles have flatter seats than other Western saddles to allow the rider to move and adjust easily. The seats are often padded and made of suede to grip the rider and help the rider stay on the horse. Here are more features:
Close Contact Skirting – to help with leg cues
Reinforced Rigging – for light roping
Tough Wooden Tree – to withstand the pressures of pulling and roping
Strong High Horn – This horn is made higher so the rider can securely hold on
There are many different brands that carry All-Around Work saddles, and these saddles, although high-quality, can be very inexpensive – especially if you buy a used one. One of my favorites is the Billy Cook Ranch saddle.
I’d love to hear your experience with the All Around Work saddle. Please leave your comments below!
What are barrel racing saddles? Before I answer this question, you need to know what barrel racing is. Barrel racing is a rodeo event wherein a horse and its rider ride around a clover-leaf pattern around 3 barrels.
The goal is to finish riding around the clover-leaf pattern in the quickest possible time without knocking over any of the 3 barrels.
In order to accomplish this goal, the horse and rider need to be in perfect sync when making these tight turns. And barrel racing horses need to be agile, strong, fast and smart enough to maneuver the course. Most importantly, in order to compete in this sport, you’ll need a high-quality Western barrel racing saddle.
Barrel Racing Saddles – Light Weight to Shave Seconds off Your Time
Traditional Western saddles tend to be heavy. But the barrel racing saddle is purposely designed to be lighter in weight in order to shave seconds off your time when barrel racing. It’s also the smallest version of western saddles.
The skirts are rounded, and the rigging is typically in the skirt, which also accounts for the lightness of this saddle. During barrel racing, security of the saddle is important. So let’s take a look at the security features of the barrel racing saddle.
Barrel Racing Saddles – Deep Seat for Rider Security
Security of the rider in the seat is paramount during a barrel racing saddle sporting event. The manufacturers of the barrel racing saddle have designed a deep seat and high cantle in order to secure the rider during high speeds and tight turns.
The cantle is the back portion of the saddle seat. It provides backrest and support. It not only helps keep the rider anchored in the seat, but it anchors the bars of the saddle tree. (The saddle tree is a frame around which a saddle is built.) Ostrich leather is commonly used as a seat and skirt accent, which can provide extra grip.
During tight turns, the rider needs to be able to hold on to the horn. Unlike traditional Western saddle horns, the barrel racing saddle horn is thinner, so the rider can hold on to it during tight arcs.
Barrel Racing Saddles – Rider Grip Security
Western saddles are manufactured with several components that make the saddle both functional and effective. It’s crucial for you, as the rider, to understand the parts of a saddle and its function in order to determine the right saddle to buy and what size.
The Pommel or Swell – The pommel, or swell, is the part of the saddle where the bars of the saddle’s tree come together at the front of the saddle. It serves as a base for the saddle horn. In the barrel racing saddle, the pommel of the saddle is higher in order to ensure that the rider’s seat is secure.
Rough-Out Jockey and Fenders – While the pommel of the saddle is high to ensure rider security, the rough-out jockey and fenders on the barrel racing saddle are to keep the rider’s body from coming into contact with the saddle’s rigging while riding – which aids in the rider’s grip.
Barrel Racing Saddles – Stirrups Provide Better Grip
Most of the barrel racing saddle features are designed with the rider’s security at high speeds in mind. For instance, the stirrups tend to be designed narrower to provide better grip of the rider’s feet. It keeps the rider’s feet in place and keeps it from coming dislodged during the jockeying.
Fenders – The fenders in a barrel racing saddle are designed to be free-swinging. It gives the rider freedom of motion while allowing the rider to remain centered in their seat during violent movement of the horse.
Cinch – During barrel racing, as with all horse riding, but especially barrel racing, the back cinch is used to ensure that during high speeds, your saddle doesn’t ride forward on the horse. In addition, a breast collar is used to stop the saddle from sliding off the sides of the horse’s barrel.
Flashy Barrel Racing Saddles
Although lots of men indulge in barrel racing, it really is a female-dominated sport. That’s why barrel racing saddles tend to be flashy. Bold colours are commonly used, such as purple, blue, pink and green. Oftentimes, barrel racing saddles tend to be accented with crystals, conchos, silver studs, and inlay.
So if you’re considering buying a barrel racing saddle, make sure you take into account all of the features and designs that are available. Billy Cook has beautifully crafted barrel racing saddles at affordable prices.
Have you bought a barrel racing saddle? If you’re still on the fence about which barrel saddle to buy, check out the Pozzi Barrel Saddle Sale. We’d love to hear your comments on purchasing a barrel racing saddle. Feel free to drop your comments below.