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Stop Horse Bolting Now With These Sure Fire Tips

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stop horse bolting

How do you stop horse bolting? If you’ve ever been astride a horse that bolted and you were unable to stop him, you know it’s a terrifying feeling. Even seasoned riders can have a horse take off as if he’s running for the roses.

So, why do horses bolt? My post explores horse bolting, its causes, steps to prevent this behavior, and how to stop your runaway horse.

Why Do Horses Bolt?

Reason #1 Fear

The most common reason a horse bolts is because they’ve beens startled by something. Horses are flight animals, and when frightened, running away is their natural response. Even the most mild-mannered, well-trained horse can become frightened by an unknown object, sound, or a threatening animal, such as an aggressive dog.

Solution – Desensitization Training

In the case of a spooky horse, one who’s easily frightened, desensitization training can help them become accustomed to common frightening objects. The training involves introducing the horse to something fearful while simultaneously working with them until they can be exposed to that same object without fear.

stop horse bolting

The Plastic Bag Trick

A very simple example would be tying a plastic bag to the end of a long stick and shaking it to make an unexpected sound. Some horses might ignore it. Some will be frightened. If the horse is very afraid, stop shaking the bag, release the pressure to the horse, let them relax.

Keep doing this exercise until you can rub the bag over your horse’s body. Depending on the horse’s fear level, this exercise might take days. Although the plastic bag training trick isn’t quick, it’s certainly effective.

Don’t Do This…

With the plastic bag trick, some people keep the pressure on despite the exercise putting the horse in a high state of fear. For example, the trainer might keep shaking the plastic bag and advancing on the horse with the bag, despite the horse backing away, desperately trying to escape the situation.

This bad training.

It’s dangerous, and I don’t recommend it. Remember, it’s important to build a relationship with your horse. Repeatedly forcing your horse into a fearful situation without reprieve isn’t a good way to build a relationship with him.

Slow and steady produces a well-trained horse.

Here’s a Caveat

I have one caveat. A horse that’s naturally spooky will never be trained for every single thing that might seem frightening. Horses like these need a lot of riding time and a lot of new experiences to help them learn that you won’t put them in danger.

Between desensitizing your horse of known fearful objects, and lots of miles under saddle, you can go a long way toward making your horse a safe, pleasure to ride.

Reason #2 Barn Sour (Resentment)

A second reason a horse may bolt is if he’s become barn sour and resents being ridden away from his stable pals back at the barn.

In this case, your horse isn’t afraid, though he may have some anxiety if he isn’t accustomed to riding unaccompanied by other horses. This is a situation where training is the issue, as opposed to being suddenly frightened.

So in this situation, your horse doesn’t like riding out alone. Subsequently, he may suddenly and without warning, whirl around and race for the barn—with you clinging to the saddle—if you’re lucky enough to remain seated with the unexpected change of direction.

Solution – Ride in Circles and Groundwork

What’s the solution? Well, a horse like this can benefit from being ridden in circles and groundwork. You may have to ride circles right next to the barn. Unfortunately, circling and groundwork will become boring very quickly to your horse.

stop horse bolting

After returning from a ride, a horse like this should never be taken directly into the barn. Doing so will reinforce his barn resentment. Make your horse work circles first. He’ll learn that getting back to the barn doesn’t mean instant gratification of being reunited with his stable mates.

When he does return to the barn, make him return to the barn at a calm walk. Don’t let him canter or gallop back to home base.

Try Tying Your Horse before Going Back to the Barn

You may also want to tie your horse outside the barn for 20 or 30 minutes before allowing him to go inside the barn. Remove the bridle and use a halter and lead rope to tie him. Don’t loosen or remove the saddle while he’s tied.

Why? Because this isn’t a relaxing session, it’s training him that work isn’t over and it isn’t time to see his buddies.

Reason #3 Pain

Pain can cause all types of bad behavior. A horse in pain may bolt in an attempt to outrun whatever he perceives as causing his discomfort. It’s important to know your horse well and understand his body language.

stop horse bolting

Horses can be in pain for many reasons, but the only way you can tell if there’s no obvious wound or a noticeable limp, is through his behavior.

Solution – Check Your Tack Or Call Your Vet

Make sure you check your tack before each ride. An issue with tack, including an ill-fitting saddle, can cause pain. A horse in pain can be unpredictable and in some cases, dangerous. In addition to being a danger to the rider, depending on what’s causing your horse pain, riding could endanger the horse as well. Know your horse, develop a partnership with him, and you’ll know when something’s off.

When in doubt, skip the ride and seek help from someone more knowledgeable – like your veterinarian. Or, buy a new saddle and make sure you measure your horse properly for a good fit.

Reason #4 Lack of Turnout

A horse that’s been stabled with little or no turnout time can become explosive with energy. When horses are at liberty, they move almost constantly as they graze, walking slowly along to find more grass.

However, when a horse is confined to a stall and fed grain twice a day, energy and frustration build up.
Once the horse is turned out, often the first thing they do is take off at a gallop and possibly kick their hind legs up in the air. Watching a turned out horse can be quite thrilling.

However, if your horse has been stalled without being allowed to run and burn off that energy, putting a saddle on his back and climbing on may become a disaster. This is a scenario in which a horse could buck, rear, or bolt, simply because of the stored energy of being stalled too long without exercise.

Solution – Give Your Horse Turnout Time

Make sure your horse is getting turnout time and enough exercise to keep his energy at a safe level for riding. The more time he can have at liberty, the better for him and you.

Reason #5 Bad Riding

Rider errors can cause a horse to bolt.

If you’re giving confusing signals or are unbalanced in the saddle, depending on the sensitivity of your horse, this may cause bolting. Also, if you’re heavy handed with the reins, you’ll cause pain in the horse’s mouth and he may fight you.

Solution – Take Refresher Riding Lesson Courses

If you’re a new rider and suspect your skills aren’t up to par, take lessons until you’re confident in your ability to ride your horse safely.

Reason #6 Your Horse is Trained for the Race Tracks

A less common problem may be that the horse you’ve fallen in love with and purchased, or rescued, is an ex-racehorse that hasn’t been re-trained. These horses are trained to run, and without proper re-training, that’s exactly what they’ll do.

stop horse bolting

If you’re inexperienced with ex-race horses, this isn’t a job you should undertake alone.

Solution – Re-Train Your Ex-Race Horse

You’re going to require a professional to teach your ex-race horse that he’s no longer supposed to bolt. Because race horses are big and strong, don’t attempt to re-train him unless you’re an experienced rider and understand how race horses are trained, and what it takes to re-mold them.

Stay as Calm as Possible

Perhaps the most important thing to do when a horse bolts is to remain as calm as possible. Horses can detect your emotions, and a terrified rider will only worsen the situation. Not only will you be unable to deal effectively with the situation, you’ll further frighten the horse.

How you react to a bolting horse will depend on the situation and your location when your horse bolts.

For instance, if you’re on a trail riding through a thickly wooded area, you’re very limited as to what you can do. Your only option may be to ride at the best of your ability to remain in the saddle. You may be able to pull your horse’s head a little to one side.

But if the horse has braced himself against the bit, this may be very difficult to do.

Try Slightly Bending Your Horses Head

You might try bending his head first to one side and then to the other. If you can get his head to one side, he won’t be able to run at top speed. You can’t bend his head position too far though as that could be dangerous and you don’t want him to try to circle in this situation.

Ride Him In Circes if You Can

If he has a hard mouth or if he’s braced against the bit, and it comes to a pulling contest between you and your horse, he’ll win. As bad as it is, you may have no choice but to ride it out. If you’re in the open and there’re no obstacles in the way, you can ride him in a circle. At first, you’ll have to ride a large circle.

How to Ride Him in Circles

So how do you ride your horse in circles? Get him into a large circle and start making the circle smaller and smaller. This will slow him naturally and safely. You can’t just pull him into a small circle. Bring him down loop by loop.

The best way to make your horse turn into a circle is by shortening one rein. Move your hand on the rein upward along the horse’s neck, then pull the rein back toward your hip. Keep your hand close to your body. Don’t yank on the rein.

stop horse bolting

Pull steadily back until you get him into a large circle. Keep pulling him into a smaller circle. Don’t do this too fast. A horse running fast that’s suddenly yanked into a tight circle can tangle his legs up and fall. You don’t want to be crushed under your horse and you don’t want him to break his leg.

Slowly decrease the size of the circle. When it becomes small enough, the horse will stop.

Some Final Thoughts

While having a horse suddenly bolt can be terrifying for both you and your horse, you need to do your very best to keep a level head and ride it out. If you can get your horse into a circle and ride him down until he has to stop, this will be your best option.

But like all issues with horses, it’s best if you can train them to avoid this situation. Though there’ll always be something that might frighten a horse into bolting, there’re many ways to shorten the list of potential frightening objects that trigger a bolt.

Horses are intelligent creatures. The more you learn about horses and how to handle situations like these, the better you’ll be prepared for whatever comes along on your riding journey.

Was this post helpful? If so, you might want to also read my post, “How to Avoid Horse Riding Accidents”. Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How to Avoid Horse Riding Accidents – Avoid These Top 15 Dangerous Pitfalls

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Horse riding accidents

Do you know how common horse riding accidents are? Research shows that any rider stands an 81% chance of being in a riding accident at some point. There’s no doubt about it, riding is a dangerous activity.

No matter how well you know your horse, he’s an unpredictable flight animal. And if he’s spooked, his natural instinct is to get away from whatever scared him. He may run away. He may buck. He may hit bad footing and fall.

The list of potential what-ifs is long when it comes to riding. Yet it’s almost in the blood for some, and danger be darned. The good news is that there’re ways to mitigate the danger and still enjoy a leisurely hack through the woods or a lap around the show ring.

This article will dive into ways to avoid becoming injured.

What Are the Kinds Of Riding Accident Injuries?

horse riding accidents

When it comes to horses, there’re two types of riding accident injuries. The first, is while siting on the back of your horse. And the second, is on the ground…which can be from a fall or from a standing position.

When people talk about horse related accidents, they’re talking about accidents in the saddle, or on the ground. Some examples of in-the-saddle accidents include:

  • Having a leg crushed against a solid object, such as a tree trunk, from riding too close
  • Another horse biting or kicking you while striking at the horse you’re riding
  • Runaway horses that get into accidents, such as with an automobile or a large immobile object
  • Horses taking a misstep on dangerous footing, such as on a trail on a steep hill and falling with the rider (Falls like this can be dangerous to horse and rider.)
  • A rearing horse (can cause a rider to go off and in a worst case situation, the horse can topple backward and land on the rider)
  • A horse falling at speed (can result in injury or death to horse and rider)
  • Tack failure (A broken piece of tack or a slipped saddle can easily cause a serious injury to rider and/or horse.)

But there’re many ways injuries can happen upon landing after a fall from the saddle. In fact, 83.4% of injuries (statistics in 2022) are from the rider falling off. These can include:

  • Head and neck injuries from impact with the ground or from a hoof strike
  • Being stepped on by a horse
  • Broken bones from landing impact
  • Catching a foot in a stirrup and being dragged and/or struck by hooves
  • Landing on something that pierces the body or something like a large rock that causes impact injury to soft tissue
  • Being pinned under a fallen horse
  • Deep abrasions or cuts from landing impact

Top 4 Common Causes of Falls

Horse riding accidents

Although falls happen for many reasons, usually they can be traced to one of four root causes.
The most common root causes of falls, in order are:

  1. A spooked horse
  2. Rider error
  3. Green broke horse
  4. New/unfamiliar horse

How badly you’re injured can depend on a few factors including:

Your age
How long you’ve been riding
Your skill as a rider
Precautions taken

Preventative Measures

There’s no doubt that riding is dangerous. For that matter, just being around a horse, even a long-time companion animal can be hazardous simply because of a horse’s flighty nature. You can become seriously injured without even climbing onto the saddle.

But that doesn’t mean you should hang up your bridle and pack away your boots.

By taking reasonable precautions, you stand the best chance of avoiding a serious accident.
Here are some ways to remain as safe as possible while spending time with your horse.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #1

Riding Helmets Are a Must

Horse riding accidents

Other than the show ring in disciplines where helmets aren’t used, this single piece of gear is your first line of protection. Wearing a helmet while riding is the one thing that every rider should do.
Head and neck injuries are a leading cause of death and permanent disability from horse riding accidents.

Using one is good sense and could save your life. Helmet hair is no excuse for refusing to wear one. It’s a low-cost item that has tremendous value.

Helmet hair is no excuse for refusing to wear one. It’s a low-cost item that has tremendous value.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #2 Know Your Skill Level

How skilled of a rider are you? Can you stop a spooked horse? Can you stay in the saddle? Your level of riding skill and knowing what to do in a bad situation can greatly play into the outcome of avoiding an accident.

Proper Footwear is a Must

Horse riding accidents

It’s crucial to have proper footwear. You need a riding boot with a heel that’ll keep your feet from easily sliding through a stirrup. Of all forms of accidents, being dragged and possibly struck by the hooves of a panicked horse is what horse accident nightmares are made of.

This situation can be deadly. Don’t give it a chance to happen to you.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #3 Be Alert

Riding can be very relaxing. But you need to remain reasonably alert to your surroundings. Horses can spook from the slightest thing. If you aren’t paying attention to your horse and what’s going on around you, you may find yourself on the ground.

While you can’t anticipate everything that might frighten your horse, you can remain aware. Then you’ll have a much better chance of remaining in the saddle if there’s a sudden leap to the side.

Familiarity With Your Horse

Spend time getting to know your horse and building a bond with him. Once you know his behavior and temperament, you’ll be more equipped to handle unexpected situations. For instance, if you learn your horse is fearful of dogs, you can begin working with him to lessen his fear.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #4 Ride a Well-Trained Horse

A well-trained and settled horse is easier to ride and less likely to spook than a green horse that is fearful of every new object he encounters. However, if your horse is young and green, and you’re an inexperienced rider, have a professional train your horse.

A green horse with an inexperienced rider is a recipe for an accident for both rider and horse. Just don’t take the chance. The cost of professional training is nothing compared to the cost of a serious injury.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #5 Appropriate Riding
Discipline For Rider’s Skill Level

Horse riding accidents

Some riding disciplines are inherently more dangerous than others. Rodeo events (where speed and agility are the goal) are more dangerous than showing Saddlebreds (the equine peacock) who must display a beautiful high-stepping gait and excellent confirmation.

Likewise, a new rider would be tempting fate to pursue a disciple like show jumping, over a discipline like western pleasure riding.

Jumping, or hunter events can be dangerous for many reasons. Such issues as the horse refusing the jump, hitting the jump badly and falling with the rider, or bad landings can also result in a fall for horse and rider.

Horse riding accidents

Not to mention that a new rider might not be able to remain in the saddle when a jump is executed simply due to lack of experience.

Someone who’s new to riding shouldn’t immediately put themselves in a high-risk discipline before mastering basic horsemanship. Learn to ride well before tackling harder disciplines. When you are confident in your riding skills then, and only then, should you consider harder and more demanding riding disciplines.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #6 Inspect Tack Before Each Ride

You should look over your tack before every ride. Check your bridle and saddle. If you see any deep cracks in the leather or any tears, don’t use it. You don’t want your bridle to break and leave you without control of your horse. And you certainly don’t want your saddle to come off with you on it.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #7 Replace Any Damaged Tack Immediately

Damaged leather is dangerous and will break. You may need to replace a piece of the saddle, or the entire saddle, depending upon the damage and the general condition of the leather.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #8 Ride In Safe Places

Know where you’re riding. Trails and arenas are safer than the public road. Some horses can be ridden safely with traffic after being trained. But because of automobile driver unknowns, staying off public roads will always be a safer option.

A well-used and familiar trail will always be better place to ride.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #9 Keep Proper Distance

Take care to not let your horse walk too close to trees, fence posts, barbed wire, other horses, parked cars or other large immobile items, or anything else that he could smash your leg against.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #10 Keep Your Horse
Free From Injury/Illness/Pain

Keep your horse’s health a top priority. And if something happens, provide the proper care to get him back in good riding shape ASAP. A horse in pain can be very unpredictable and can become dangerous in an effort to gain relief.

If your horse is injured or ill, call your veterinarian and follow his or her guidance.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #11 Proper Hoof Care

No hoof. No horse.

This old horseman’s saying is very true. Take care of your horse’s feet. Find a good farrier. You may have to go through a couple before you find one that’s a good fit for your horse, but the right one is necessary.
If your horse needs shoes, get them. Some horses, often ones with tan hooves, have softer feet and need shoes.

Sometimes horses with dark hooves never toughen up enough to ride barefoot.

Perhaps horse boots may be an option if you don’t want to have your horse shod. Your farrier will have to trim your horse’s hooves and measure him for boots if you chose that option. If you go with boots, you’ll have to maintain your trimming schedule very closely so as not to damage the boots or hurt your horse’s hooves if they’ve grown out too much.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #12 Upkeep Your Horse Shoes

Never ride if your horse has a loose shoe. It needs to be pulled if it’s dangerously loose, or reset if it isn’t too bad. You don’t want to throw a shoe while riding.

Keep up with trims and re-shoeing. Also remember, just because your farrier is scheduled, he may not show up (though he should call you). It only takes one farm call going bad to throw a farrier’s day completely off.

If he has two or three difficult or unanticipated situations, your appointment may be moved to another day. For that reason, don’t schedule your next appointment too far out. Don’t go more than an eight week schedule. Some horses will need to have their shoes reset every six weeks.

Don’t Ride if Your Horse’s Feet Are Hurting

You don’t want to ride a horse if his feet are hurting. Not only can your horse become lame and need recovery time, he may buck and throw you in an attempt to stop the pain in his feet. Don’t let poor hoof care lead to an injury.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #13 Know How To Stop Your Horse

This doesn’t mean hauling on the reins as if they’re a lifeline. Horses can develop a hard mouth and simply ignore you if you’re pulling on the reins. And horses in snaffle bits can be difficult to stop if they’re panicked.

But there’s a simple way to stop a horse from running away with you. You do that by moving one hand up the neck, on a single rein, not both reins, just one. You’re shortening the one rein. Then pull that hand back toward your hip. You’ll force the horse into a tight circle.

This takes the power away from the horse’s hindquarters, where his power comes from. He cannot rear or buck.

You may have to keep him moving in a circle, but you won’t be at his mercy. Most likely, he’ll stop pretty quickly. This maneuver can prevent you from getting hurt on a runaway horse. Practice it before you need it, at a walk and trot.

Practice until you know what to expect and how to execute it, so if the moment comes, you won’t panic and just cling to your horse’s back as he races to the barn.

What To Do When An Accident Happens

If, despite your best efforts, you end up in an accident, it’s important that you first check yourself for injury. You should always take your phone with you in case something happens. If need be, call for help.
If you think you’re badly injured, move as little as possible.

You don’t want to further harm yourself.

If you aren’t badly injured and you’re alone, if at all possible try to secure your horse. A runaway horse could end up in a secondary accident. Once your horse has been caught, check him for injury. If he’s injured, but can be led, get him to the barn either by yourself or by someone who comes to the scene.

Call your veterinarian, or have someone call for you if necessary.

Horse Riding Accidents – Tip #15 Call 911 Immediately

If your horse can’t be moved due to an injury, call 911 for help. Depending on the extent of your horse’s injury, he may need to be transported to an equine veterinary hospital.

You should always have a plan in place with a backup person you trust and can depend on if you’re hurt and your horse needs care. Someone should know how to step in if you’re hospitalized or unable to care for your horse and any other animals you have.

Talk to With Owners of the Nearest Stable

If, in the rare case, where you have absolutely no one you can depend on, talk with the owners of the nearest stable and see if they would be willing to board your horse until you’re able to take them home in the case of a medical emergency.

Make pre-arrangements to have them transport your horse, or horses to their facility. For most people, this shouldn’t be necessary. But just in case, if you have no one, this could be your only option.

Talk to stable owners until you find someone who can step in if necessary. Get a contract in writing including how you will compensate them.

Have Someone Care for Your Animals in Your Absence

Don’t leave your animal’s lives to chance. If you’re alone and hospitalized, and no one goes to care for your animals, you could go home to a devastating scene.

In the same vein, if you have pets in your home, someone has to be alerted to care for them. At the very least, have a pet sitter willing to go on your behalf to care for your fur babies while you’re in the hospital.

At some point, odds are, you’ll be in a horse riding accident. Do your best to protect yourself from harm. But if it does happen, make sure you can recover without having to worry about your animals.

Horse Riding Accidents My Conclusion

Riding is dangerous, but if you take steps to prevent harm to yourself and your horse, there’s no reason to give up in fear. There’re many ways to mitigate potential problems before they happen. Ride sensibly and enjoy horses.

These magnificent animals make life better for those who love them. Have plans and people in place who can help you if you’re injured. The best way to handle an accident is to prevent it if possible. But plan for it just in case one does happen.

If you don’t leave anything to chance, your life with horses will be much smoother and much more enjoyable. Was this post helpful? If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy another post of mine titled, “Do You Know How to Stop a Horse From Bucking?”

Stop Horses from Chewing Wood in Minutes

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stop horses from chewing wood

Do you have a stable full of beavers? Learn how to stop horses from chewing wood with these tips. Did you know, that a single horse who chews wood can destroy his stall, your wood fencing, and all of the trees in his pasture?

Not what you want.

Aside from the deconstruction of your horse’s living quarters, a horse chewing wood, just isn’t good for him health wise. Getting your horse to stop chewing wood may or may not be difficult.

There’re no set rules with an equine beaver when it comes to chomping on wood.

If you know why it’s happening, that’ll give you a leg up on how to handle the situation, thereby turning your beaver back into a horse. In this post, I’ll dive into the top reasons why a horse chews wood and offer tips on how to make him stop turning his environment into sawdust.

Why Do Horses Chew Wood?

There aren’t many reasons why a horse would chew wood. Horses in the wild don’t exhibit this behavior under normal conditions. Wood chewing is a behavior of domesticated horses. Below are 4 reasons.

Reason #1 – Boredom

The reason most horses chew wood is simple boredom. And it’s usually when he’s in a stall that this activity rears its head. Being confined to a small space isn’t natural for a horse. At liberty, a horse spends most of his time leisurely grazing.

And he walks as he grazes.

Horses will move all over their pasture when they’re turned out. However, in a stall, movement is limited. This can cause a horse to become bored and frustrated. And when that happens, in seeking relief, he may take it out on his stall and start chewing the wood.

Reason #2 Vitamin Deficiency

But boredom isn’t the only cause of wood chewing. Instead of boredom, a vitamin deficiency could be making your horse chew his stall down. This isn’t common, but it does happen. So be aware that it’s a possibility.

Reason #3 Learned Behavior From Other Horses

Another, and very annoying reason your horse is chewing wood, is learned behavior from a new horse.

Yes, horses will copy each other. If you bring in a new horse with a wood chewing habit, one or more (usually more) non-chewers will pick up this bad habit and start chewing wood because they watched their stablemate doing it.

This is also the hardest situation to deal with. It’s a habit. And habits are hard to break.

Reason #4 Trauma

Lastly, trauma, such as moving from one home to another, or losing a long-time companion can cause emotional disturbances, resulting in unwanted behaviors such as wood chewing.

Whatever the reason your horse has sprouted beaver tendencies, you’ll want to stop the behavior as soon as you can. Replacing chewed up wood is expensive. Losing trees due to having the bark girdled (that’s when all bark is removed completely around a tree trunk in a continuous section) is a major problem.

Fallen trees are also expensive and time consuming to remove. Plus, it’s possible for your horse to get large splinters lodged in his mouth. And it will cause uneven wear on his teeth. Not to mention how painful splinters are.

So, you want to get your horse to stop chewing wood as soon as possible. These tips will help.

Stop Horses from Chewing Wood – Tip #1 Increase Turnout Time

If your horse is stalled, increase turnout time as much as possible. Relieving his frustration from boredom might be enough to make him stop. Exercise is the best medicine for a bored horse. Even if there isn’t grass in his turnout, he can still run and engage in play, which makes him feel good and relieves frustration.

Stop Horses from Chewing Wood – Tip #2 Buy Small Hanging Toys

If your horse must remain stalled for some reason, such as a health problem, or injury, buy some stall toys for him to play with. Hanging horse balls, or attaching toys that have moving parts to the stall wall will entertain him more so than the wood will.

One caveat, always make sure anything that hangs isn’t low enough that he could get a leg caught or tangled in. When a horse gets a leg caught in something, he will panic. And a panicked horse is a danger to himself. He’s also a threat to you when you try to help him.

Keep hanging toys high and out of reach of hooves. Only teeth should be able to reach a horse ball or other tied up toy.

Stop Horses from Chewing Wood – Tip #3 Apply Repellant

Apply a repellant to the wood. There’re sprays, washes, and some pastes with a bitter taste that can be applied. However, this won’t work with all horses as some don’t seem to be bothered by the taste. And it’s not a one and done solution.

Rain will eventually wash the repellant away outside, and the repellant isn’t practical for protecting trees.

Stop Horses from Chewing Wood – Tip #4 Give Your Horse Lots of Hay

stop horses from chewing wood

Give your horse as much hay as possible. Satiating his natural desire to graze with roughage may help turn your horse’s attention from wooden surfaces. Make sure your hay is good quality and properly cured by having a dependable source to buy it from.

Feeding molded or improperly cured hay can cause serious problems, and in some instances, a fatal outcome. Young horses are at a higher risk for bad outcomes than mature horses. But don’t take any chances with bad hay – regardless of your horse’s age.

Cover Wooden Surfaces

Covering wooden surfaces is also a choice. However, this isn’t a cheap option. You can cap your stall walls and wooden fence rails with metal caps. And you can wrap tree trunks with protective covering. You can also put up fencing around trees to keep horses away. If you have many trees, fencing probably won’t be practical.

Consult Your Vet

If you suspect your horse’s diet, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any deficiencies or to correct the problem.

Run Electric Wire Around Wooden Fences

For outdoors, you can also run electric wire to keep horses away from wooden fences. This won’t be a practical solution to protect your trees, but it’ll certainly keep horses away from the fence. This is the most effective measure you can take.

My Final Thoughts…

There’s no doubt that wood chewing is something you’ll want to stop as quickly as possible. It isn’t good for your horses or your property. Your fencing and barn are an investment. Protect them, and help your horse live his best life too. This problem isn’t impossible to fix.

These tips offer the best ways to stop wood chewing. Try one or more of them and get that beaver turned back into an equine.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please leave your comments below. For more horse health tips, read my post, “Horse Health Advice – Stop Your Horse From Premature Death”. If you’re looking for horse saddles, visit The Horse Saddle Shop.

Western Horse Saddles on Sale – for the Weekend Lady Trail Rider

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western horse saddles

Western horse saddles for the weekend lady trail rider are easier to find than you might think. When it comes to a female rider, the biggest factor is the weight of the saddle.

No matter how much you work out, before and after a long trail ride, you don’t want to exert more energy than necessary tacking and untacking your horse. And think of your horse. No one wants to make him or her carry much more weight on his or her back.

When it comes to choosing the right saddle to fit your horse, your body, and your budget it can be overwhelming. The old saying “you get what you pay for” comes to mind every time. But what if it doesn’t have to be a big price tag that gets you exactly what you need?

What if it just comes down to knowing what you need and knowing where to go to get it? If that sounds familiar, you’re in luck.

Ladies, you have enough stress in your life. It’s time to let someone else do all the hard work for you. Luckily, you’re in the right place as there is a list below that has several excellent saddles to choose from.

Western Horse Saddles – Pick #1
14″ to 18″ Circle Y Creedmoor Flex2 Trail

western horse saddles

List Price: $2,805.00
Our Price: $2,550.00
Weight: 27 lbs.
Cantle Height: 5”
Horn Size: 3″ Neck, 2-1/2″ Cap

Circle Y has the same motto for every saddle they produce:

Pretty much every rider and horse can fit this saddle. The Creedmoor is no different. And if you’re just looking to relax on the trail rather than put in yet another workout, the Flex2 tree offers more stability and flexibility where you need it most.

Western saddles are known to be heavier and bulkier in general, but this saddle comes in at less than 30 lbs.

That means less work for your arms and back when throwing this on your horse’s back. And with a seat that comes in 14” to 18” this is one western saddle for the weekend lady trail rider you will want to keep on your list.

Western Horse Saddles Pick #2
14″ to 17″ Circle Y Paisley Flex2 Trail Saddle

western horse saddles

List Price: $2,805.00
Our Price: $2,550.00

Weight: 27 lbs
Tree: Flex2 Wade Regular and Wide
Rigging: 3-Way Adjustable In-Skirt

If you’ve only got time to ride on the weekends, odds are you’re sore the next day. This saddle will take care of the brunt of that problem, thanks to the impact foam seat offering you unmatched comfort in the saddle.

This handy piece of technology was crafted to offer your butt the maximum cushion without wearing down quickly. It’s worth everything in the world. But it’s also got more than this for the price tag.

For instance? The Softee Leather that feels like your saddle is already broken in like your favorite shoes.

And your horse will be comfortable, too. That’s because the skirt is built to absorb the shock from rough terrain, taking away the brunt of the pressure and vibration for a smoother ride for both you and your trail partner.

Western Horse Saddles Pick #3
13″ to 17″ American Saddlery Trails for All Saddle 1460

western horse saddles

List Price: $1,221.67
Our Price: $1,062.00

Cantle Height: 4″ on 13″ saddle, 5″ on 14″-17″ saddle
Tree: Round Front Competitor, Gullet Width 6.25″, Quarter Horse bars
Skirt Length: 25″

If your wallet is your main concern when it comes to a western saddle, this is one to consider. It comes in a variety of sizes and is all but guaranteed to get the job done for your weekend needs.

Dubbed an entry-level saddle, this one will work for anyone. It comes in seat sizes that will work for the smallest to the largest person, and it works for every budget as well.

My Conclusion

Just like not every tiara fits a queen’s head, every saddle isn’t going to work out for everyone. For some, it’s a budgetary reason. For others, it’s just that they need more cushion or help to relax during a long ride. Whatever the reason, these saddles will get you where you want to go.

Was this post helpful to you? If you’re a beginner rider, looking for a saddle that’s budget friendly, read my post, “Circle Y Gillette Saddle Review”.

Horse Health Advice – Stop Your Horse from Premature Death

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horse health

Having horse health as a top priority should be every owner’s goal. An unhealthy horse can’t perform up to potential. Worse, an unhealthy horse could be in danger of losing his life if he’s suffering from a serious condition.

Fortunately, it isn’t that hard to keep a horse in good health. By following some routine and common sense measures, you horse will be fit and ready for whatever you have planned.

This article will present some of the things you need to be aware of and schedule into your horse’s routine. With a little preventative care, your horse should remain healthy and ready to hit the trails or show ring.

Horse Health Tip #1 Horse Feeding

Horse Health
bowl of organic horse fodder – horse bait

Not all feed is created equal. Nor is all feed adequate for every horse. You need a good quality feed for your horse. And you need to feed the proper amount.

The bag should have the correct measurement, depending on the horse’s weight, listed in a chart. Your veterinarian can recommend a good feed for your horse at every stage of his life.

Store the feed in an air-tight container. You don’t want rodents and other animals getting in the feed. And you don’t want it to become stale before your horse finishes the bag. Your horse’s age will determine the type of feed he should have.

Horse Health Tip #2 Feeding Weanling and Senior Horses

A weanling and a senior horse should not have the same feed as a mature, fit horse. A young horse has different needs for vitamins, minerals, and protein. An elderly horse often has problems eating and can drop weight quickly.

Many times, old horses have dental issues and can only eat mash which must be prepared fresh for each meal. Food must be properly chewed and broken down before it hits the horse’s stomach. If it’s swallowed without being chewed, it won’t benefit the horse.

horse health

An old horse with dental problems can eat as much as a young horse and still lose weight. All because he can’t break the food down due to his aging and over-long teeth.

Proper dental care is essential for all horses, but it’s critical for the senior horse. An aged horse that doesn’t get nutrition from his food will keep losing weight and eventually his organs will become damaged.

Left unchecked, he will become a starvation case and his organs will fail.

Horse Health Tip #3 Dental Care for Horses

horse heatlh

Veterinarians and equine dentists can keep your horse’s teeth in good shape. They will examine the teeth and perform any needed care. As horses age, the length and angle of their teeth will change.

Normal chewing while eating will create sharp enamel points that can cause your horse pain. Though this is far from the only dental problem a horse can develop. Your young horse, from birth to 18 months old, should be examined at least once, more often if an issue becomes apparent.

From 18 to 52 months, horses should have their teeth examined twice a year.

Horses from 52 months to age 18 should have their teeth examined once a year. At age 18 and up, your horse may need more than one dental exam a year, depending on how his teeth age.

Horse Health Tip #4 Deworming

horses health

There’s quite a bit of disagreement on how many times a year you should deworm your horse. There isn’t a one size answer for every horse. Your veterinarian can help guide you in the best schedule for deworming.

Some people deworm every 8 weeks. But at the least, you should deworm with each season change… spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Whatever schedule you settle on, make it a priority to follow through. A horse with a gut full of worms doesn’t feel good and cannot perform up to potential. He will also lose weight to the point that he may have visible ribs with a pot belly.

In a situation such as that, it is absolutely necessary to involve a veterinarian to get the horse safely free from parasites.

A large parasite load can endanger a horse’s life. This isn’t a situation to undertake alone. An equine medical professional will examine your horse and start eliminating the parasite load while monitoring the horse’s health through the process.

Horse Health Tip #5 Hoof Care

No hoof. No horse. No kidding.

Your horse needs regular hoof trimming. And depending on where you ride, he may need shoes as well. Some people prefer to keep their horses barefoot and if a horse is ridden on trails, once the hooves toughen up, that is often an okay decision.

Some horses, however, can have soft hooves and will need shoes to even ride on trails. Horses that are shown will need to be shod as well.

And there are instances that will necessitate shoes. Horses can need shoes due to injury, an abnormality of a foot or leg, a gait problem, hoof cracks, and other problems. Sometimes the need for shoes is temporary. But some horses will need shoes for their lifespan.

A good farrier will do his or her best to keep your horse’s feet in top shape. You’ll usually need to have your horse’s hooves trimmed and the shoes reset every 6 weeks.

You don’t want to wait too long and have a horse throw a shoe, or have a lose shoe flopping on their foot. Staying on a regular schedule will keep your horse’s feet in the best condition possible. And it’ll keep your farrier happy too.

Health Tip #6 Proper Fitting Tack

This is a no-brainer. Ill-fitting tack can cause your horse pain and in worse case scenarios, can cause a dangerous situation. A saddle or bridle that causes pain can result in an injury for one or both of you.

A bargain saddle that doesn’t fit well, or is made from cheap leather, isn’t a bargain. Your saddle is an investment, not of money, but in safety and comfort for you and your horse. It must fit the horse, and it must fit you too.

If you’re uncomfortable, you won’t be balanced and that will throw the horse off balance too. It will affect his stride and neither of you will enjoy the ride.

Don’t cut corners. Your saddle is the most expensive and most important item you’ll need for you and your horse.

Horse Health Tip #7 Adequate Shelter

horse health

All horses need proper shelter. Horses that are turned out on pasture need a shelter that remains dry and provides a wind-break.

This is especially important in cold weather. A wooden run-in shed will work well. The doorway shouldn’t be overly large and it’s best if there’s a covering, such as a tarpaulin, that the horse can push through that will help keep wind and rain out.

Stabled horses need exercise or they’ll develop stable vices such as stall weaving, walking in circles, chewing wood, and possibly cribbing (bracing their teeth on wood and sucking in air).

The stall needs to be cleaned daily and adequate bedding provided for comfort in standing and laying down. Clean water should always be available. Stalls should have walls high enough that a horse can’t get a leg over the top or be able to bite a horse in the next stall.


While horses aren’t that difficult to keep healthy and happy, there’re some things that shouldn’t be ignored or skimped on.

Knowing what to do will ensure you keep your horse health and will pay off many times over. With proper care, your horse can remain sound and healthy. Many horses can be ridden long into their senior years.

Common sense and a little know how, with a good veterinarian for a partner, will help your horse stay in top shape for the rest of his life.

How to Diagnose and Treat Horse Back Pain Symptoms – Follow These 3 Top Tips

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horse back pain symptoms
Horse Back Pain Symptoms

Horse back pain symptoms are symptoms you need to be able to interpret correctly on a continual basis. The last thing you want to do is ride when your horse is suffering from back pain.

If you’ve ever had back pain, you can imagine how it would feel if someone tossed a heavy saddle on your back, climbed on, and expected you to perform for any length of time. How awful. This article will discuss back pain symptoms in horses, what to watch for, and ways to help your hurting horse.

Tip #1 Recognizing Horse Back Pain Symptoms

My first tip is that you have to know what to look for when your horse has back pain.

If your horse’s back is hurting, one of the first things you may notice is a decrease in performance. This could be an obvious change, or it could be more subtle and only present when the horse makes a particular movement. He may have a shortened stride as well.

As pain becomes worse, so will the symptoms. A horse with back pain may start presenting behavioral problems such as rearing and bucking. He may also just stop and refuse to move forward.

Pain may show up when you groom your horse and run brushes over his back. It’s possible that a horse will be touchy simply because they are sensitive to grooming. But you know your horse’s grooming behavior. If he starts flinching when he’s never done it before, he may have pain in his back.

Another sign of back pain is reluctance to be saddled. He may also have an abnormal gait after a saddle is girthed up.

Any of these symptoms can indicate pain in your horse’s back. You should take this seriously and not ignore what your horse is telling you.

Tip #2 Understand The Types of Horse Back Pain Symptoms

My second tip is to understand that there are different types of horse back pain. Equine back pain is usually from neurological or musculoskeletal sources. The symptoms will look the same no matter which kind of pain your horse has.

So determine what type of pain it is. You may need to see a horse vet to help you out with this.

Read below to find out the most common causes of horse back pain.

Common Causes of Horse Back Pain

There’re some common causes of pain in a horse’s back. These can include:
1) Injury
2) Pinched spinal nerve
3) Arthritis in the spine
4) Bad saddle fit
5) Lameness in a hind-limb
6) Vertebrae or spinal nerve tumor(s)

Tip #3 Determine The Appropriate Kind of Treatment

horse back pain symptoms

Your veterinarian will have to examine your horse to make a determination of the type of back pain and the exact location before treatment can begin.

If the pain is mild or it’s just soreness, an anti-inflammatory medication and stall rest may be all your horse needs. If the pain is more acute, injected steroids or other anti-inflammatory medications may be needed along with stall rest.

Muscle relaxers and alternative therapies may also be used for some situations. For situations such as a spinal tumor, a full recovery may not be likely.

A Word About Saddle Fit and Back Pain

horse back pain symptoms

If the cause of your horse’s back pain can be traced to an ill-fitting saddle, you’ll need to get a properly-fitted saddle for your horse. Fortunately, this cause of back pain is easy to correct.

A saddle that doesn’t fit your horse can pinch, rub, and cause pressure wounds along the withers and back. If your horse is small and short-backed, a too-big saddle’s skirts can rub your horse’s hips. In addition, the saddle needs to fit you as well.

If the saddle doesn’t fit you, it will throw you off balance and interfere with your horse’s movement. An unbalanced rider can also cause a horse to have back pain.

Do You Have The Right Type of Saddle?

To avoid horse back pain, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct type of saddle.

For instance, a barrel horse should have a saddle meant for barrel racing. An endurance horse should have a saddle made for long hours in the saddle. And a trail rider should have a saddle made for hours of riding over rough terrain.

Your saddle is the most important piece of equipment you’ll buy for you and your horse. Pick the right one, and you’ll both ride in comfort.

Horse Back Pain Symptoms Conclusion

A horse with back pain is unsound and unsafe to ride.

Some back pain can be avoided with common sense, such as proper saddle fit. Once pain has been diagnosed, treatment can begin. After your vet gives clearance, you can begin working with your horse again.

If your saddle is the cause of your horse’s pain, you’ll have to get a saddle that fits. There’s no way to make an ill-fitting saddle work for your horse. Back pain will take your horse out of the game.

But in most cases, proper care, and a proper saddle, will get your horse back to his former level in his discipline. Be patient and follow your veterinarian’s directions to get your horse pain-free and ready to ride once again.

Fly Masks For Horses with Ears – How to Stop Pesky Flies From Hurting Your Horse

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Fly Masks For Horses with Ears

When you see the title of this article, you’re probably thinking, “What does she mean “Fly Masks for Horses with Ears”? Don’t all horses have ears?  

Of course, they do. What my title is trying to convey is that there are fly masks with ears for horses – as opposed to fly masks that don’t have a covering for the horse’s ears.


Okay. Now that we got that out of the way…

When the height of fly season hits, one thing you should consider is fly masks for horses with ears. Flies are an annoyance for any horse. Yours isn’t an exception.

While fly repellants can be very good, they have one big drawback… they only work for a short time.

Then you have to reapply. And if you aren’t there when the repellant fails, your horse is once again vulnerable. A simple fly mask with ear coverings can be a real help for your horse. This article will discuss fly masks with ears for horses.

Your Horse’s Comfort Is The Goal

As horse keepers, our main goal should be the comfort and well-being of our animals. And while it’s true that each horse is an individual, some are bothered by flies more than others. No horse would volunteer to have face-flies dining upon the sensitive skin around its eyes or nostrils.

So, here are the top 3 benefits of owning fly masks with ears.

Fly Masks For Horses with Ears Benefit #1
No More Flies Sitting on Your Horse’s Face

See the picture above?

Now, how would you feel if flies were crawling all over your face, and you couldn’t swipe them off you? You’d be miserable, right? I sure would. As you can see, owning fly masks for horses with ears are essential.

More importantly, here are some things you should know: Not all fly masks are the same. Some provide a basic mesh covering for the eyes. Others cover the eyes, ears, and nostrils. But there’s more than just a physical barrier:

  • Various fly masks provide UV protection from the sun and prevent sunburn on the horse’s face, especially in lighter colored horses.
  • Fly masks with ears are a good choice to keep flies and other annoying insects out of delicate ears.
  • Vision isn’t compromised as the area over the horse’s eyes are made from mesh.

Fly Masks For Horses with Ears Benefit #2
Masks For Your Horse In the Pasture

What if your horse is turned out? Will he lose the mask? It depends. Masks are constructed to stay on the horse. But if your horse is in a pasture with a lot of trees and brush, there’s a possibility you might find a low hanging branch wearing the mask some morning.

Masks will come off before causing harm to a horse that has managed to get his mask caught on something.

If you have an open pasture, it’s doubtful your horse will be sharing his facial garments with anything else. The exception might be a playful pasture-mate pulling a mask off a buddy.

Otherwise, your horse should keep his mask firmly in place until you take it off.

A Mask We Love and Highly Recommend…

We especially love masks with ears. These are great for any horse, but if you’re showing, you have to clip the protective hairs from your horse’s ears. With the longer hairs gone, the ears are an open highway for flies and other pests to be a constant irritation.

And if your horse is especially sensitive to flies, a mask with ears can make life much more comfortable for him.

A fly mask with ears puts an instant stop to an invasion of the ear canal, no matter the reason. This is a mask we absolutely love for the protection it offers:

The Cashel Crusader Premium Fly Mask Standard With Ears CFMSE

It’s made with nylon micro mesh and blocks 70% of UV rays. It has a split top opening to keep your horse comfortable. And it’s designed to stay in place in the stall or on pasture turnout. Double darts help keep mesh from eyes, eyelashes, and temples for a great fit.

You really can’t go wrong with this one.

List Price: $33.00

Our Price: $29.99

Our Horse Fly Mask Conclusion

If your horse is bothered by the summer fly invasion, a fly mask for horses with ears could easily end your horse’s annoyance. We love them. And so do the horses.

Pick one up for your horse, and put an end to the crawling, biting, little minions who take the fun out of summer. 

Hot weather doesn’t have to be accompanied by annoying face flies pestering your horse, keeping him from enjoying the best time of the year. Fly masks for horses with ears can literally set your horse free for the summer.

Was this post helpful? Wondering how to keep your horse safe? Read my post, “5 Horse Barn Safety Rules to Save Your Horse’s Life Now”

Circle Y Gillette Saddle Review – A Great Saddle for Amateur Riders on a Budget

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The Circle Y Gillette Saddle is the perfect saddle, with a price tag that will satisfy any rider’s wallet. But it’s probably best suited for the amateur rider who can’t spend a ton of money on a fancy everyday saddle. It’s great for training and for the trail.

But what kind of horse will the Circle Y Gillette saddle fit?  If you’ve got a horse that’s built like a tank, meaning, with a short back, and shoulders as broad as a football player, then this is the saddle for you. Our tree is uniquely designed especially for those pesky foundation horses.

Foundation Horses & Circle Y Gillette Saddle

Most Quarter Horse enthusiasts will tell you that foundation horses carry what the breed is meant to be. They’re not only versatile, but they were most popular with early settlers. Today, people seem to be getting back to the old school lines, rather than going for the ones you see in a show ring.

Quarter horses make the perfect companion for the weekend trail ride, or for relaxing with your partner after work. What’s more, they’re most popular with families due to their ability to work hard while still being great with children.

Getting Away For a Weekend Ride?


  • Seat Size: 15″, 16″, 17″
  • Color: Walnut, Regular Oil
  • Tooling: Border
  • Tree: Fiberglass Reinforced Wide
  • Silver: Engraved Stainless
  • Rigging: 3-way adjustable in-skirt
  • Swell Width: 13″
  • Cantle Height: 4″
  • Horn Size: 3-1/4″ Neck, 1-7/8″ Cap
  • Skirt Size: 10-1/2″ x 26″
  • Weight: Approximately 30 lbs.

Features and Benefits of Circle Y Gillette Saddle

Why is the Circle Y Gillette Saddle perfect for weekend rides? Because the features are and benefits are perfect for the weekend rider. You’ll no doubt be riding a Quarter horse. Circle Y Gillette saddle is made with close contact, short skirt, which is perfect fit for the foundation build.

Two more benefits of the close contact short skirt is that it helps with cueing your horse, and it cuts down on weight. Our tree is made of wood with a reinforcement of fiberglass. DURAhide is used to coat the saddle in order to keep moisture away.

Fiberglass and DURAhide add another layer of staying power to keep your saddle in better shape over time. But that’s not it. There’s more to this nifty saddle…

Keep Your Horse Cool and Its Spine Free From Pressure

Here’s kicker: the Circle Y Gillette saddle is designed with what’s called a TunnelSkirt. Keeping your horse cool during your ride is important. More importantly, the TunnelSkirt stops spinal pressure. When your horse is comfortable, you’re apt to get more cooperation from your friend.

Circle Y Gillette Saddle Guarantees No More Sore Butt…

And if you’re not able to ride every day on a ranch or training, don’t worry. Our saddle has the extra benefits of pre-shaped fenders with metal stirrups and an ImpactFoam seat for your comfort. What does that mean for you?

It means no more sore butt.

Easy Mounting and Dismounting with Circle Y Gillette Saddle

Don’t you hate a saddle that’s hard to dismount? So do we. A lower cantle makes it easier to swing your leg over when mounting or dismounting. Wouldn’t that be super helpful when you’re out on a trail and you need a break from the saddle?

Even on the most forgiving terrain, it’s sometimes hard to lift yourself in and out of the saddle from the ground.

Spreads Like Butter Over Your Horse’s Back

You should take note, though. When you put this saddle on your horse, it may not sit flat. However once you’re in the saddle, it spreads like butter over your horse’s back. Remember, our saddle fits the short back, wide shoulder horse like a glove.

A word of caution: Be sure to rig the same on each side of the saddle.

My Circle Y Gillette Wrap Up

In conclusion, the Circle Y Gillette Saddle is guaranteed to provide comfort to you and your horse. You’ll be so thankful if you have a hard-to-fit horse too. You’ll also have the added benefit that this saddle won’t break the bank, and it has just enough bells and whistles to make both horse and rider feel confident.

Did you find this post helpful? Post your comments below. I love hearing from my readers. If you’re looking for some more trail saddle reviews, read my post, “Martha Josey Ultimate Cash Barrel Saddle MJ79 Review”.

What’s the Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddle on the Market?

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Looking for the best lightweight western trail saddle? It’s our most popular Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 trail saddle. Yep. This saddle is the most sought after, purchased, best lightweight Western trail saddle on the market.

Hands down.

But what makes the Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 trail saddle the best lightweight Western trail saddle on the market?

I’ll get into the specific features shortly. But here are some of the key benefits of the Walnut Grove saddle. First, it gives you a unique, but classic, look on the trail. Second, it’s made with an A-Fork Swell with a deep seat for all day trail riding.

Third, it’s got a short skirt with rounded back for your short-back horse. Last, but not least, it’s lightweight. Let me go into more detail about this popular saddle that’s selling like hot cakes.

Unique But Classic Look

As I mentioned, the Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 trail saddle has a unique, but classic look on the trail. Styled like the cowboy west, but weighing only 26 pounds, it makes for a great trail saddle.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddle Feature #1
A-Fork Swell, Means More Leg Room for You

Our Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 trail saddle’s first great features start with the post horn and the A-Fork swell. The A-Fork swell gives this saddle a more western look, that ranch look. However, unlike ranch saddles, this saddle is a light trail saddle.

What’s more, a more narrow swell is going to let your legs swing more freely, front and back, without hitting your knees on the swell. Let’s talk about the seat.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddle Feature #2
Deep, Comfortable Seat

Because the Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 trail saddle has a more narrow swell, it also has a deeper seat pocket with a 5 inch cantle. How does that benefit you as the rider? It means that you’re going to feel more secure in your seat.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddle Feature #3
Impact Foam for Comfortable, But Durable Seat

But wait, there’s more. The real benefit of this seat lies in the impact foam seat padding. It doesn’t break down. It holds up to extreme temperatures. That means this saddle is going to hold up a really long time while giving you a comfortable ride all day long.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Yeah, I want a new saddle with a comfortable seat, but I also don’t want to have to break in a new saddle.”

That makes sense to me. That’s why this next feature is going to convince you that the Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail saddle is the right one for you.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddle Feature #4
No More Break-In Period

Annoyed with the break-in period of a new saddle? No more! Circle Y has, what’s called their Softee seat jockey and fenders. What does that mean for you? It means a more pliable, soft fender. That’s right. It’s ready to ride right out of the box!

Okay, you say. “But I have problems with my knees and ankles after a long trail. How will the Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail saddle solve that problem?” Easy. Keep reading.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddle Feature #5
Say Goodbye to Strained Knees and Ankles

Lastly, this saddle comes with a trail stirrup. It’s a wood stirrup with a leather tread. It’s an Ergobalance stirrup, meaning the bar across the stirrup is in a cone shape.

What’s the significance you ask?

Our Ergobalance stirrup is going to tip the stirrup for you, which will help reduce fatigue on your knees and ankles.

Seriously. The way the stirrups are made helps prevent stress and strain and the knees and ankles.
By the way, it’s also going to promote a more balanced seat position and ride for you. But what about my horse, you ask?

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail saddle has added features specifically with your horse’s comfort in mind.
Keep reading…

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail Saddle Benefits for Your Horse

Your horse is going to love the comforting features of this saddle. First, there’s the skirt. The skirt is a short, rounded, lightweight saddle that won’t interfere with a short-backed horse.

In addition, it has Circle Y’s high technology Flex2 tree, which promotes stability for the rider and flexibility on your horse. How does the Flex2 tree work?

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail Saddle Benefit #1
Dual Bar System Adds Stability and Flexibility

High Density Bar

Flex2 tree has a dual bar system. There are 2 parts to the flex tree. The first bar is underneath the rider. It’s called a higher density bar. It’s a stronger, less flexible, more rigid bar, which helps distribute the rider’s weight.

It also helps prevent the saddle from collapsing.

How does the high density bar help prevent collapse? Well, our Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 tree saddle never widens and it never gets more narrow. The high density bar will prevent that from happening along with the ground seat underneath the rider.

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail Saddle Benefit #2

Low Density Bar

On the other hand, the dual bar system contains properties of the Flex2 tree that will help with your horse’s comfort.

See, on the edges and around the tips of the bars contains a low density bar. Low density bar allows more flexibility with the movement of your horse, which helps prevent pressure points. Your horse will be happy with more freedom of movement.

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail Saddle Benefit #3
3 Way Adjustable in-Skirt Rigging

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 trail saddle has Circle Y’s 3 way in-skirt adjustable rigging.

What that means is you have different positions you can select depending on the fit and position you need for your horse. So, for example, if you adjust the rigging in the more forward position, it’s going to put the saddle back a little on your horse.

And if you adjust the rigging in the back position, that’s going to help alleviate some of the pressure off the shoulders and over the withers on your horse.

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail Saddle Benefit #4
Neoprene Filling – Shock Absorbent for Rocky Terrain

Having a shock absorbing saddle when riding over rough terrain is a must. Part of what makes this the best lightweight Western trail saddle is that this saddle has neoprene filler. You can’t see it, but you can see just the edge of the neoprene sticking out around the skirting.

Circle y uses neoprene filler in the skirts, which helps absorb shock when riding over rough terrain.

Neoprene is usually used in saddle pads, cinches, and girths. Now, Circle Y has moved neoprene into their saddles. Did you say you need a saddle that helps keep your horse cool? We’ve got you covered with the tunnel skirt.

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail Saddle Benefit #5
Flex2 Tunnel Skirt – Hot Air Out, Cool Air In

Although all of the above-mentioned features make this one of the best lightweight western trail saddle on the market, the Flex2 Tunnel Skirt may be one of the most important.

Circle Y’s Flex2 Tunnel Skirt tree technology alleviates pressure over the spine of your horse. It prevents rubbing and sore spots.

Tunnel skirts also allows airflow through the saddle so it keeps your horse cool and ready to go through those long, long trail rides. You can see all the way through the tunnel from front to back and vis versa.

Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 Trail Saddle Benefit #6
Stylish with Fancy Tooling

The floral tooling is the feature pattern on the Walnut Grove, with some border detailing. It has iron bucking cowboy conchos to accent the look and includes 3 sets of strings for all your gear.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddle Conclusion

If you like an A-Fork swell, with a deep seat for all day trail riding, or if you just need that short skirt with the rounded back for your short-backed horse, consider the Circle Y Walnut Grove Flex2 trail saddle model #1157.

It’s the best lightweight Western saddle on the market.

Was this post helpful? If so, please leave your comments below. If you’re looking for more trail saddle reviews, read my post, “Julie Goodnight Saddle Sale – For Long Comfortable Rides”.

Circle Y Pioneer Saddle Sale – Stops Pain in the Tush?

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A Circle Y Pioneer Saddle is a must-have if you’re someone who loves to go trail riding with the girls, but hate having a sore butt, sore ankles and feet? Want to trail ride, go camping, or just get away for the weekend?

The Circle Y Pioneer Saddle I feature in this post will convince you that this is the saddle for you and your horse.

But before I share this saddle with you, I want you to:

Imagine this…

You’ve planned a fun-filled trail riding getaway with your girlfriends. Your getaway is nestled on a 500-acre spread in the heart of the scenic Hudson River Valley… It’s all been planned. Trail riding during the day with your girls. BBQs, rock climbing, campfires and sipping wine under the stars gossiping about your latest crush.

What’s The Problem?

The problem is, on the first day of your getaway, after just a few hours of riding, you’re legs are killing you. You’re hunched over like a 96 year-old lady. And you walk like one too. For god sakes. All you want to do is soak in some Epsom Salt for the next 3 months.

And you know what else? Your horse’s back is sore. Poor thing. He doesn’t want you to touch him with a 10-foot pole. Well, I’ve got a solution for you.

Today’s feature saddle is the Circle Y Pioneer 1665 Flex2 Trail saddle. Circle Y is a pioneer in the industry with this particular trail Saddle.

Circle Y Pioneer Saddle Benefit #1
What’s Most Important to You in a Trail Saddle?

What’s so great about the Circle Y Pioneer 1665 Flex2 Trail saddle? The answer lies in the seat. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a saddle on a bumpy ride for hours, with nothing to cushion the blow. Our Circle Y Pioneer saddle fixes that problem for you.

Circle Y Pioneer Saddle Benefit #2
Comfort for the Rider – Got Sore Tush?

So, your brain is racked, trying to figure out all of these awesome features. Let me help sort it out for you. First, you’ve got the comfort for the rider. This saddle comes with Circle Y’s great impact foam seat that’s known in the industry as one of the best seats you can find.

What does that mean for you? It means no more sore butt!

circle y pioneer saddle

Circle Y Pioneer Saddle Benefit #2
No More Sore Feet, Ankles…

Next, you’ve got your EBS stirrups. What in the world is “EBS” you’re asking? Well, the EBS stirrups have a cone bar, and that’s going to help tip the stirrup so that it’s in a more ergonomic position for your foot.
You’ll notice that at the end of a long ride. Your feet and ankles will thank you.

Circle Y Pioneer Saddle Benefit #4
No More Break-In Period- It’s Already Done For You…

Our Circle Y Pioneer saddle is made with Softee leather. That means, right out of the box, these fenders are ready to go. No break in period with this Circle Y Pioneer saddle. There are two soft pieces of leather that have been stitched together for one awesome, soft fender.

Circle Y Pioneer Saddle Benefit #5
You Won’t Feel a Thing on Bumpy Rides

It’s mighty hard to enjoy a car ride when you feel every bump in the road. Well, it’s the same with trail riding. To solve that problem, Circle uses what’s called the neo shock skirt filler. You can’t see it on the saddle itself, so let me explain what it is and it’s function.

Basically, Circle Y takes neoprene, fills the skirts underneath the leather, so that it reduces shock on bumpy rides.

Circle Y Pioneer Saddle Benefits Your Horse
Shock Absorbent Saddle

Now, what about your horse’s comfort? So, you’ve got the neo-shock filler that reduces the shock which your horse will be thankful for. He won’t feel your bouncing on his back as sharp jabs.

A Saddle That Keeps Your Horse Cool

Our Circle Y Pioneer saddle has got this nifty (cool) feature called the tunnel skirting. What exactly is tunnel skirting? A lot of saddles you’ll see are closed off in the back. Not this saddle. With this saddle, you can look directly from the front, to the back, looking straight underneath the saddle.

How does this benefit your horse? Why, that’s going to allow more airflow to keep your horse cooler, of course.

Even Fits Hard-to-Fit Horses (Jackpot)

Hey, what if you have a hard to fit horse? Circle Y Pioneer saddle has a little bit more of a short skirt. It comes in medium, wide and extra wide Flex2 trees, which means you can get a fit for any horse.

If you have a high withered horse, we can fit it. Got a mutton withered horse? We got you. Short-back horse? Yup. We got your covered. This saddle is great for all kinds of horses. Being that this saddle is lightweight, coming in at only around 25 pounds, your horse is going to love it.

Circle Y Pioneer Functionality…

At the end of the day, this saddle’s a really cool trail saddle because it has all of the great features for both you and your horse. Did I mention it also has a close contact cut skirt, making it great for an arena trail saddle combo for all-around type pleasure work?

Sure does.

Add up all those great features, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t pick up the Circle Y Pioneer saddle. So treat yourself well. Buy it right here, right now. If you want a more in-depth review of the Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle read it here.

Best Fly Sheets for Horses – How to Stop Flies, Block Heat and Repel Dust

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best fly sheets for horses

Picking the best fly sheets for horses isn’t as difficult as you might think. Using a fly sheet is a great way to help your horse remain free of flies (and other pests) and stay comfortable. No one likes their horse being uncomfortable.

And it’s totally unnecessary.

A good fly sheet is an easy way to provide relief from pests in the stable. And some fly sheets will hold up to pasture turnout too. Now, let’s get down to my review of some of the 3 best fly sheets for horses. One of these three sheets is bound to be the perfect solution for your horse.

Best Fly Sheets for Horse #1 – Tri-Shield Sheet

best fly sheets for horses

The first fly sheet I’d like to introduce you to is the PVC Coated Mesh Tri-Shield Fly Sheet. This is a sheet you’ll love for several reasons. First, it’s a great sheet to put between your horse, flies, the sun, and dust. But that’s just the start of what this sheet offers.

Your horse isn’t the only one who’ll love it. You will too for these 5 reasons:
1) It’s comfortable for your horse
2) It’s non-abrasive
3) Body heat is released as cooler air flows through
4) You won’t have to deal with mildew, as it’s mildew resistant
5) It’s easy to clean

The Tri-Shield sheet is tightly woven PVC coated mesh with a double buckle front. It also offers fleece to protect the withers. The hardware is brass plated for a great look and reliability. The sheet comes in hunter green and navy blue, in multiple sizes.

The list price of this sheet is $82.20
Our price is $72.95

This is a sheet that’s hard to beat.

Best Fly Sheets for Horses #2 – Full Cover Sheet

best fly sheets for horses

Another sheet I like is the Contour Poly Sheet with Neck Cover and Mask. I like it because sometimes you want a full cover for your horse. It’s well-constructed of woven Poly mesh that’s reinforced with Nylon.

It comes with a neck cover, fly mask, and a tail flap. The front closure is a single surcingle. The Contour Poly Sheet with Neck Cover and Mask has elastic leg straps and is contour-cut for an excellent fit.

You’ll want to use this sheet with stalled horses, when trailering, or going to horse events. What colors does it come in? It only comes in white.

The list price of this sheet is $55.50
Our price is $49.95

When you don’t need a heavy duty sheet for turnout, this is a sheet you won’t regret purchasing.

Best Fly Sheets for Horse #3 – Zebra Mesh Sheet

best fly sheets for horses

The third sheet I like is the Zebra Mesh Fly Sheet. This sheet is a secret weapon against flies. Horseflies and common flies aren’t attracted to the zebra’s patterned stripes. The black and white stripes and the way the sun plays off them is confusing to insects – so they’ll avoid it.

As a result of this sheet’s design, it’ll let your horse go incognito – under the guise of a zebra. And the flies will go elsewhere.

The Zebra Mesh Fly Sheet is also a comfortable, lightweight mesh constructed of poly/nylon for natural air circulation. With a double buckle front, and adjustable belly and leg straps, this sheet is secure and well-fitted.

What colors does this sheet come in?

best fly sheets for horses

It comes in purple with black zebra stripes, and the typical black and white zebra pattern. It also comes in multiple sizes. Not only is this sheet a good fly barrier, it’s fun to turn your horse into a zebra!

The list price of this sheet is $55.50
Our price is $49.95

You can’t go wrong with fighting flies while going undercover as a striped horse.

My Best Fly Sheets for Horses Conclusion

As you can see, fly sheets are an essential addition to your tack trunk that’ll make life easier and more comfortable for your horse. They’re an inexpensive way to invest in your horse’s health and comfort. At the end of the day, don’t you, as a good horse owner, want to make your horse’s life better?

A fly sheet will help you do just that. Any of these quality sheets will help your horse cope with flying pests, the heat of the sun, and repel dust from a clean coat. The sheets I love will easily become a staple in your stable that you’ll love too.

Was this post helpful to you? Please leave your comments below. Now that we’re going into the Fall and Winter seasons, you may be also interested in checking out my horse blanket post.

But before you buy a horse blanket, read my post, “Wondering How to Measure Horse Blanket Size?”

Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665 Review

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Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665

The Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665 is as good as it gets. From its wide range of options that are guaranteed to fit the most difficult horses and riders to how it’s built to last, this saddle will not disappoint even the pickiest of buyers.

Circle Y stands behind its products, and the Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle is no different.

Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665

Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665

List Price: $2,365

Our Price: $2,150


  • Cantle Height: 4″
  • Skirt Size: 15″ x 26″
  • Weight: Approximately 25 lbs.

About Circle Y

Circle Y has been around since 1960. The Texas-based manufacturer is beloved among Arabian horse riders for being not only a great price for a saddle, but for being so great about offering saddles that will fit an Arabian’s pesky body type.

The Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle is no different, as its short skirt and extra-wide tree will fit most, if not all, Arabians. Circle Y saddles are used by some of the leading members of the equestrian community, such as Kelly Kaminski, Cody Cow, and Julie Goodnight. And their reviews match most customers who have purchased this saddle.

Designed for the Long Haul

Anyone can tell customers about the ErgoBalance Stirrups and the close contact skirt design.

What they may not be able to tell you about is that the seat is built with Impact Foam padding. This adds extra comfort where it really matters when spending a long day in the saddle. The Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle comes equipped with the standard bits of luxury horses and riders can expect out of the saddle makers in Texas.

But one added measure of comfort went into designing the high and low-density bars. These are built to conform to your horse, at all times (even in motion). The skirt is also designed with a Neo-Shock element, which takes the brunt of the shock when traveling rough terrain.

Who Needs This Saddle?

Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665

Right out of the gate, this saddle is equipped with everything a rider will need to do whatever job is necessary. The rigging makes it possible for the rider to choose between full, 7/8, or ¾ position (hence why it’s such a durable saddle for varied riders and disciplines).

For the uneducated, rigging refers to the D-rings on either side of a saddle. They’re what strap the saddle onto the horse. Rigging on a saddle is related to its purpose, and it correlates to how much stability the activity requires.

For example, trail riders typically use the 7/8 position rigging. In other words, for this saddle to offer three different rigging setups means it’s a versatile choice for a rider.

My Final Thoughts…

Customers flock to a great deal, especially when they find a great balance of quality and value. The Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle is one of the most reliable saddles that Circle Y has produced.

From working on the ranch to performing in the show ring, the saddle not only fits most horses and riders but also fits several disciplines.

Did you find this post helpful? I have more trail saddles for you if you haven’t found the one you’re looking for. Check out my T60 High Plains Saddle Review.

Wondering How to Measure Horse Blanket Size?

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how to measure horse blanket size

How to measure horse blanket size is a must if you’re considering purchasing a blanket for your horse. Why is it vital to buy a blanket in the proper size? Because an ill-fitting blanket can pinch, rub, and cause severe pain for your horse.

Worst case scenario, an improperly fitted blanket can be deadly. In this post, I’ll explain how to measure a horse for the correct blanket size.

Why Blanket Your Horse?

There are a few reasons why someone might blanket their horse. The first reason, is to prevent unwanted change in the hair-coat. For instance, someone competing on a show circuit would need to blanket their horse during the end of the show season which can run into October and sometimes later.

Why? Because blanketing will keep the hair show-short.

The second reason to blanket your horse is if you have moved your horse from a warm environment to a colder climate and the horse isn’t acclimated to the cold. You’ll need to know how light or heavy a blanket to purchase.

The third reason to blanket is if you have gaited show horses in which set-tails are still used.

No matter your feeling on setting tails, if the tail is set, the horse should wear a blanket beneath the tail-set harness to prevent sores from developing.

What Are the Different Types of Horse Blankets?

Stable Blanket

how to measure horse blanket size

As the name implies, these blankets are intended for horses kept stalled. They’re not waterproof and shouldn’t be used on a horse that’s turned out.

Turnout Blanket

how to measure horse blanket size

These blankets are made from tough materials and are waterproof. They’re designed to keep horses warm in cold, wet weather.

Rain Sheet

how to measure horse blanket size

The rain sheet is good for adding a layer of rain proofing, but not for warmth. This blanket is also used to protect horses who are prone to rain rot.


The cooler blanket is used to keep a horse warm during or right after a workout. They’re  also used as fly sheets.

How to Measure Horse Blanket Size

Because blanket sizes tend to vary, it’s possible that despite careful measuring, you will have to try a few blankets before getting a perfect fit. And as I stated in the beginning of this post, it’s very important that a blanket fits correctly.

To measure, you’ll need either a cloth tape measure or a spool of twine that you can measure from. If you use twine, just snip it at the point you stop measuring on your horse or use a marker to mark the twine.


Then measure the length of twine. You’ll need an assistant to help measure. Tie your horse in a secure area, make sure he’s standing squarely when you measure.

Then take the tape measure or twine and start in the center of the chest and measure across the shoulder, over the barrel, and across the thickest part of the haunch to the edge of the tail. Make sure the measuring tape or twine remains parallel to the ground.

If you used twine, measure the twine. This is the size blanket you’ll need. If the measurement is an odd number, you’ll need to add 1 to make it even.

Horse Blankets We Like

We love a good turnout blanket and these are top of the line. 

Tough-1 1200D Waterproof Poly Full Neck Turnout Blanket 32-2120FN

how to measure horse blanket size

Made for very cold weather, from below zero to 15 degrees. If your horse has to be turned out in bitter weather, this is a blanket that your horse will love. This blanket comes in three great colors and features:

  • Made of 1200 denier waterproof 
  • Poly outer shell with 210 lining 
  • 300 grams poly fill 
  • Full neck for extra warmth 
  • Customizable fit 
  • Fleece wither protection 
  • Crossed surcingles with elastic ends 
  • Adjustable leg straps with elastic ends 
  • Adjustable double buckle front with snap closures 
  • Shoulder gussets for freedom of movement

List price: 141.59

Our price: 118.95

Tough-1 1200D Chevron Turnout Blanket With Snuggit Neck 32-7125S

how to measure horse blanket size

This blanket, with the adjustable Snuggit neck allows for a more custom fit that we love.

This blanket features:

  • Fleece wither protection 
  • Durable 1200 denier ripstop nylon 
  • Waterproof nylon with a 210 denier lining 
  • Shoulder gussets 
  • Adjustable and replaceable leg straps with elastic ends 
  • Double buckle front with snap closures 
  • Crossed surcingle with elastic ends 
  • Tail flap

List price: 146.88

Our price: 118.95


If you decide to blanket your horse, getting the correct measurement is vitally important. A too small blanket can rub, chafe, cause sores, and bind legs. And a blanket that is too large, is dangerous because a horse can get a hoof caught when lying down or rolling. 

The right blanket can make bad weather much more tolerable for your horse. It’s easy to measure for proper fit, and when you know the blanket is safe for your horse, you can better handle bad weather too.

I hope you found this post helpful. Do you know how to measure your horse for a saddle? Read my post, “How to Measure a Horse for a Saddle”.

Circle Y Copper Mine Saddle Review

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circle y copper mine

The Circle Y Copper Mine Saddle is one of the highest reviewed and best-selling saddles that Circle Y has produced. With the latest upgrade, copper spots and copper cross conchos have added some flair to the popular design.

Why is the Circle Y Copper Mine Saddle So Popular?

Here’s the answer… because it’s a wide-bodied horse owner’s dream for western training or everyday saddle. From the full-grain leather to the custom conchos, the Cooper Mine Saddle from Circle Y will fit your budget, your horse, and your style.

Is the Circle Y Copper Mine Saddle Worth the Price?

It depends on how important flexibility, comfort, and style are to you.

When it comes to flexibility, this is a saddle that will fit most riders and most horses. The 3-way adjustable rigging will suit most horses’ conformations.

D-rings are located on the swells and skirts to accommodate training aids.

The Softee seat jockey and fenders provide a comfortable ride for both horse and rider. And the ErgoBalance Stirrups will cut down on joint pain after rides. Add to that the Impact Foam seat that provides a comfortable cushion during rides, and you have a perfect combination for the price tag.

What’s so special about this saddle?

circle y copper mine

The Circle Y Copper Mine saddle isn’t just pretty. It’s good for both you and your horse, too. This saddle is equipped with the Flex2 Tunnel Skirt, which creates a channel along the spine to cut down on the rubbing that produces sore spots.

This decrease in pressure along the spine also allows hot air to escape so your horse can stay cooler on those long trail and arena rides.

And don’t forget about the Flex2 tree, which has proven to be a headache-free tree. Unlike other trees, it won’t get wider over time or flex to create pressure points (if it’s properly fitted). And it’s a lightweight saddle to boot.

And that’s not all. The skirt is equipped with a Neo-Shock system that’s designed to take most of the shock that comes from traveling on uneven terrain. It conforms to your horse and muffles any vibration between you, the saddle, and the horse so you’re all riding smoother.

Then there’s the dual bar system. This saddle has two. It offers a high-density bar, which disperses rider weight, as well as a low-density bar, which rests against the horse to give it more freedom of movement.

Which Tree Should I Get?

circle y copper mine

Getting the right fit for your horse is paramount for a good riding experience. For horses with a defined wither, the regular tree size is recommended. For horses that are wider or have mutton withers (little to no defined withers when looking at them from the side), a wide tree is recommended.

Circle Y Copper Mine Flex2 Trail Saddle 1565

Circle Y Copper Mine

List Price: $2,365

Our Price: $2,150


  • Skirt: 13″ D x 26″ L
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Cantle: 4”

What horse and rider combinations is this saddle suited for?

Without mincing words, this is a saddle for everyone. With the options available, this is a saddle that can be fitted to any horse and rider combination. And it still leaves room in the budget for all the other accessories for riding.

Was this post helpful? Looking for more trail saddle reviews? Read my “Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle Review”

Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle On Sale – Buy Now

By | Horse Saddle Reviews | 18 Comments

circle y reno trail saddle

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.

Style Unrivaled

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.

14″ to 18″ Circle Y Reno Flex2 Trail Saddle 2373

circle y reno trail saddle

Circle Y Reno Trail Saddle 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 is the Best Food For Horses with Ulcers?

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Best Food For Horses with Ulcers

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?

Best Food For Horses with 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?

Best Food For Horses with 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.

Ulcer Symptoms

⦁ 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

Diagnosing Ulcers

Best Food For Horses with Ulcers

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

Best Food For Horses with Ulcers

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

Best Food For 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.

Best Food For Horses with Ulcers

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 – How to Treat and Clean Horse Hooves

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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.

horse hoof abscess treatment

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.

horse hoof abscess treatment

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
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 treatmen

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

horse hoof abscess treatment

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.

Recovery Time

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.

horse hoof abscess treatment

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.

Was this post helpful? You may want to read my post “How to Stop a Horse from Bucking” to find out why your horse is bucking and what to do about its behavior.

Do You Know How to Stop a Horse From Bucking?

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how to stop a horse from bucking

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

how to stop a horse from bucking

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.

how to stop a horse from bucking

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

how to stop a horse from bucking

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.

11 Beginner Barrel Racing Tips – to Help You Win The Jackpot Big Time

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Beginner Barrel Racing Tips

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.

beginner barrel racing tips

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 tips

Beginner Barrel Racing Tip #4 – The Right Equipment

You’ll need correct gear. Use a saddle suited for barrel racing. These saddles typically have rounded skirts and a deep seat to keep you as secure as possible.

Beginner Barrel racing tip

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.

beginner barrel racing tips

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.

Was this post helpful? If so, please leave your comments below. If you’re looking for the best barrel racing saddles, please read my post, “Martha Josey Ultimate Cash Barrel Saddle Review”.

How to Calm Horses – Natural or Medication?

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how to calm horses

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.

Medication Recommendation

Ramard Total Calm & Focus Show Safe Supplement

how to calm horses

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.

Cavalor Calm

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.

SynNutra SynChill Gel

how to calm horses

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.

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