Saddling your horse more comfortablyPosted by Christina Savitsky on Jul 31, 2011 in Monthly Tips & Exercises, Tack & Gear, Tips & Exercises Blog | 1 comment
Here’s a little video I put together for you to show you how to swing your saddle onto your horse. Please do not lift & hurt yourself! Please do not throw & hurt your horse!
So there are a couple things I’d like to mention:
I put my saddle on from the off side, if your horse has never been saddled from that side, do so with caution!
I know my horse is near pony size compared to many horses out there! I’m 5’7” with long legs & arms, hey I got lucky what can I say?? There are many a day I’d trade an inch of length for some curves!! BUT I can put my husband’s saddle (that weighs 8-10 lbs. more than my own) on a 16 hand horse. AND just this summer I had the opportunity to ride a 17 hand gaited horse, in his saddle first, then traded to my own saddle very quickly! I can’t say it was easy, Sam’s withers were about eye level for me, I had to hold my saddle on the near side of the seat rather than the far-side, but I did it without wacking him in the butt with my stirrup! It’s all in the swing & the centrifugal force doing most of the work! Although I will say that in all honestly I would have had trouble getting my husband’s saddle up on Sam! So, my point is that I know I took the easy route here demonstrating on Tail-light, but notice how I did as little work as possible. Just because I can put this saddle on a 16 hand horse doesn’t mean I swung it the same for Tail-light as I would have for a taller horse. The goal is to keep the saddle as close to your horse as possible, the less the saddle drops down onto the horse’s back the happier you both will be! If you attempt to put the saddle on a 16 hand horse but you have a 14.2 hand horse in-front of you, you are going to have to stop the momentum of the saddle in order to put it down in the right place on the horse’s back, that equals more effort on your part and a stirrup wack in the side for your horse.
In that same vain, if you are having trouble putting your saddle on your horse, chances are good you have trouble putting yourself on your horse too! It’s odd to me how common it is to find a 5’ tall woman with a 16 hand horse, if we were as picky about our horses as we are our husbands you wouldn’t see that sort of thing! Anyway if you can’t get on without a mounting block, guess you shouldn’t leave the arena. If you’re only in a flat arena get yourself a good dressage saddle, they weigh less (but they cost the same even though they have 1/3 of the leather, I never understood that!)
Make life easier on yourself if you are struggling, remove your cinch or girth from the saddle, it takes less than a minute to get it back on. Take it off & set it to the side so there is less for you to contend with. You can also remove a stirrup, the leathers are harder to rethread through the saddle tree, but you can unbuckle the stirrup leather as if you were changing the length, and just take it off while you tack up, but keep in mind without weight on the end of your stirrup leather the centrifugal force won’t be as great either. I find it easier to have my weighted stirrups on.
At the end of the video I talk about how to find the comfortable position to hold your saddle, standing close to your horse, see how far you can reach around the seat, the more of your forearm you can get on the saddle’s seat for leverage the better!
Enjoy! & please let me know what you think! I love to read your comments!!
AND I am available for pointers, post a short video on my facebook page of you putting your saddle on & I’d love to give you some feedback! OR do it as part of your video evaluation with some riding too!