Common Mistakes: Tack

  This week is going to be the start of a new series of blog posts called Common Mistakes. These posts will be talking about some of the common mistakes that most of us do without really thinking about it. These are little things that we can do to help out our horse, but we tend to forget to do.

  This week is going to be about the common mistakes we do with our tack.

  One of the most common items of tack we tend to overlook is the saddle pad. There are two common mistakes with the saddle pad that I have noticed. The first is that when a saddle pad is placed on a horse's back and may have been placed too far back, the rider will usually slide the pad closer to the horse's withers. The problem with this is that the hair on the horse's back is now lying on him unnaturally. The best thing to do is to pick up the saddle pad, place it further up the withers than where it needs to be and then slide it down to the right spot. That way, when you and the saddle are on his back, he will be much more comfortable.

  The other common mistake with the saddle pad is that the saddle pad is not pushed into the gullet of the saddle. This means that when you sit in your saddle, there will be extra pressure on your horse's back since the saddle pad is pushing on his spine as it stretches down with the pressure. To get rid of this problem, all you have to do is push the saddle pad into the gullet of the saddle before you attach the girth. If you want an even more simple way of doing that, place your saddle pad and your saddle on your horse's back at the same time. Your arms will push the saddle pad into the gullet without you thinking about it as you tack up your horse.

  The next common mistake with your tack is with the girth. When you tighten your girth before you get on, your horse's skin may be a little bit bunched up with the girth and that may pinch him once he takes a step. The best way to get rid of the chance of the girth pinching your horse is to stretch out both of his front legs before getting on.

  Two other common mistakes with your tack involves the bridle. The first is that riders tend to leave their nosebands crooked on their horses nose. Even though this may not really affect the horse, it may feel uncomfortable and doesn't look too nice. It's almost like when you wear crooked sunglasses. They still do the job, but it isn't too comfortable. Instead, take the few seconds to adjust the noseband on your horse's nose.

  Finally, the other mistake with the bridle involves not rinsing the bit after a good ride. Your horse had just gone through a good workout and the bit had been in his mouth the whole time. Make sure to run the bit under some water before putting it away, this will get rid of the bacteria on the bit and will make it clean for the next ride. This won't only help your bit last longer, but it can prevent your horse from consuming germs that might of landed on it.

  So that is it for this week. I hope you are all doing well and are enjoying your horses. Remember to take the time to do these simple and quick little things that will help your horse out. Thank you for reading.

  Until next time, happy riding!