Connie ChristopherConnie Christopher has been a riding instructor for 30 years. Graduating from Meredith Manor an acreditated Equine studies school in 1976. The facility offers public riding lessons both English and Western, Beginner through Advanced. Connie has managed the lesson program as well as coaching, training and showing. Quarter horses on the state and national level.
Hi, I am Coney and this is Sam and this is Bobby and we are from Crestwood Farm and we are going to demonstrate how to tack a horse up. We are going to be tacking Bobby up today. Western, this is a Western Saddle pad that falls right in the middle, its a thick pad, so it helps to protect his back. We set it on his back covering his withers which is the tall bone on the top of his back. So, we put the saddle pad over top of his withers, it falls right in the middle, so that you have equal amounts on each side of his body of the pad. The saddle, we want to lift it up and hold it so that we have the girth on top of the saddle and the stirrup on top of the saddle so that nothing gets caught underneath the saddle when we pick it up and set it on his back. You are going to have the top of the saddle which is the horn. You are going to -- thats the horn -- you are going to keep that over top of his withers. Then you will come to the other side of the horse and pull down your girth and you want to make sure the girth is not twisted or kinked up with the stirrup so that when you pull the girth underneath the horses belly, it will be hanging flat and smooth next to his skin. The girth is the thing that holds the saddle on. You pull it under his belly and then you tie it up with whats called a latigo strap. Thats the long strap that Sam is using to tie up the girth. You run it through the ring of the girth and then back up on top of the ring then you cross to the other side. You go through the middle of the ring, then you cross the middle and up to the other side. Then you have a little loop that you take at the end of the strap down through. Then after you get the knot tied then you tighten the girth, so that the saddle is tied. Its a good thing to always tighten your saddle when you put it on the horse and then we will retighten it again before you mount. The next thing that we do is to put his bridle on. He is tied up with a halter, this is a halter and these are cross ties. So, we have to take his halter off to get his head free, to put his bridle on. We want to put the halter around his neck so that we have the horse tied up while we put his bridle on. He is still tied up but his head is free. We are going to put the bit in his mouth. This is the bit here that goes in his mouth. This chain goes behind his chin. So you put the bit up to the horses teeth and place it against his teeth. Now open his mouth, you slide the bit in. The top part of the bridle which is called the crown goes behind his ears. This particular bridle is a One Ear Headstall; one of his ears goes through this leather loop here and goes around his ear. Thats what holds the bridle on. The chain is down here behind his chin and the reins which are your brakes and your stirring wheel when you are riding the horse, you hold them close to his mouth with your right hand and hold the rest in your left hand when you go to leading. Thats how we properly saddle a horse for Western Riding.