Sunday, May 3, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Saddle

Waist The waist of the saddle is the narrowest part of the saddle seat.
Seat The seat of the saddle is the area where you sit. Seats come in a variety of different depths and slopes depending on the type of saddle.
Stirrup Bars The stirrup bar on a saddle is where the stirrup leather attaches to the saddle. They usually come in two types, one with a safety clip at the end and the other without. Another type of stirrup bar that can sometimes be seen in dressage saddles is one is moveable backwards and forwards.
Skirts The skirts of a saddle are stitched to the seat of the saddle and cover the stirrup bar.
Flaps Flaps on the saddle are the large pieces of leather that cover the girth straps. Different shapes of flaps come on different saddles.
Girth straps Girth straps are underneath the saddle flap and are the means for keeping the saddle on the horse. They are made from very strong leather that will take lots of wear and tear. They are usually the first part of the saddle to wear out and should be regularly checked by your saddler. Most saddles have 3 straps on each side. Dressage saddle only have 2.
Pommel The pommel of the saddle is the highest part at the front of the saddle. When riding in the saddle look straight down and you will see the pommel.
Cantle The cantle of the saddle is the highest part at the back of the saddle. This part of the saddle is very easy to damage as the leather is stretched tightly over the cantle.

Basic horse anatomy

An element of good horsemanship is knowning the basic parts of your horse.
Knowing the basic horse anatomy and the names for the different parts of tack is also important for communicating effectively with your horse's vet or or riding stable personnel.

Cannon Bone located between the knee and the fetlock, and the hock and the fetlock.
Chestnut Horny growth inside and above each knee, and inside and below each hock.
Coronary Band Where the hoof joins the leg -- where the hoof wall is produced. Source of growth and nutrition for the hoof wall and bars.
Croup Topline of horse from the top of the tail to the highest point of the hindquarters.
Fetlock Joint formed by the cannon, pastern and sesamoid bones.
Frog Triangular area located towards the back of the underside of the hoof.
Gaskin Part of the hind leg between the hock and the stifle.
Hock Joint in the hind leg joining the cannon bone and the gaskin.
Hoof The horse's foot.
Pastern Part of the leg between the coronet and the fetlock.
Withers The top of the shoulders, between the neck and the back. The highest point of the withers is used in measuring the horse's height.