90 CHAPTER 12: EQUIPMENT (TACK) G Western ood equipment is a basic necessity.
Equipment should be well made and fit both you and your horse.
Fancy equipment is not necessary for your 4-H project. You will need a saddle, saddle pad or blanket, bridle with a good bit, halter and lead rope for your 4-H project.
Other equipment, such as chaps, splint boots, spurs or lariat may be needed, depending on the type of riding you do.
Spurs are only to be used as aids.
Until you learn proper use of leg aids spurs should not be used.
Bridle The bridle consists of three parts: the headstall, bit and reins.
Western headstalls usually come in three styles: browband, split-ear and sliding ear.
Western reins come in three varieties: split, romal and mecate.
The headstall should be of strong, narrow leather.
The bit should be as light and mild as necessary while still allowing you to maintain control of your horse.
Too often severe bits are used as a substitute for good training.
Do everything possible to keep your horse’s mouth soft and responsive.
The bit is used to communicate with the horse, not control it.
Western bits fall into three main categories: snaffle, curb and spade.
A snaffle bit is a nonleverage bit while curb is a leverage bit and the spade bit is a signal bit.
The bit should fit the width of the horse’s mouth and be properly adjusted to the horse’s bar space, chin groove, lips and tongue.
Snaffle bits usually are correctly adjusted if they make one or two wrinkles in the corners of the horse’s lips.
Curb bits are usually fitted with one wrinkle or just moderate contact with the corners of the horse’s mouth.
Consult with your leader or riding instructor to learn more about proper bitting.
The hackamore is a bridle without a bit.
Hackamores come in two styles, bosal and mechanical.
A bosal is made of braided leather or rawhide and can be a valuable training tool.
Mechanical hackamores are a leverage device that creates pressure on the bridge of the nose and on the chin.
Mechanical hackamores are not acceptable in western performance classes but often are used in timed events and trail riding.
Curb straps are necessary on all leverage bits and mechanical hackamores.
Some curb straps are made of leather and some are flat chain.
All curb straps must be at least 1/2inch wide to lay flat against the horse’s chin.
Adjust the curb strap so it is tight when the bit shanks are a 45- to 50-degree angle to the mouth. 91 CHAPTER 12: EQUIPMENT (TACK) Figure 39.
Three main styles of bits: (a) a spade bit with spoon port, braces, roller, slobber chains and rein chains; (b) a sweetwater copper mouth piece curb bit; (c) shanked sweet iron snaffle with two reign rings; (d) high copper covered port with cricket roller, decorative silver shanks; (e) medium port sweet iron curb bit; (f) low port grazing shank curb bit. Headstalls Figure 40.
Browband headstall with curb bit on left; hackamore headstall with a rawhide bosal on right.
This is an excellent training tool that eliminates pulling on the mouth of the horse being trained. 92 CHAPTER 12: EQUIPMENT (TACK) — Saddles that receive proper care will last a lifetime.
Store them in a manner that supports the correct shape.
Clean the saddle regularly with a leather cleaner and conditioner and use saddle oil.
Replace worn or broken parts before they affect the function of the saddle.
Always use a clean and dry saddle pad on your horse.
There should be enough pad thickness to keep the gullet of the saddle above the withers and you should be able to place at least three fingers vertically between the withers and the saddle gullet. 93 CHAPTER 12: EQUIPMENT (TACK) Store your equipment properly and keep it out of the dirt and weather.
A saddle rack will help your saddle keep its shape during storage. English The English riding styles are the hunt seat, saddle seat and dressage. Figure 42.
Saddle Rack Hunt seat Acceptable bits include snaffles, pelhams, kimberwicks or full bridles.
All bridles must be fitted with cavesson nose bands.
Martingales, either running or standing, are permitted in classes over fences.
Martingales are training equipment not allowed in flat under saddle classes.
Correctly adjust the bit to the horse’s mouth.
Snaffle bits are usually correctly adjusted if they make one or two wrinkles in the corners of the horse’s lips.
Consult with your leader or riding instructor to learn more about proper bridle fitting.
The snaffle bridle uses a nonleverage bit and is the most commonly used bridle in hunt seat and dressage riding.
The bridle is made of plain leather (raised or flat) with a browband, cavesson, throat latch and a single set of closed reins.
A dropped noseband, figure-eight noseband and flash noseband are all training devices that fit below the snaffle bit and keep the horse’s mouth closed. Figure 43.
Snaffle bits: (a) full cheek snaffle 4½ inch mouth; (b) eggbutt snaffle 5 inch mouth with a slow twist; (c) Dring snaffle with copper rollers; (d) mullen mouth spoon cheek snaffle; (e) fulmer snaffle; (f) eggbutt bridoon; (g) O-ring snaffle large diameter hollow mouth piece; (h) western Dring, decorative rings. 94 CHAPTER 12: EQUIPMENT (TACK) The pelham bridle uses a leverage bit, called a pelham.
This bridle is different from the snaffle because it has two sets of closed reins attached to the curb bit.
The pelham also has a curb chain.
When the top rein, or snaffle rein, is pulled, it puts pressure on the corners of the horse’s mouth, lips and gums.
The curb rein, or lower rein, puts pressure on the poll, mouth and chin groove.
Correctly adjust the bit to the horse’s mouth.
Pelham bits usually are fitted with one wrinkle or just moderate contact with the corners of the horse’s mouth.
Adjust the curb strap so that it comes tight when the bit shanks are a 45-to 50degree angle to the mouth.
Consult with your 4-H leader or riding instructor to learn more about proper bridle fitting.
The full bridle, or weymouth bridle Figure 44.
The pelham bit has both nonleverage and has two bits (a snaffle and a curb), leverage functions: (a) pelham with medium port; (b) rubber mullen mouth pelham; (c) kimberwick, medium port; two reins, two cheek pieces, a browband, cavesson, throatlatch and (d) weymouth low port, smooth bridoon; and (e) curb with tongue relief, lipstrap and smooth bridoon.
A curb chain.
The curb rein puts pressure on the poll, mouth and chin groove.
The curb should fit just below the corners of the horse’s mouth without pinching.
The snaffle puts pressure on the corners of the mouth and should rest just above the curb on the corners of the mouth.
The curb chain must be twisted flat, rest below the snaffle and be loose at rest and tighten when the curb rein is pulled.
There is a lip strap attached to the bit shanks and through the curb chain (see figure 44, E).
The lip strap keeps the curb chain in place.
The browband of the bridle keeps the headstall in place and should not pinch the ears.
The cavesson encourages the horse to keep his mouth closed.
It fits between the cheek pieces and the horse’s cheek.
Adjust the cavesson to fit and lay approximately two fingers below the cheek bone; neither too tight nor too loose.
The throat latch adjustment should allow two to three fingers between it and the throat of the horse to permit the horse to flex its neck. 95 CHAPTER 12: EQUIPMENT (TACK) Figure 45.
Three types of bridles: (a) Full or Double bridle; (b) Pelham, double-reined bridle; and (c) Spliteared western bridle with curb bit. Saddle seat Full bridles are required in saddle seat.
Martingales are not allowed.
A flat English-type saddle is required.
Dressage Snaffle bridles are used in all lower levels and for most training, while full bridles are used in upper levels.
Saddles The English saddle comes in many styles.
The girth is attached to two or three billet straps that are under the flaps.
English saddles are designed to conform to the horse’s back and fit closely with a minimal amount of padding.
They have metal stirrups and are lightweight.
The flaps protect the rider from the horse’s sweat.
Some saddles have knee rolls to help riders keep their legs in place.
The skirt of the saddle protects the thighs of the rider from the stirrup bars and buckles. 96 CHAPTER 12: EQUIPMENT (TACK) Figure 46.
English saddles — CHAPTER 13: SADDLING AND BRIDLING When you catch your horse, it is best to use a halter rather than a bridle.
Let the horse know of your presence by speaking softly and gently touching him on the shoulder.
Always approach from the left side and slip the lead rope around the horse’s neck.
This gives you control of the horse until you have the halter in place.
After you catch and halter the horse, give the horse a small reward—a pat on the neck or some rubbing will do.
Tie the horse with a quick release knot or cross ties with panic snaps and give him a thorough grooming before you saddle and bridle him.
Pay extra attention to cleaning the areas covered by the bridle, saddle and cinches or girth.
Clean out the horse’s feet using a hoofpick.
Many people leave the horse tied while they saddle, but it’s preferable to untie the horse and have someone hold it by the lead shank while you saddle it.
This gives you control of the horse.
If the horse is tied and you move from one side to another, walk behind the horse at a safe distance.
What is a safe distance? The closer the better; the further away from the horse you get, the more power/force behind the horse’s kick.
Never cross under the lead rope between the tied horse and a fence or post.
If you untie the horse and hold the lead rope as you saddle, get a short, light hold of his head as you cross back and forth.
When you are ready to saddle up, make sure the saddle blanket is free of burs, straw or debris.
Lay the saddle blanket or pad on the horse’s back.
Be sure it is even on each side.
Always lay the blanket or pad several inches forward and slide it back into place.
This makes the hair under the blanket or pad lie smooth.
Remove all wrinkles.
Tacking up the western saddle Fold the off stirrup, cinches and saddle strings over the seat of the saddle or have the cinches securely tied on the off side.
If the stirrups are short, hook the stirrup tread over the horn.
Slip your right hand into the hole formed by the fork in front of the seat and lift the saddle over the horse’s back.
Lift just enough to clear the withers and hold the saddle steady at the top of the lift so it will settle easily on the horse’s back.
You can steady the saddle at the top of the lift by placing your left hand on the edge of the front skirt.
Smaller riders will find it necessary to use both hands and hold the saddle under the gullet with the left hand while grasping the rear skirts or cantle with the right hand.
Many western riders have the habit of swinging the saddle up with the off stirrup and cinches flying.
Stirrups are heavy and cinch rings are hard; a horse flinches to absorb these hard knocks when stirrups hit (see figure 47).
Do not get into this habit.
Instead, lift the saddle and settle it on the horse’s back. D evelop safe habits when saddling and bridling your horse, and always consider the horse’s behavior and reactions. 99 CHAPTER 13: SADDLING AND BRIDLING Next, ease the off stirrup and cinches from the seat or go to the off-side to let them down.
In either case, you must move to the off-side to check the stirrup, cinches, saddle strings and blanket to ensure they are straight and a correct length.
Return to the near side.
Check the position of the saddle, raise the blanket edge where it lays over the withers to allow air space, swing the near stirrup over the seat and thread the latigo through the cinch.
Follow several safety precautions when cinching.
As you reach for the front cinch, watch both ends of your horse.
Fasten the front cinch first.
Pull it up smoothly and slowly, do not jerk it tight.
Fasten it snugly but not tight; next fasten the rear cinch.
Finally, fasten and buckle the breast collar, or martingale straps.
Remember that on double-rigged saddles you attach the front cinch first, then the back cinch; unsaddle the back cinch first, then the front cinch.
Tighten the front cinch just enough to allow space for your hand, with the fingers held flat, between the horse’s body and the cinch.
The rear cinch should not be tight but should be against the skin.
It is important to have a hobble strap connecting the front and the back cinch.
Tacking up the English saddle Place the pad on the horses back and adjust it so there are not wrinkles in the pad the then lift the saddle (and pad if it is attached) up and over onto the horse’s back.
Lift the saddle pad up off of the withers into the gullet of the saddle.
Attach girth to the off-side billet straps.
Slide girth through the martingale loop if you use one, and pull the girth up and attach it to the near-side billet straps.
Do not pull up tight.
Recheck the girth after you walk your horse to the Figure 48.
Do not throw the saddle onto mounting area.
Pull stirrups down just before you the horse’s back.
Loose cinches can hit mount.
Always put stirrups up after dismounting.
The horse’s legs and startle it.
Remove the girth from both sides of the saddle when untacking.
Bridling When bridling a horse with a western bridle, untie the halter from the tie rail, fasten the crownpiece around the horse’s neck, or loop the bridle reins over its neck so you can hold them if the horse pulls away.
Loop the reins over his neck to keep them off the ground and from being stepped on by the horse.
When you bridle for English riding, put the reins over the horse’s head onto the neck.
Untie the halter from the tie rail and fasten the crownpiece of the halter around the horse’s neck.
Place the headstall or crownpiece in your right hand.
Continue as shown in figure 49. 100 CHAPTER 13: SADDLING AND BRIDLING Figure 49.
Be safe when bridling the horse. When bridling, the rider must stand close to the horse’s neck, just behind its head.
This position is safe since the horse cannot throw his head and hit your face.
Holding your right arm over his neck and poll will help keep his head down and your arm in a position to be dropped around the neck to help hold the horse.
Work firmly but gently.
With your right hand, pull the headstall up so the mouthpiece of the bit is near your horse’s teeth.
When bridling with a cavesson, hold the cavesson in your right hand with the crownpiece.
Use your left hand to guide the bit between the horse’s lips.
When his jaw relaxes and the mouth opens slightly, pull up with your right hand.
The bit will slide smoothly between the teeth.
If the horse is stubborn about opening its mouth, press on the horse’s tongue at the gap between the incisors and molars which is known as the bars.
Do not jerk or pry at the mouth with the bit.
Move your left hand to hold the crownpiece of the headstall above and in front of the horse’s ears (see figure 49).
Now you can lower the cavesson with your left hand.
Be gentle as you bring the headstall over the ears.
Use your right hand to protect and guide the ears under the crownpiece.
Use caution when bridling horses, especially those you are not familiar with, since some are extremely shy about their ears and will resist by slinging their head.
After one more step, you are ready to ride.
Lead your horse for a few steps; then check your front cinch or girth again.
You may be able to tighten it a few more notches.
Check the front cinch or girth again after riding a short distance.
Untacking your horse When your ride is over and you are ready to unbridle, fasten the loose halter around the horse’s neck first.
Put the bridle reins around the neck to keep the horse in place while you change to the halter.
Undo the bridle throatlatch and cavesson and remove the bridle, taking care not to hit the horse’s teeth.
To properly remove the bridle, slide the crownpiece forward over the ears with your left hand.
When free of the ears, hold the headstall loosely for the horse to spit out the bit.
Then lower the headstall to allow the bit and curb strap to fall freely from the mouth and chin. 101 CHAPTER 13: SADDLING AND BRIDLING Continue holding the horse and rub its head and poll where the headstall rested.
Your horse will soon learn to expect this rubbing and will wait patiently instead of trying to break away.
Halter the horse and hold the lead rope as you unsaddle.
Be sure to tie up the cinches and breast collar before pulling the saddle off.
When unsaddling, lift the saddle slightly before pulling it off.
This loosens the grip of the sweaty leather and blanket on the horse’s hide.
Wet saddle blankets should be placed in the open, or on top of the saddle to allow them to dry completely before the next use.
The bit should be rinsed to remove slobber and feed particles.
A quick wipe-down with a damp cloth will remove mud and sweat from your tack. 102 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS Your voice, hands, legs and seat/weight/body position can control your horse if your horse is trained to respond to them.
Begin using these tools in a very definite manner in the early stages of training.
As you progress, your horse will respond to very light applications of these aids.
The following discussion of specific aids for different responses indicates how you can communicate with your horse.
Voice Your voice is a very important aid when working your horse.
Certain words such as “whoa,” “easy” and “back” are readily understood by a horse.
Many show horses have learned the words “walk,” “trot,” “lope” and “canter” from hearing them repeatedly during lunging, training and in the showring.
Some riders do not use complete words, but instead develop voice sounds (eg clicking or kissing) to mean something to their horses.
Be consistent and use the same word or cue each time.
Repeat it often to teach your horse what you mean.
Make your sounds distinct from each other.
For example, whoa and go sound too similar to be effective.
Many showring judges do not like to hear voice commands, so use them very softly when showing or avoid using them in the show arena.
Voice commands should be used in a subtle manner, and in conjunction with other natural aids.
Your tone of voice means as much to your horse as actual words.
It indicates pleasure or displeasure.
Learn to always use a low, soft voice when working around your horse.
Screaming and yelling will only frighten the horse.
Hands Your hands control the forehand (forequarter) of your horse directly by use of the reins.
In advanced riding, your actions on the reins have an indirect influence on the hindquarters.
Relax your hands and arms, hold your shoulders back and down, and keep your upper arm in a straight line with your body.
Your forearm forms a straight line from the elbow to the horse’s mouth as you hold the reins.
Some movement of the arm is permissible, but excessive movement will be penalized by a judge.
Good hands are steady, light, soft and firm in their actions.
You can achieve this only if your body is in balance and rhythm with your horse.
As you begin reining and rein cues, remember the importance of relaxing your arms, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers.
Allow a small amount of slack in the reins to relieve pressure on the bit but hold the reins firmly enough to maintain light contact with the horse’s mouth. 103 N atural Aids CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS When riding a young horse (five years or younger), you are allowed to hold the reins with both hands when using a snaffle (non-leverage) bit or a bosal.
Learn to signal or cue with your reins (a give-and-take action) by slightly flexing your hands.
Simply opening and closing your fingers is cue enough for a trained horse if you have the correct degree of contact with your horse’s mouth.
The proper use of two hands to guide and set the horse until it learns to respond to cues is the mark of a good equestrian.
As your horse responds, you may gradually switch to the use of a single hand on the reins when riding Western; but remember, it is wise to use two hands when your horse isn’t handling as smoothly as you desire outside the showring.
Don’t hang on your horse’s mouth for balance or control.
If you plan to show your horse, study the rules on how to hold the reins and use them in ways that allow you to have the softest hand on your horse’s mouth.
When using all of the aids, provide release when the horse responds to pressure.
Legs Your legs control the forward motion of your horse and its barrel and hindquarters.
When you squeeze your legs, your horse should learn that this is a signal to shift its weight to its hindquarters, lighten its weight on its forequarters and get ready to move out.
Getting a response to this cue is very important; you will need it every time you move your horse, ask for collection or a change of gait, or correct misbehavior.
Pressure from your calves and heels controls the horse’s shoulders, barrel and hind-quarters.
As you press with one leg or the other, your horse responds by moving away from the pressure or by moving against the pressure (see maneuvers in all figures in this chapter).
When your horse responds to leg cues, less cueing is required by your reins.
Balance pressure on the horse by using contact in the seat of your saddle and your thighs.
Maintain only light contact with your knees so your lower legs can be used for cueing.
Seat/Weight Although horses are trained to move away from pressure, they move under weight.
Your body weight becomes a cue when you shift position in the saddle.
This does not mean that you throw your weight by leaning excessively; you can give a weight cue by placing more pressure on one stirrup than the other by shifting to press more firmly on one seat bone.
As you train your horse, you will find responses come from very slight weight shifts.
Learning to be a good equestrian involves learning the effects of the aids, combining them to make your horse perform, and using them in training and showing.
The art is in developing a feel for when to apply the aids and when to release them.
Artificial Aids Spurs, whips, bats and crops Use artificial aids only to reinforce natural aids.
First, press the horse with the calves of your legs.
If your horse doesn’t respond, tap the horse with your heel.
Finally, it may become 104 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS necessary to tap the horse with your bat or touch it with a spur.
Always tap the horse in the spot where your leg will touch.
Give the lightest cue first.
If your horse doesn’t respond, use increasingly stronger cues.
In this way, you tell your horse to respond or light discipline will follow.
Remember, however, to give the horse time to learn what the cue means before using negative reinforcement.
Ask, tell, demand.
Body Position and Aids in Motion General pointers The rider should maintain a natural position during all gaits.
Practice proper cueing until your horse moves into any of the gaits lightly and smoothly.
This will help keep your balance and avoid punishing your horse’s mouth and side(s), which occurs if you lose balance.
Get light control of your horse with the reins before cueing it with your legs so the horse does not rush out and have to be pulled back.
The horse’s head should always be carried at an angle that is natural and suitable to the horse’s conformation and breed at all gaits.
Forward motion Before your horse can make any kind of move, there must be forward motion.
Think of forward motion as the thrust of the horse’s hind legs with all of their power going through the horse’s spine, moving the body straight from the point of impulsion.
Study figure 50.
The stick can be moved forward, backward or turned, but the rope cannot.
Keep your horse moving straight and true from the impulsion of its hind-quarters.
If you don’t, it will be like trying to push a rope.
Walk The walk is a four-beat gait in which your horse should stride out freely and willingly.
It is a natural, flat-footed, forward-working gait.
Encourage your horse to walk out by using your seat and legs to drive the horse forward. Figure 50.
Visualize the thrust of the stick on the left.
It demonstrates the forward motion of a horse, while the rope on the right cannot move forward, backward, or be turned. Figure 51.
The walk is a four-beat gait. 105 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS Jog or sitting trot The jog or trot is a smooth, ground-covering, two-beat, diagonal gait.
The horse works from one pair of diagonals (left-front and right-hind) to the other (right-front and left-hind).
The jog or trot should be square and relaxed with a straight, forward movement of the feet.
Horses that walk with back feet and trot with the front are not performing the required gait.
When asked to extend the jog, the horse moves out, lengthening the stride with the same smooth action.
The rider should sit when the horse is jogging and not post.
Generally the western rider sits in the saddle when the horse is moving at the extended jog.
However, posting is a useful training tool and it is good for the western rider to be able to post properly.
Posting or rising trot English riders use posting diagonals at the trot.
In the rising trot, your upper body is inclined slightly forward from the hips so you remain in balance with the horse’s movements.
Your body rises by the movement of the horse and your seat returns to the saddle without any loss of balance.
The rule for correct diagonal is to post with the outside diagonal pair.
This means that the rider rises out of the saddle when the horse’s outside front leg (in relation to the rail) and inside hind leg reach forward (off the ground).
The rider sits when these legs touch the ground.
For example, if riding on the right rein (clockwise), the rider will rise and sit with the left foreleg and right hind leg.
Conversely, when riding on the left rein (counterclockwise), the rider rises and sits with the right foreleg and left hind leg.
To change the diagonal, the rider sits for one extra beat of the two-beat trot. Figure 52.
Trot, a two-beat diagonal gait Lope or canter The lope, or canter, is an easy, rhythmical three-beat gait.
The footfall pattern for the lope is as follows: beat 1—outside hind leg, beat 2—inside hind leg and outside fore leg, together, followed by beat 3—inside fore leg.
Horses traveling at a four-beat gait are not performing the gait properly.
The horse should canter with a natural stride that appears relaxed and smooth.
To signal a canter, collect your horse, shift your weight back to the horse’s outside hind leg and apply sufficient pressure with your outside leg to instruct the horse to strike out in the proper lead.
The horse should be traveling straight and forward.
Train your horse to assume 106 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS a lope from a standstill, walk or trot.
You will learn the proper cueing under the section on leads. Figure 53.
The lope or canter is an easy, rhythmical three-beat gait. Hand gallop or extended lope The hand gallop is similar to the lope, but with a lengthened stride.
A hand gallop is a fourbeat gait.
Leads The correct lead When your horse lopes or hand-gallops, its body is bent in the direction it is traveling because one pair of legs, one foreleg and one hind leg on the same side of the horse’s body, lead—or reach farther ahead than—the pair on the other side of its body.
The horse is on the correct lead when it is leading with the inside pair.
Leading with the opposite fore and hind leg is known as cross-firing, which is an uncomfortable gait because the horse is unbalanced.
The correct lead (canter/lope) is important when your horse circles or makes tight turns.
A horse will naturally take the proper lead or change leads when it runs free, but it may not do this when it carries a saddle and rider.
Showring rules place a great deal of emphasis on proper leads.
A well-trained horse will change leads at the will of the rider.
You should learn which lead your horse is on from the feel of its motion.
Your inside leg should feel slightly further forward than the outside leg.
Do not get into a habit of looking at the horse’s shoulders or leaning forward to see the horse’s legs.
Training your horse to depart on the lead you want requires patience and practice.
Most horses favor one lead over the other.
Work on getting the horse comfortable with either lead, but spend a little more time on the weaker lead by loping in a circle that requires that lead.
Keep the canter slow and easy when training the horse so you can cue it properly. 107 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS Train your horse to assume the correct lead at the lope/canter directly from the stop, walk and trot.
At any time the horse does not lead correctly, slow it to a walk or trot and try again.
The following paragraphs describe the aids for using either lead.
Study and learn these aids and use them until they become habit.
Have control of your horse’s head and be sure it is listening before cueing it with your leg; otherwise, your horse will move too quickly, throw you off balance and disrupt your cues.
Train your horse to move smoothly into a lope.
This will make it easier to apply your cues with proper timing.
Aids To ask for the lead, bend your horse in the direction of travel, slightly tipping the nose using the rein.
With Figure 54.
Note foreleg and hind leg on your weight to the outside, squeeze with the outside leg the same side reach farther ahead.
Behind the girth and, with the inside leg, squeeze at the girth.
For example, for the left lead, tip the nose to the left, shift your weight slightly to the right and squeeze with the right leg, using the left leg to ask for the bend.
For the right lead, tip the nose to the right, shift your weight slightly to the left and squeeze with the left leg, using the right leg to ask for the bend.
When your cues and timing are correct and your horse is working willingly, you will feel a slight lifting of your horse’s body on the lead side as it takes off.
This is the result of the horse shifting its weight back to the rear leg, ready to lightly spring forward and reach out with the leading hind leg.
This gives a smooth, gliding sensation and you are loping with the correct lead.
In early training, apply cues more firmly.
As the horse learns, it will respond to lighter cues.
When cued properly, a horse will improve in riding circles, figure eights, serpentines, quadrilles or just plain turning.
A horse that can execute a forehand turn is easier to teach lope departures to because you can engage the hindquarters.
Changing leads Changing leads is required to change the direction of travel.
The simple change is executed at the walk or trot and the flying change is executed through the lope.
The change must occur during the moment of suspension, as illustrated in the footfalls.
Lead-changing aids When executing a change of leads, the rider will straighten the horse from its direction of travel and cue it into the new direction of travel.
Lift, shift, change, lift your hand (the horses shoulder), shift your legs, change your lead.
This will require changing the bend of the 108 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS horse’s body and moving your weight to the outside while changing leg pressure from the outside leg of the initial direction to the outside leg of the new direction.
It is common for a horse to change in the front and not in the rear (ie cross-firing).
Should this occur, exaggerate the change of your weight and leg pressure to move the horse’s hips into the new lead (see footfalls for the timing of this maneuver).
Counter canter The counter canter is when the horse leads opposite of its direction of travel.
Counter-canter aids The aids for the counter-canter are the same as cueing for a lead.
However, upon departure into the counter-canter, it is essential that the rider’s weight remain centered and balanced to ensure that the horse does not change leads out of the counter-canter.
Backing Grip the horse with your thighs.
Squeeze with your legs to collect the horse while you maintain light rein pressure to prevent the horse from moving forward.
When your horse is collected, use the word “back.” Flex your reins gently, continue to squeeze with your legs, apply pressure, and provide release with each step.
You are asking for forward motion but in reverse.
Control the direction of backing by varying the degree of pressure of one leg or the other.
Backing is unnatural and hard for a horse.
Be patient and ask for a step at a time.
Gradually increase the number of steps that your horse will back and reward your horse by stepping it forward and releasing pressure.
Proper backing is smooth and performed easily without excessive jawing or resistance by the horse (for footfall patterns of backing, see figure 52, page 102, as the footfall pattern for the back is similar to the trot in that it is also a two-beat diagonal gait).
Stops/Halt A good stop is not necessarily a sliding stop.
A good stop is balanced and smoothly executed.
The horse’s hindquarters are well under its body to balance its weight.
The forequarters, neck and head are kept light.
The horse is balanced and ready to do what is required next.
Timing is important when you ask for a stop, especially from a lope.
You should use some preliminary cue to alert your horse that a stop is coming, which will allow Figure 55.
The horse in this figure is stopping it time to adjust its balance in preparation.
To cue for a stop, sit deep in the saddle, say, “Whoa,” and then reinforce it by asking with the reins. too hard.
A proper stop includes the voice command whoa, a light flex of your reins, a squeeze of your legs and increased pressure of rider’s seat to cause the horse to halt and stand square and quiet. 109 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS Do not get into the bad habit of thrusting your feet forward, throwing your weight back and yanking back on the reins.
School your horse to stop easily on the cues at a walk, then a trot, and finally, at a slow lope or canter.
This will allow you time to perfect your cueing and give your horse time to learn what the cues mean.
You will work more softly on the horse’s mouth by going slowly at first.
When stopping at slower gaits, always make your horse stop completely and stand, preferably with a slacked rein.
Do not let the horse walk.
It is wise to vary the time of standing so your horse does not anticipate a short stop and begin to move.
Don’t rush your training.
You are making progress when you feel the horse’s hind-quarters sink under you slightly when you stop.
Keep working for a light response and don’t overdo the number of times you ask for stops.
As you work, be sure to vary the places where you ask your horse to stop so it will not begin to anticipate stops at certain points.
It is good to allow a horse to stop and then catch his air as a reward after an extended time of cantering or trotting.
This teaches the horse that stopping is a pleasant thing.
Turn on the forehand Teach your horse to move or hold its hindquarters in response to pressure from your heel or the calf of your leg behind the front cinch or girth.
This control is important in backing, side-passing, twotracking, holding the hindquarters on pivots and roll-backs, and for correct leads.
Turning on the forehand is not a forward movement.
The horse pivots on the inside foreleg while the hips move away from pressure in the opposite direction of the nose.
Forehand-turn aids Figure 56.
Note the position of the reins and the Bend the horse in the direction of the turn (eg to foot used to cue for turn on the forehand.
The right, horse bent to the right).
Right hand/right leg or left hand /left leg.
Apply inside leg on the barrel or girth until hips move away from pressure (eg right leg behind girth and left leg balances at the girth).
Your inside hand asks for the bend while your outside hand balances and prevents forward motion.
Keep your hands forward—lifting up, not pulling—back to stop forward motion.
Turn on the hindquarters With the turn on the hindquarter, the inside hind foot remains stationary.
The forehand moves around the pivot foot with the front legs crossing over with each step.
The turn on the hindquarters is the basic movement for controlled, smooth, fast turns in pivots, roll-backs, polebending, barrel racing and working cattle.
The horse learns to roll back over its hocks. 110 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS Hindquarter-turn aids The inside hand leads the horse into a bend into forward motion, while the outside hand controls the bend.
Bend the horse’s nose slightly in the direction of the turn.
Apply outside leg pressure at the girth, or just in front of the girth, and inside leg pressure at the girth.
The rider’s weight should focus on the horse’s hips.
Keep your weight to the inside leg, supporting with the outside leg at the rib cage.
If you lean out, your horse will set the wrong leg.
This movement requires time and patience to execute exactly.
Do not expect a 360º turn immediately but work one step at a time, applying pressure and release with each step.
It is also important that your horse maintain impulsion, which is accomplished by driving the horse’s motion with your seat and legs.
You should be able to stop the swing of the hindquarters by pressing with your outside leg.
This leg cue may not be enough to stop some horses.
If this happens, you will need to add Figure 57.
Note position of the reins and the foot used to another cue.
When you feel the horse beginning to shift its hindquarters, cue for turn on the hindquarters.
Apply pressure with your outside leg.
You must learn to feel the movements of your horse through your seat to know what is happening and how to correct any problems.
When your horse is willing to execute this movement slowly, you can progress to more advanced movements such as a roll back.
Side-pass The side-pass is a sideways lateral movement of your horse by stepping to the right or left with both the forequarters and hindquarters moving evenly together.
The horse’s legs should cross in front of the opposite supporting legs.
Side-passing is necessary for the smooth opening and closing of gates and is an excellent training tool.
Figure 58 shows the cues used to side-pass.
To side-pass to the right, use the left rein to turn your horse’s head slightly to the left.
Hold light contact with the right rein to make the horse move to the right.
At the same time, shift your body weight to the left, away from, in the direction of the side-pass, and use your left leg and heel to move the horse’s shoulders, barrel and hindquarters to the right.
Reverse the cues to side-pass to the left.
The right rein tucks the nose to the right slightly and your weight shifts to the right.
Use your right leg and heel to move the shoulders, barrel and hindquarters to the left. 111 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS You will need practice to learn the feel of the correct rein tension and leg pressure necessary to move the horse to the side without backing or moving forward.
It may be helpful to face a fence to keep the horse from moving forward.
If the horse backs, simply relax tension on the reins and use your legs to move it up into the bit again.
You may need to begin by moving the horse’s shoulders first, then the hips, until your horse begins to learn what you are asking.
Practice side-passing, and all the movements, in moderation.
After the horse performs a few correct steps, do something else. Figure 58.
Note position of reins and the foot used to cue for left and right side-passes. Two-tracking/Leg yielding Two-tracking or leg yielding is a lateral movement in which your horse moves forward in a diagonal direction.
This may be used as a training tool for lead departures or lead changes.
Begin at the walk and then go to the sitting trot and lope.
Two-tracking aids Cueing for the two-track is the same as cueing for a side-pass.
However, rein tension must be lighter and you will need more leg contact to move your horse forward.
You want your horse to move at an angle so more forward motion is needed.
This is accomplished by holding the rein in the same positions but much lighter.
Push your horse forward, as well as sideways, with your seat and leg. Figure 59.
Note position of reins and the foot used to cue for left and right two-track. 112 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS Leg-yielding aids Leg yielding is a forward and side movement with the horse bent in opposite direction of travel (eg the horse is bent slightly to the right but moves forward and left).
The forehand slightly leads the quarters.
The aids for leg yield to the right are as follows: the horse moves forward at the walk or sitting trot.
The left leg is near the girth cueing the horse to move over.
The right leg keeps the horse moving forward and is behind the girth, controlling the amount of sideways movement.
The left hand leads a slight bend to the left.
The right hand may be slightly open and leading the horse to the left.
The rider must be sitting straight and even. Figure 60.
Note the horse is bent in the opposite direction of travel.
The left leg is near the girth, moving the horse over. Shoulder in The “shoulder in” is a collecting and suppling exercise.
The horse will move on three tracks (see diagram).
The aids for shoulder in to the right are as follows: position the horse’s forehand at approximately a 30º angle from the rail.
The right leg, or inside leg, is at the girth to create the bend and keep the horse moving forward.
The left leg, or outside leg, is behind the girth to prevent the quarters from swinging out to the left.
The right rein, or inside hand, keeps the horse’s forehand to the right and maintains the degree of bend.
The left hand, or outside hand, controls the pace and the degree of bend. Figure 61.
To the right, note the leg at the girth creates the bend and pushes the horse forward. 113 CHAPTER 14: THE RIDING AIDS AND GAITS Travers (or haunches in) The travers is a collecting and suppling exercise with the forehand on the rail and the haunches moved to the inside.
The travers is a four-track movement.
The aids for travers to the right are as follows: the right leg, or inside leg, is at the girth to create the bend.
The left leg, or outside leg, is behind the girth to move the haunches off the track to the inside.
The right, or inside rein, creates the bend to the inside while the left, or outside rein, controls the degree of bend to the right. — H orsemanship, or equitation, is the art of riding in a balanced and graceful manner.
This takes time and patience and can only be achieved if you and your horse work together as a team.
The following suggestions will help you become a better rider.
This basic information can be applied to every type of riding with slight modification.
Mounting There are two positions considered proper for mounting.
In the first position, as shown in figure 63, the rider stands by the horse’s left shoulder with his body facing a quarter turn to the rear of the horse.
The rider’s head is turned so both ends of the horse can be watched.
This is the safest position to use when you mount.
It is easier to place your left foot into the stirrup from this position, but be careful not to rake the toe of your boot along the horse’s side as you swing up.
Brace your knee against the horse for support to keep your foot away from its side.
When you use this position, take one hop on the right leg and go into the second position briefly as you swing into the saddle.
The second position, shown in figure 64, is used when you are tall enough to stand and place your left foot in the stirrup without moving back to the rear of the horse.
You should face squarely across the seat of the saddle.
Turn your left foot so the toe of your boot is pointed forward or into the cinch. Figure 63.
Use this method to mount green-broke horses, or horses unfamiliar to you. Figure 64.
Use this method when you are tall enough to place your left foot in the stirrup without moving back to the rear of the horse. 115 CHAPTER 15: BASIC WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP In both positions, hold the reins in your left hand with the left rein slightly shorter with enough tension to steady your horse.
Place your left hand on the horse’s neck just in front of his withers.
Steady the stirrup with your right hand until your left foot is in the stirrup.
Place your right hand on the saddle horn and your left knee against the horse.
Swing up and into the saddle with a spring by pushing with your right leg.
Your body will be balanced by the triangular base of support formed by your hands and knee.
Spring hard enough with your right leg to carry yourself up and over the saddle with a minimum of weight on the left stirrup.
Lower yourself smoothly and lightly into the seat of the saddle.
Do not swing too high and plop into the saddle.
If you consistently pull the saddle to the side, you are not springing up hard enough.
With practice, you will mount in a smooth, easy motion.
Never mount or dismount a horse in a barn or near fences, trees or overhanging projections.
You may be injured if a horse sidesteps or rears.
A horse should stand quietly for mounting and dismounting.
Control its head through the reins.
If your horse will not stand, ask someone who can handle horses to help you.
Dismounting When you dismount, use the same hand position.
Take the slack out of the reins to steady the horse.
While holding the reins, place your left hand on the neck of the horse, grasp the saddle horn with your right hand, shift your body weight slightly to your left leg and keep your left knee in close to the horse.
Your right foot should be free of the stirrup.
Swing out of the saddle and keep your right leg as close to the horse as possible without hitting the cantle of the saddle or the horse’s rump.
Do not swing your right leg in a wide arc.
Keep it close to the near side of the horse so you face slightly forward when your right foot touches the ground.
Push down on your left heel to allow your foot to slip out of the stirrup.
Do not roll your left foot on its side to slip it out of the stirrup. (If you are not tall enough to reach the ground with your right foot, slide the left foot out so just the toe of the foot is in the stirrup.
As your leg swings over to the left side, slide the left foot out of the stirrup and lower your right foot to the ground.) Seat position Your position in the saddle is important to maintain balance and rhythm for ease of riding, and to carefully use aids.
Sit tall in the saddle in a balanced, relaxed manner.
Keep your back erect and flex with the horse.
Do not slump in the saddle and never sit back on the cantle with your feet shoved forward.
You 116 CHAPTER 15: BASIC WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP will find it necessary to change your seat slightly for different types of riding, but the basic principles remain the same.
You should sit where the horse can be controlled with aids in a comfortable riding position.
Keep your body weight where it will help rather than hinder your horse’s movements.
Note how the rider in figure 65 sits erect and square in the center of the saddle.
The rider sits deep in the seat of the saddle and not on the cantle.
The rider should tip forward or backward on his or her pelvis.
The ball of his or her feet should be the contact point with the stirrup, pushing down on the heels and pulling up with the toes.
Train the stirrup leathers on your saddle to turn at right angles to the horse’s body to prevent pressure on your feet and help you hold your stirrups more securely.
When you store your saddle, twist the stirrups one and one-half turns inward and insert a broomstick in both stirrups.
In any style of riding, when the rider sits in the saddle his legs forming a straight, vertical line through his ear, center of shoulder, center of hip and back of heel (see figure 66).
Stirrups should be long enough to allow the rider’s heels to be lower than his toes, with his knees bent slightly and his toes directly under them.
The body should always appear comfortable, relaxed and flexible and the back should be nearly flat.
The rider’s body should be supple, poised and balanced in rhythm with the horse’s motion. Figure 65.
Correct seat position is necessary for control and comfortable riding. Figure 66.
Correct hunt seat position 117 118 CHAPTER 16: BASICS: ENGLISH EQUITATION T he skills required for English riding are similar to those used for western riding.
The rider must sit in a balanced position that does not interfere with the horse’s own balance or ability to perform. Mounting Mounting and dismounting for English equitation is very similar to western style.
Place the reins over the horse’s head.
Hold the reins in your left hand against the horse’s neck, contact with horse’s mouth slightly to prevent the horse from moving.
The rider should stand on the left side of the horse facing the horse’s quarters.
The rider’s head is turned so both the horse’s head and quarters can be observed.
From this position, place your left foot in the stirrup, being careful not to push your toe into the side of the horse.
Put your right hand on the center of the saddle.
Then take one hop, and push up from your right leg and gently swing into the saddle, being careful not to brush the horse’s side or quarters with the right leg.
Then sit gently into the saddle.
Dismount To dismount, place both reins in the left hand on the neck of the horse.
Take both feet out of the stirrups and place your right hand on the pommel.
Lean slightly forward, then swing your right leg over the back of the horse, being careful not to brush the horse’s quarters, landing on both feet on the left side of the horse.
Take the reins over the horse’s head and run up the stirrup irons.
General position The position in the saddle for English riding is basically sitting in the center of the saddle on the seat bones, sitting deep and tall with your head set squarely on the shoulders and eyes looking forward.
Shoulders should be directly over the hips, keeping weight evenly distributed over the seat bones.
Legs should be underneath with the inside of the calves on the horse’s side and the rider’s ankles in line below the hips.
The ball of the foot should be placed on the stirrup iron.
Heels should be down with toes facing forward at a slight angle (no more than 45 degrees).
A general rule to measure correct stirrup length is that when the leg hangs loosely (out of the stirrup), the bottom of the stirrup should line up to the bottom of the ankle bone.
Shoulders and elbows are relaxed at the side of the body with the hands just over the horse’s withers.
Basic styles of English equitation Saddleseat Basic position: Sit comfortably in the saddle.
Find the horse’s center of gravity by sitting with a slight bend at the knees without use of the stirrup irons.
While in this position, adjust the leathers 119 CHAPTER 16: BASICS: ENGLISH EQUITATION to fit.
Place irons under the ball of the foot; the foot should be natural.
The body should follow a vertical straight line from the shoulder through the hip to the heel.
Hands: The distance of the hands from the withers is a matter of how and where the horse carries its head.
There should be a straight line from the rider’s elbow, hands and reins to the horse’s mouth.
Hold reins according to the equipment used, but use both hands to hold all reins at the same time.
The bight of the reins (excess rein) should be on the Figure 67.
Saddle seat right side of the horse.
Dressage seat Basic position: The rider sits deep, erect and supple in the saddle.
The rider’s calves should be in contact with the horse at the girth.
The stirrups should be carried on the ball of the foot with a straight line from the shoulder through the hip to the heel.
Hands: There should be a straight line from the rider’s elbow, hands and reins, carried just above the withers, to the horse’s mouth.
Hunt seat Basic position: The rider’s eyes should look forward; shoulders should be back.
The head should be square on the rider’s shoulders, and weight should be distributed evenly over the seat bones.
The rider’s toes should be at an angle best suited to his conformation and the heels should be down; calves should be in contact with the horse slightly behind the girth.
The ball of the foot should rest on the stirrup iron with a straight line formed from the shoulder through the hip to the heel. Figure 68.
Dressage seat Figure 69.
Hunt seat 120 CHAPTER 16: BASICS: ENGLISH EQUITATION Hands: Hands should be over and in front of the horse’s withers with his knuckles 30 degrees inside the vertical and hands slightly apart.
Reins may be held in various positions, with excess rein falling on the right side of the horse.
However, all reins must be picked up at the same time.
A straight line from the elbow through the hands and reins to the horse’s mouth should be formed.
Position and motion The rider’s body should be vertical when the horse is at the walk and sitting trot, but inclined slightly forward when the horse is at posting trot, canter and gallop, with no more than 20 degrees in front of the vertical.
Jumping position The purpose of the two-point/jumping position is to adjust the rider’s balance to match the horse during jumping and galloping.
This allows the horse freedom of movement through his back.
The rider should remember to shorten the stirrup one to two holes from the flat length.
When the horse is jumping, a straight line from the rider’s shoulder, knee and toes should be formed.
The rider’s shoulders are slightly forward and his hips are moved slightly back, hovering over the saddle.
The rider’s angle closes at the hip.
The rider’s weight is pushed down into the lower leg and heel, with the ankle acting as a shock absorber.
His eyes look forward, and his hands follow the horse’s mouth while it jumps. Figure 70.
Jumping position 121 122 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES A • • • • pproaching a horse A horse’s vision is restricted directly in the front and to the rear, but its hearing is acute.
Always speak to a horse as you approach it.
Failure to do so may startle the horse and cause it to kick you.
Always approach at an angle, never directly from the front or rear.
Speak to the horse; let him know you are there.
Pet a horse by first rubbing a hand on its shoulder or neck.
Don’t “dab” at the end of a horse’s nose.
Always walk around a horse out of kicking range, or walk close to the horse with contact.
Never walk under or step over the rope. Handling • • Be calm and confident around horses.
A nervous handler causes a nervous, unsafe horse.
While you work, stay close to the horse so that if it kicks you will not receive the full impact.
Try to stay out of kicking range whenever possible.
When you go to the opposite side of a horse, move away from the rear of the horse and go around it.
Know your horse, its temperament and reactions.
Let it know you are its firm and kind master.
Control your temper at all times.
Always let a horse know what you intend to do.
When you pick up a foot, for example, do not grab the foot hurriedly.
This will startle the horse and may cause it to kick.
Learn the proper way to lift feet (see figures 25-28, chapter 9).
When you work around a horse, the safest method is to tie or hold the head.
Work around a horse from a position as near the shoulder as possible.
Never stand directly behind a horse to work with its tail.
Stand off to the side, near the point of the buttock, facing the rear.
Grasp the tail and draw it around to you.
A good equestrian will keep in balance at all times.
An accidental slip or stumble can result in unintentional injury by the horse. • • • • • • 123 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES • • • • • Do not drop grooming tools on the ground near the horse.
Place them where they will not be stepped on by the horse, or cause you to trip.
Know the horse’s peculiarities.
If someone else rides your horse, tell him or her what to expect.
Teasing a horse may cause it to develop dangerous habits for the rest of its life and put your safety, and the horse’s, in serious jeopardy.
Punish a horse only at the instant of its disobedience.
If you wait, even for a minute, it will not understand why it is being punished.
Punish without anger.
Never strike a horse about its head.
It is not safe to leave a halter on a horse that is turned loose.
When necessary to do so, the horse should be checked daily because some halter materials shrink.
Be certain to check the fit and make sure the horse can’t catch a foot in the halter strap.
A halter might catch on posts or other objects, causing injury.
Wear footgear that will protect your feet from being stepped on.
Riding boots are best.
Never go barefooted.
Leading Make the horse walk beside you, not allowing it to run ahead or lag behind, when leading.
The safest position is to stay even with the horse’s head or halfway between the horse’s head and its shoulder. • When changing direction, it is safer to turn the horse to the right and walk around it.
Always push the horse away from you. • Use a long lead strap and fold the excess strap in a figure-eight style in your left hand when leading.
It is customary to lead from the horse’s left, or near side, by using the right hand to hold the lead near the halter.
Extend your right elbow slightly toward the horse.
If the horse makes contact with you, its shoulder will hit your elbow first and move you away from it.
Your elbow also can be used on the horse’s neck to keep its head and neck straight and controlled, and to prevent the horse from crowding you.
Train the horse to be led from both sides.
Your horse is larger and stronger than you.
If it resists, do not get in front of it and try to pull.
Never wrap the lead strap, halter shank or reins around your hand, wrist or body.
A knot at the end of the lead shank aids in maintaining a secure grip when needed for control.
When leading, tying, or untying a horse, be careful not to entangle your hands or fingers in the lead rope or reins.
Use caution to prevent catching a finger in dangerous positions such as in halter and bridle hardware that includes snaps, bits, rings and loops. • • • • • 124 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES • • • Be extremely cautious when leading a horse through narrow openings such as a door.
Be certain you have firm control and step through first.
Step through quickly and get to one side to avoid being crowded.
Any time you are dismounted or leading the horse, the stirrup irons on an English saddle should be run up, or dressed (slip the stirrups up the leathers).
Also, be cautious of stirrups catching on objects when using a western saddle.
Use careful judgment when turning a horse loose.
It generally is safest to lead a horse completely through the gate or door and turn the horse about, facing the direction from which you just entered.
Then release the lead strap or remove the halter or bridle.
Make the horse stand quietly while you pet it.
Avoid letting a horse bolt away from you when released.
Good habits prevent accidents.
Avoid use of excessively long lead ropes that can become accidentally entangled.
Watch the coils when using lariats or lunge lines. • Tying • • • • • • • Know and use the proper knots for tying and restraining a horse.
Tie your horse far enough away from strange horses so they cannot fight.
Always untie the horse before removing its halter.
Again, excessively long lead ropes can result in injury due to entanglement; length of lead rope depends on the size of the horse.
Always tie a horse in a safe place.
Use the halter rope, not the bridle reins.
Tie your horse a safe distance from tree limbs or brush where it may become entangled.
Be certain to tie the horse to an object that is strong and secure and won’t break or loosen if the horse pulls back.
Never tie below the level of the horse’s withers. Using western equipment • Riding • • • • • • Keep your horse under control and maintain a secure seat at all times.
Horses are easily frightened by unusual objects and noises.
Until you know your horse, confine your riding to an arena or other enclosed area.
Ride in open spaces or unconfined areas after you are familiar with your horse.
If your horse becomes frightened, remain calm, speak to it quietly, steady it and give it time to overcome its fear.
Then ride or lead the horse past the obstacle.
Hold your horse to a walk when you go up or down a hill.
Allow the horse to pick its way at a walk when riding on rough ground or in sand, mud, ice or snow where there is danger of the horse slipping or falling.
Do not fool around.
It is dangerous for you and others who may be nearby.
Bring reins, or a romal, forward over the horse’s head after dismounting 125 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES • When riding on roads: never ride bareback; always bridle the horse (riding with just a halter does not give you control); use good judgment when riding in pairs or in groups, allowing sufficient space between horses; avoid paved or other hard-surfaced roads and walk the horse when crossing such roads; in areas of heavy traffic, it is safest to dismount and lead the horse across, and; ride on the shoulders or in barrow pits, but watch for junk that can injure a horse.
Never rush past riders who proceed at a slower gait.
It startles both horses and riders and can cause accidents.
Approach slowly, indicate a desire to pass and proceed cautiously on the left.
Never ride off until all riders are mounted.
Ride abreast or stay a full horse’s length from the horse in front to avoid the possibility of being kicked.
Walk your horse when you approach and pass through underpasses or ride over bridges.
When your horse is full of energy, lunge it or ride it in an enclosed area until it is settled.
Do not let a horse run to and from the stables.
Walk the last mile home.
Know the proper use and purpose of spurs before wearing them.
Dogs and horses are both good companions, but they may not mix.
Keep your dog under control at all times around horses.
Wearing protective headgear when riding can prevent serious head injuries.
This holds true for any form of riding. • • • • • • • • • Riding at night • • Riding at night can be a pleasure, but it can be more hazardous than daytime riding.
Walk the horse; fast gaits are dangerous.
If it becomes necessary to ride at night on roads or highways, follow the same rules as for pedestrians.
State laws vary regarding which side of the road you should ride.
Wear light-colored clothing and carry a flashlight and reflectors.
Check your state regulations for details.
Select a location with care.
Choose controlled bridle paths or familiar, safe, open areas. • Equipment and clothing • Learn to handle a rope before carrying one on a horse.
Always use caution when working with a rope if the horse is not rope-broke.
Never tie the rope hard and fast to a saddle horn while roping off a green horse. 126 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES • • • • • • • • • Keep bridle reins, stirrup leathers, headstalls, curbstraps and cinch straps in the best possible condition; your safety depends on these straps.
Replace many of the straps when they begin to show signs of wear such as cracking.
Be sure all tack fits the horse.
Spurs can trip you when you work on the ground.
Take them off when you are not mounted.
Wear neat, well-fitting clothing that can’t get snagged on equipment.
Belts, jackets and front chap straps can get hooked over the saddle horn.
Wear boots or shoes with heels as a safeguard against your foot slipping through the stirrup.
Keep the horse’s feet properly trimmed or shod.
Have the horse’s teeth checked for any mouth problems.
Gloves are a safeguard against cuts, scratches, splinters and rope burns.
Do not wear rings or dangling jewelry around horses.
They can catch on the halters and other equipment.
Wear a helmet.
Wear a safety approved (ASTM) helmet.
There are many helmet designs available, both western and English.
More than 17 percent of all horse-related injuries are head injuries.
Head injuries are associated with more than 60 percent of all equestrian-related deaths.
Riding helmets are not child’s play.
Adults, aged 25 and older, account for 53 percent of hospital-treated rider injuries.
Injuries occur most frequently around or near the home of ranch (60 percent).
Wear a helmet and make sure it is fastened securely on your head. Trailering or other hauling • • • Always have at least one person help you when trailering.
Always stand to one side, never directly behind, when loading or unloading a horse from a trailer or truck.
Circumstances involved in loading a horse will vary, but the following methods are given in order of preference.
Train the horse so it can be sent or led into the trailer.
Lead the horse into the left side of the center divider, or vice versa.
With a front-loading trailer, it is least desirable to get in front and lead the horse in (never do this without an escape door or front exit).
Even with a door, use caution; most are awkward to get through.
Also, horses have been known to follow the handler out. 127 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES • • • • • • • Be certain the ground area behind and around the truck or trailer affords safe footing before loading or unloading.
It is safest to remove all equipment (bridles, saddles and so forth) before loading.
Use your halter.
Always speak to a horse in a truck or trailer before you attempt to handle it.
If you have trouble loading or unloading, get experienced help.
Secure the butt bar or chain before you tie the horse.
Use care when you reach for it.
Ease it down when you unfasten it to avoid bumping the horse’s legs.
Always untie a horse before opening the gate or door.
Check your trailer regularly for the following: rotting or weakened floor boards, rusted and weakened door hinges, broken hitch welds, and when serviced, have a competent mechanic check the spring shackles and wheel bearings.
Be certain the trailer is adequately constructed and meets state requirements for brakes and lights.
The trailer height should give the horse ample neck and head room.
Remove or cover any protruding objects.
When you (or an adult) drive, always observe the following: Double-check all connections (lights, brakes, hitch and safety chains).
Close and secure all doors.
Make slow turns; make slow and steady stops.
Drive defensively and look ahead to avoid emergencies.
When hauling a stallion with other horses, load the stallion first and unload him last.
Distribute the weight of the load evenly.
When hauling one horse, load it on the left side of the trailer.
Never throw lighted cigarettes or matches from a car or truck window because of the danger of fire or of the wind sucking them into the trailer.
Check the horse and the trailer hitch at every stop before you continue on.
Opinions vary on whether to haul a horse tied or loose.
If you tie it, allow sufficient length of rope so the horse can move its head for balance.
Use a safety release or a quick-release knot.
Horses are like people; some get motion sickness.
Adjust the horse’s feeding schedule to avoid travel when the horse is full of feed and water.
Feed smaller amounts or avoid feeding grain before the trip. • • • • • • • • • Trail riding • If you plan to ride alone, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. 128 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES • • • • • • • • Ride a well-mannered horse.
Do not play practical jokes and indulge in horseplay.
Watch where you ride—avoid dangerous ground.
Study the country and view behind you so you will know how it looks when you ride out.
Courtesy is the best safety on the trail.
Think of your horse first.
Watch its condition, avoid injuries and care for it properly.
Carry a good pocket knife to cut ropes in case of entanglement.
Ride balanced and erect to avoid tiring the horse or causing a sore back and legs.
Check the equipment: Have a halter and rope.
Hobbles are fine if the horse is trained to them.
Have clean saddle blankets or pads.
Be certain the equipment is in good repair and fits the horse.
Include bad weather clothing.
A pair of wire cutters is handy in case the horse becomes entangled in wire.
A lariat is handy for many needs if you know how to use one and are certain the horse is accustomed to a rope.
Other helpful equipment includes pieces of leather or rawhide for repairs, spare horseshoe nails and matches.
When you unsaddle, store your gear properly.
Place the saddle blanket where it will stay dry.
Keep your gear covered overnight.
Do not water your horse when it is hot.
Cool the horse first.
Water the horse out a few sips at a time.
Always tie a horse in a safe place.
Use the halter rope—not the bridle reins.
Never tie the rope below the level of the horse’s withers.
Be certain to tie it to an object that is strong and secure and will not break or come loose if the horse pulls back.
Be extremely cautious of cigarettes, matches and fires.
Know they are out before discarding them or leaving them unattended.
Obtain current, accurate maps and information on the area.
Become familiar with the terrain and climate.
If you ride on federal or state land, get advice from the forest or park officials.
Know their trail use and fire regulations.
Be certain the horse is in proper physical condition and its hooves and shoes are ready for the trail.
Use extreme caution at wet spots or boggy places.
Riding at a fast speed on the trail is unsafe.
Ride at safe gaits.
Avoid overhanging tree limbs.
Warn the rider behind you when you encounter an overhanging limb.
Watch the rider ahead so a limb pushed aside doesn’t snap back and slap the horse or you in the face. • • • • • • • • • • 129 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES Fire safety guidelines Most horse owners assume “it couldn’t happen to me.” Fire is the most terrible death that can happen to the horse, because the horse is penned within its corral and stable.
Fire prevention and safety are the duty of every person involved with horses.
Fire safety involves common sense and a trained response.
Be safety conscious at all times.
Fires give little warning.
Post the number of the local fire department by all telephones.
Fire prevention is a vital part of horse ownership and management.
Stable fires Almost all horse barns are made of or contain these flammable materials: wood, bedding straw, or wood shavings, highly combustible materials (leather, blankets, ropes, oils, etc.).
Hay, bedding straw or wood shavings are also stored close to barns.
A horse standing in a bed of straw might just as well be standing in a pool of gasoline should a fire occur.
The burning rate of loose straw is approximately three times that of the burning rate of gasoline.
The horse in a stall where fire originates has only 30 seconds to escape.
The flames spread and heat is so rapid that a fire, once started, is out of control in a matter of minutes.
Automatic sprinkler systems are advocated for facilities such as racetracks, large breeding establishments and other commercial-type enterprises.
However, from a monetary point of view, automatic sprinkler systems generally are not included in the smaller scale operations.
Water-type fire extinguishers are effective if used within the first minute.
Since stable fires develop rapidly due to the abundance of combustible materials, fire extinguishers are of little or no use once the fire has burned for 60 seconds or more.
Fire spreads rapidly, as does panic.
Quick action is necessary to save the life of a horse.
Trainers, organizations and parents should teach fire prevention and safety.
As schools have fire drills for students, so should barn managers and trainers instruct students as to the course of action to follow in case of a fire.
The following procedures, with individual modifications, could be used.
Procedures to be followed in the event of fire: • Call the fire department. • Evacuate horses.
Use halters and lead ropes • Blindfold, if necessary, using scarves, handkerchiefs or gunny sacks. 130 CHAPTER 17: HORSE SAFETY GUIDELINES Move to holding area away from barn site such as an adjacent riding arena, and out of the way of fire fighting equipment. • Open all access gates to the barn area. • Until help arrives, use available fire fighting equipment.
Extinguishers hoses wet gunny sacks shovels, dirt • Keep roads clear for fire equipment. 30 Seconds is All Your Horse May Have Plan now • • • • — CHAPTER 18: Working Ranch horse H istory of Ranching Traditions in the U.S. Ranching practices and traditions in Colorado are influenced by the history of the American West.
Western North America was first colonized by the Spanish beginning in the 1500’s.
The Spanish explorers were often missionaries and brought with them herds of cattle, sheep and horses to support and establish missions in the new world.
They brought with them their traditions of horsemanship, tack and breeds of horses and livestock.
These traditions evolved to meet the conditions of the great expanses available in the new world.
The western saddle, the use of a riata or rope, and pride in a well trained horse are all things that the American cowboy inherited from the Spanish colonists.
The ranches of the west were vast, covering thousands of acres of varied terrain and supporting large herds of cattle or sheep.
Maintaining and managing the large herds of cattle was a fulltime job for the American cowboy.
The cowboys moved the cattle from pasture to pasture, doctored cattle, branded cattle, sorted and sold cattle, all from the back of a horse.
In order to manage and tend to these herds it was essential that the cowboys have good working horses and gear.
The cowboy’s horse was a partner as well as a tool for getting a job done.
Working Gear or ‘Outfits’ The cowboy wears clothing that serves a purpose.
His hat shades his eyes from the sun, or keeps him warm.
His scarf can be used to protect him from dust and cold and keep him cool on a hot day.
His chaps, chinks or armitas protect his legs from thorns, rope burns, cold and abrasions.
He wears long sleeves for protection from the sun, and from abrasions.
His boots help him keep his feet in the stirrups and his spurs in a useful position.
The cowboy always carries a knife with him for the many situations where it is needed.
Working Ranch Horse gear should be functional, first and foremost.
It may be adorned with braiding, tooling, engraving or silver but none of these should impair the functionality of the gear.
It should be well adjusted for the horse and not cause sores or pain for either horse or rider.
A good working saddle will be built on a tree that is stout enough to handle dally roping and years of use.
A roping saddle horn will be tall enough to hold several dallies and wrapped to increase the diameter to provide enough surface area to enable the roper to hold wraps or slip rope as necessary.
The saddle rigging is typically double, meaning it has a cinch in the full, ⅞, or ¾ position plus a flank cinch that must be hobbled to the front cinch.
It is recommended the saddle also be outfitted with a breast collar as well. 133 CHAPTER 18: Working Ranch horse Saddle blankets or pads should protect the horse from sores and help keep their back cool.
Wool blankets are a very good choice for this purpose, but there are various options available including, felt, foam, rubber mesh, synthetics etc.
A very common and serviceable combination of a wool saddle blanket with a thicker pad over it has been used successfully used by horsemen for years.
Excessive padding can compromise the security of your saddle and sore a horse as easily as too little padding.
Bridles for curb bits and spade bits are commonly of the browband or one-ear style, constructed of leather or rawhide.
Snaffles and Bosals should always be used with browband headstalls to provide the balance and support these pieces of equipment require.
Bosalitos may use either a normal hanger or only a single leather thong for a hanger.
Fastenings for bridles should be checked regularly for security and wear.
Bits fall into one of three categories: snaffles, curbs and spades.
Snaffle bits may be solid or jointed but do not activate leverage with the use of the curb strap; they apply only direct pressure to the mouth of the horse.
Curb bits have shanks and use leverage with the use of a curb strap; the mouthpiece may be solid or broken.
Spade bits are signal bits; they have very high ported mouth pieces with a spoon and braces that rest against the horses palate; they should only be used by very skilled horsemen on very well trained horses.
Bit mouthpieces come in a variety of styles.
The solid types of mouthpieces for curb bits have been more common and considered more traditional.
The shanks of curb bits usually indicate their style and purpose.
Straight shanks have been typical of bits from the west coast, whereas ‘grazers’ or swept back shanks have been used more in the Midwest.
A traditional hackamore is made up of a rawhide or leather bosal, headstall, jaquima and mecate.
The headstall supports the nose of the bosal, while the jaquima supports the heel knot of the bosal.
Different diameters and types of bosals are used at different stages of training to advance the horse in its work.
The mecate is a 21’ rope that is tied to the bosal to make a loop rein and a ‘third rein’ to be used as a lead rope.
Reins come in three basic styles.
Split reins are flat leather and usually measure at least seven feet long.
Split reins are used most often with grazer type bits and snaffles.
Romal reins are most commonly used on straight-shanked bits and spades; they are a closed rein that connect to a romal and popper.
They usually have several braided knots and chains on the bit ends and braided knots on the romal and popper as well.
The braided knots add weight and pre-signal, in addition to being decorative on the bit ends, and add weight on the romal to facilitate balancing the rein with one hand.
A mecate or “McCarty” reins are made of a 21’ rope and are used on a bosal or on a snaffle with slobber straps.
The mecate may be constructed of horsehair, mohair, cowhair, hemp, cotton, llama hair or synthetic fibers.
Different diameters and weights of rope are used at different stages of training to create various results.
A word of caution: Tie downs, martingales, and draw reins should not be used in working ranch horse situations.
They compromise the safety of both the horse and the rider on varied terrain 134 CHAPTER 18: Working Ranch horse and in roping conditions.
They may be useful tools in a controlled arena situation, but can also be crutches that inhibit development of good horsemanship and well-trained horses.
Horse Training and Skills The ultimate goal in training a working ranch horse is to develop an athletic and willing partner in your horse.
This partner provides you with the endurance, strength, speed and instincts to get your job done effectively and efficiently.
When a working ranch horse is finished with its training it should have the following skills combined with a calm and willing attitude.
The working ranch horse should be able to work at a calm and steady walk, jog, trot or lope with minimal management from the rider.
It should be able take either a lead on cue, and perform flying changes.
It should be able to stop in a quick and balanced manner from any gait on varied footing.
It should be able to stand quietly alone, in a group or with activity all around.
It should allow a rider to swing a rope, throw a loop, slide rope, coil a rope and hold an animal taut on a rope.
It should be trained to be ridden one handed and work off both hand and leg cues.
It should know how to be ground tied or hobbled and stand quietly tied.
It should be safe and steady to ride out in the open on varied terrain, and sound enough to work for many hours at a time.
Working Ranch Horse Obstacles The most important aspect of successfully maneuvering a working ranch horse through obstacles is the horse’s attitude.
The horse must be willing, obedient and attentive to the rider when negotiating obstacles.
The rider needs to be able to place the horse and horse’s feet exactly where he/she wants.
Some of the obstacles that are unique and essential for a working ranch horse to manage include: dragging a log, working gates, crossing water, hobbles, ground tying, negotiating inclines, coiling rope and roping a dummy.
Riders should be able to work gates both mounted and unmounted.
The horse should enable the rider to maintain hold of the gate the entire time while negotiating the gate either mounted or from the ground.
It is best to be able to work gates by either pulling or pushing the gate.
While negotiating gates, riders should be able to keep cattle from escaping out of a gate.
The working ranch horse should be able to calmly and safely negotiate water and inclines.
Either of these should be negotiated at a walk and, if necessary, be able to stop and stand if asked. 135 CHAPTER 18: Working Ranch horse The working ranch horse needs to be trained to ground tie as well as stand hobbled.
This skill is very useful both in the arena and out in the pasture when the rider needs to work with hands free from the horse.
During either ground tying or hobbling, the horse remains nearly motionless, waiting for its rider to return, whether for a few seconds or half an hour.
Dragging a log is a skill that simulates the work a horse does to drag a calf to be branded or doctored.
The horse must walk quietly, and be able to pull a 60 to 150 pound log.
The horse needs to learn to drag the log with the rope on either side.
For safety, riders need to learn to keep the log either directly behind them or directly in front of them when the rope is taut.
When the rider pulls the rope taut from the side, there is the risk of pulling the saddle sideways and hurting the horse.
When dragging a log, the rope must be dallied at least a complete turn; more dallies may be appropriate on heavier drags or for younger riders.
Teaching a working ranch horse to accept swinging and throwing a rope takes some time.
The horse should not spook or shy from the rope while it is swinging, dragging on the ground or when it is taut.
In addition, the horse should be completely obedient to the rider without regard to where the rope is.
The rider should be able to position the horse exactly where it is most advantageous to throw a loop.
It is important that the rider be able to control the horse’s shoulders and hips while having only one hand on the reins.
Cattle Work Successfully working cattle requires that the rider understand some basic bovine behavior.
Cattle are herd animals and like to be together.
They feel safer in a group and will nearly always move toward their own kind and away from a horse, dog or person.
Working an individual cow is much easier if she can see you.
When you are directly behind her, you are in her blind spot and she will turn to keep you in her sight.
Likewise, if the cow you want to move hides her head behind other animals you will not be successful controlling her direction until you can move into her line of sight.
Cattle are very sensitive to position and distance of a rider; their response to this sensitivity creates a flight zone.
There is a balance point just behind the cow’s shoulder; when you are behind this point the cow will move forward; when you are in 136 CHAPTER 18: Working Ranch horse front of this line, the cow will turn away or stop.
There is a distance from a horse that a cow feels safe; this distance varies with individual cows but getting closer makes the cow move faster.
Staying at the edge of the safe zone moves the cow at a walk, while staying further out from the safe zone lets the cow slow down or stop.
Riding away from a cow from a lead position will very often draw the animal in to follow.
When working with a herd you can really only influence the animals at the edge that are in sight of your horse.
However, because cattle are herd animals, when you control the animals on the edges, they will lead or influence the movement of the animals within the herd.
Rope Work Ropes used for lassoing cattle are usually called a rope, a lariat or a riata.
Ropes and lariats are typically made of cotton, poly, hemp, nylon or a combination of these materials.
Riatas are made of rawhide.
Ropes and lariats used for arena roping vary in length from 30-40 feet.
Their shorter length and stiffer feel make these ropes better for roping at speed, such as in an arena.
Because of the short length, a smaller loop is used and you must be able to ride up close to the cow.
An overhand swing and throw is used with considerable velocity with this type of rope.
Lariats and Riatas used for ranch roping are usually 50-75 feet in length.
The longer length and softer feel of a lariat or riata make them the tool of choice for ranch roping.
This style of roping has many types of swings and deliveries.
Some of the common ones are the overhead, backhand, scoop loop, houlihan, Johnny Blocker, hip shot, heel trap, and del viento.
The size of the loop is quite large, often over 10 feet in diameter and the swing and delivery much slower and more precise. 137 138 CHAPTER 19: 4-H ADVANCEMENT LEVELS PROGRAM W hat are Advancement Levels? The levels program is a supplement to the 4-H horse project in Colorado and is an excellent teaching and learning tool for 4-H leaders and members.
The Advancement Level program is a logical, step-by-step guide to teach youngsters horsemanship and horse care.
Understand that the advanced program is voluntary and not every youth will want to master all levels.
However, the first two levels teach the basics of horse safety, riding and care for general pleasure and performance, and all members are encouraged to participate in at least Levels I and II.
Level III is for the serious horseman, and Level IV is for youth interested in a career in the equine industry or for those who are serious about riding and training.
Level IV is not for everyone.
The four levels that 4-H members may advance through are: Novice Horseman, Level 1 Intermediate Horseman, Level 2 Performer, Level 3 Advanced Horse Master, Level 4 Level I is divided into Novice western or English.
Level II, Intermediate, is divided into western, English or Working Ranch Horse.
Level III, Performer and Level IV, Horse Master are divided into five divisions; western, working ranch horse, saddle seat, dressage and hunt seat.
Safety and proper basics are stressed throughout the levels program.
The skills learned in the beginning levels are reflected in properly mastering the more advanced levels.
A solid and consistent foundation is extremely important.
Passing the Level II test is required by Colorado State Fair to show in the Colorado 4-H Horse Show for halter, horsemanship, timed events, equitation, control, trail and cattle classes.
Passing Level III is required to show in hunter over fences, hunter hack, reining and western riding at the Colorado State Fair 4-H Horse Show.
What is involved? The Advancement Level program is a teaching guide that combines many aspects of horsemanship and horse care.
Reference materials for the Advancement Level program include: 4-H Horse Project Members Manual 4-H Horse Rulebook 4-H Horse Judging Guide The Horse, by Evans, Borton, Hintz and Van Vleck (used for Levels III and IV) — Hand gallop: Handy: Headstall: Heaves: Hinny: APPENDIX I: TERMS AND DEFINITIONS Hobbles: Honda: Straps fastened to the front legs of a horse to prevent him from straying Eye on the working end of a lariat or riata through which the rope passes to form a loop or noose Male donkey Any horse four years old or younger Founder Noninfectious inflammation of the sensitive laminae of one or more of the hooves In canter or lope, the horse is on the right or left lead as indicated by the inside or leading foreleg; also the third beat in the stride A long line, about 20 to 30 feet, used to train and exercise a horse A mature female horse four years of age and older Two types: standing and running – the martingale prevents the elevation of the horse’s head beyond a certain level without cramping the horse; the standing martingale consists of a strap which extends from around the girth, between the forelegs, to the noseband; the running martingale is not attached to the horse’s head, but terminates in two rings through which the reins pass; it permits more freedom of movement than the standing martingale.
A hackamore rein and lead rope; also called a McCarty rein Opposite of parrot mouth, the lower jaw protrudes in front of the upper jaw A cross between a mare and a jack Walk, trot, canter and gallop and, in some horses, pace and running walk The horse’s left side A signal to the horse with the weight of the rein against the neck The horse’s right side 146 Jack: Junior horse: Laminitis: Lead: Lunge: Mare: Martingales: Mecate: Monkey mouth: Mule: Natural gaits: Near side: Neck rein: Off side or far side: APPENDIX I: TERMS AND DEFINITIONS A show class in which any horse of a specified breed may compete Open class: Out of or dam of: Refers to the female parent of a horse Parasite: A small organism that lives on or in and at the expense of a larger organism called the host Opposite of monkey mouth, the upper jaw overhangs the lower jaw; the incisors do not properly meet and cause uneven wear and growth The act of giving birth The black and white coat color of the Pinto horse The rising and lowering of a rider with the rhythm of the trot Bred from members of a recognized breed without mixture of blood from other breeds Fineness of feature, fine hair and lack of coarseness Light weight chains attached from the bit to the rein; used to counter balance the weight of the spade bit The reins afford direct contact between the hands and horse’s mouth; they regulate impulsion: slowing, stopping or backing the horse; the reins, acting through the mouth and the neck, are also used to change direction of travel or to turn the horse to either the right or left.
Braided rawhide rope First place—blue; second—red; third—yellow; fourth—white; fifth— pink; sixth—green; seventh—purple; eighth—brown A mane that has been cut short A convex back, one that forms an outward arc A surcingle, or form of girth, used to hold a blanket in place A braided rawhide terminating in a single or double tapered strap, usually between 3 and 4 feet long, and attached to the end of closed, braided rawhide reins 147 Parrot mouth: Parturition: Piebald: Posting: Purebred: Quality: Rein chains: Reins: Riata: Ribbon colors: Roached: Roached back: Roller: Romal: APPENDIX I: TERMS AND DEFINITIONS Saddlebred: Breed originated in the United States; developed as an easy-riding, general purpose horse historically for plantation use; used today as a show horse; can be three- or five-gaited A term that refers to the ability of a rider to sit in the saddle with grace and control the mount Any horse five years old or older Describes a horse having a short distance (not more than four-fingers width) between the last rib and the point of the hip Coat color other than black, such as bay, brown or chestnut, combined with white of the Pinto horse A raincoat made of oiled canvas or plastic Light-weight chains attached between the shanks of a curb bit or straps Sometimes it is a solid metal bar called a slobber bar Refers to the smooth, biting surface of the upper and lower teeth after the cups have disappeared at 12 years of age A term that means the horse is physically fit and shows no signs of weakness or illness which interfere with its usefulness Seat and hands: Senior horse: Short-coupled: Skewbald:
Read more about Bridle The bridle consists of three parts: the headstall, bit and reins: