Note: Links with green underlines are shopping links and will open in a new window.
How To Saddle A Horse - Page 1 of 3
This article covers how to saddle a horse with a Western saddle that has a front cinch, a back cinch, and a breast collar. Please be sure to see a few common sense safety precautions at the bottom of this page.
Clean Your Horse, Put The Saddle Pad On
Begin with a clean, dry, horse. All dirt and dust should be off the horse with particular attention given to the areas the saddle, saddle pad or blankets, cinches, and breast collar will cover. The horse should be properly tied with a halter and lead rope, held by an assistant, or ground tied.
Put the saddle pad (or blankets) on the horse. Place it slightly farther forward than where it should be when you are finished saddling. By placing the saddle pad a little too far forward on purpose, you will accomplish two things:
- You allow room for the pad and saddle to slide back a bit like they naturally want to during saddling without them ending up too far back.
- You avoid the need to grab the saddle pad (before and/or after the saddle has been placed on it) and pull it forward to get everything into proper position. This can be heavy and awkward to do and also pulls against the growth of the horse's hair, rubbing it the wrong way.
Get Everything Out Of The Way
You will need to get the front cinch, back cinch, breast collar, and stirrup out of the way so that when you lift the saddle onto the back of the horse these things don't wind up underneath the saddle.
In our photo, the rider is going to place the saddle onto the horse from the horse's left side. He has laid the front cinch, back cinch, and breast collar onto the seat of the saddle to keep them out of the way. Since the right stirrup tends to easily slide off the saddle seat, he has hooked it over the saddle horn.
Lift The Saddle Onto The Horse
Lift the saddle and place it onto the back of the horse. Do this as gently and with as much control as possible so you don't thump the saddle down hard onto the horse's back. Setting the saddle down gently will remind the horse that being saddled is a routine, comfortable activity, which will encourage the horse to stand quietly during this and future saddlings.
Setting the saddle down gently will also help make sure the cinches, breast collar, and stirrup don't fall off the saddle seat and saddle horn. If any of those things do slide off, they could wind up underneath the saddle and you might have to start all over. They could also spook the horse.
While saddling a horse, a person can easily be injured. It is common sense to take a few, simple precautions to avoid injury.
- If it is fly season, consider applying fly spray to the horse. If the horse is fighting flies you could be stepped on or smacked by the horse's head. Even a horse swishing its tail can swing its tail into your face or eyes.
- Leave the halter and lead rope on your horse while saddling, then put the bridle on when you are done or ready to ride. If the horse is trained to ground tie (stand without moving while untied) that's fine. If not, leave the horse properly tied up with the halter and lead rope while saddling.
- When saddling, always snug up the front cinch first. When unsaddling, always loosen the front cinch last. The front cinch is the main item that keeps the saddle secure and upright on the horse. If, for example, during saddling, you were to buckle the breast collar or back cinch first, the saddle could slip underneath the horse and cause a serious wreck for the horse, equipment, and any people or property nearby.
- Attach A Leather Rope Strap
- Bridle A Horse
- Buy Cowboy Stuff On eBay
- Care For A Silk Wild Rag
- Care For Your Felt Cowboy Hat
- Care For Your Saddle Pad Or Blanket
- Close A Gate With A Chain Latch
- Estimate Cattle Age By Their Teeth
- Estimate A Horse's Weight
- Estimate Western Cinch Size
- Fishtail Braid Your Horse's Tail
- Flatten Cow Horn
- Hydro Dip A Cow Skull
- Make A Collapsible Wood Saddle Rack
- Make A Flag Boot Out Of A Horn
- Make Homemade Hoof Conditioner
- Make Homemade Horse Fly Spray
- Measure A Horse's Girth
- Measure A Horse's Height
- Measure A Western Saddle Seat
- Put A Horn Knot On Your Rope
- Put A Speed Burner On A Honda
- Recognize Common Horse Colors
- Recognize Common Horse Face Markings
- Saddle A Horse
- Stop A Saddle From Squeaking
- Take Horse Pictures
- Tell A Boy Cow From A Girl Cow
- Tie A Honda
- Tie A Horse
- Tie A Quick Release Knot
- Tie A Stopper Knot
Tie a stopper knot for the end of a rope,
or a metal, rawhide, or plastic honda
- Tie A Stopper Knot For A Honda
Tie a stopper knot for a tied honda
- Tie A Wild Rag Knot
- Trim A Bridle Path
- Turn Blevins Buckles Over
- Turn Western Stirrups
- Understand Leather / Hide Thickness
- Weigh A Horse and Optimize Rider Weight
- Whiten Bone
- Wrap A Saddle Horn With Rubber
What Is / Are...
- What Are 5 Reasons Horse Trailer Lighting Matters?
- What Are Chestnuts and Ergots?
- What Are Cowboy Chinks?
- What Are Ermine Spots?
- What Are Horns?
- What Are Horse Blood Marks?
- What Are Horse Vaccines and How Do They Work?
- What Are Horse Whiskers?
- What Are Leads?
- What Are The Parts Of A Western Saddle?
- What Are Saddle Rigging Positions?
- What Are Some Interesting Horse Facts?
- What Are Some Interesting Charts and Graphs With Horse Information?
- What Are Some Options For Temporary Horse Fencing?
- What Are Slobber Straps?
- What Are Synthetic Saddles Made Of?
- What Are The Rodeo Catch Pens?
- What Are The X's In A Cowboy Hat?
- What Are The Three Legal Head Catches?
- What Are Wolf Teeth?
- What Is The Angle System For Branding?
- What Is A Bosal?
- What Is A Bull Riding Vest Made Of?
- What Is A Domain Name?
Why would I need one for my farm or ranch even if I don't have or want a website?
- What Is A Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch?
- What Is Flag and National Anthem Etiquette At A Rodeo?
- What Is Floating A Horse's Teeth?
- What Is Freeze Branding?
- What Is Freeze Branding......What Do Horse Freeze Brands Look Like?
- What Is A Galvayne's Groove?
- What Is A Gooseneck Trailer Hitch?
- What Is A Headstall?
- What Is A Pony Express Mochila?
- What Is Hermann Oak Leather?
- What Is Larvicidal De-Worming?
- What Is The Flying Gallop?
- What Is The Mark Out Rule?
- What Is A Nord Fork?
- What Is The Rodeo Return Gate?
- What Is Rotational Grazing?
- Horse Tips
Short tips to help horse owners and anyone who lives or loves a Western lifestyle do something faster, easier, or better.
Link To This Page
If you found this page useful or interesting and would like to link to it from your own website or blog, you can use the small code snippet below to make a link. Thanks!
Use ctrl+C in Windows or command+C on a Mac to copy the link.
Below: Like and share this page on Facebook!