Tack & Gear

waterproof horse tack, damage to horse saddle or bridle, caring for horse tack, how to clean horse tack

If you ride far enough and often enough, the day will inevitably come when you're caught out in a drencher. When you get back to shelter, you'll scrape your horse and towel him down, then find yourself some dry clothes and something warm to drink. If you're smart, you'll also tend to your tack before the mud dries on and the leather dries out. Timely tack care can also prevent the blooming of mold and mildew problems which, once established, can become a major nuisance.

horse safety, horse helmet, riding helmet, riding safety, why wear horse helmet

There are many reasons, or rather, excuses for not wearing riding helmets. Yet research shows that a properly fitted, safety-approved riding helmet can drastically reduce the risk of head injury. When a rider falls, the head is usually the first thing to impact the ground. The human skull can be shattered on impacts of 7 to 10 kilometers per hour, and horses gallop at over 60 kph. According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, three out of every five equestrian accident deaths are caused by brain injuries, and there is four times the risk of mortality for non-helmeted riders who become injured.

Waterproofing Horse Blankets, bucas blankets, how to waterproof horse gear, skyline equine

No blanket stays waterproof forever. After it's been well used for a few years, the waterproofing will wear off. You'll know it's time to re-waterproof when you notice wetness along the midline of the horse's back and croup.

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The perils of putting symmetrical saddles on asymmetrical horses - “We were not surprised to learn 60 percent of the horses in our 490-horse retrospective study had larger measurements on the left side of their withers,” says Dr. Katrina Merkies, researcher and associate professor at the University of Guelph.

traditional horsemanship practices, alexa linton, how to lead a horse, how to mount a horse, how to clean horse tack, best horse bits and saddle

Why do we have them? What keeps us practicing them? As I write this article, I find it ironic that I am laid up on the couch with a lower back injury, brought on by the age-old tradition of lifting, hauling, and generally doing way too much when my body wasn’t up to the task. From my recovery position, it seems fitting to attempt to grapple with the rather sticky topic of traditions, and why we often feel so compelled to stick to them. I’ve touched on this a little in my past articles, but today I want to really dig in and unpack why and how traditions become traditions and what keeps us practicing them, sometimes long past their best before date.

equine nosebands, equine martingales, horse whips, draw reins, tack allowed equestrian competition, aqha competition rules, equestrian canada competition rules

Sifting through truth, tradition, and emotion - When we think of training tack, we think of whips, spurs, nosebands, and martingales. It’s a divisive topic in the horse industry. Horse show committees, popular clinicians, coaches, competitive and casual riders all differ in their views. In a sport where truth, tradition, and emotions often collide, I’ve had to sift through the issues to form my own system as a horse trainer, show judge, and riding coach. By trial and error, from training hundreds of horses and watching countless horses and riders, I’ve honed my sense of what works and what tends not to.

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Saddles come in all shapes, sizes, and functions and are often designed for specific disciplines. For many riders, it can be challenging finding the saddle that is both comfortable and secure for both themselves and the horse, and also meets their specific riding needs.

equine nosebands, equine martingales, horse whips, draw reins, tack allowed equestrian competition, aqha competition rules, equestrian canada competition rules

Don’t Get Caught With Your Splint Boots On! What riding equipment is allowed, and what's not, across the riding disciplines? Now, with a wealth of evidence available to us, we can make our artificial aid choices by analysis, not by accident.

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How to check your noseband for tightness. Technology now allows researchers to peek inside the equine mouth, comparing the effect of restrictive nosebands on bit action and swallowing. Overly tight nosebands, with the leverage they afford, can create measurable damage.

Girls Outnumber Boys horse riding, Jochen Schleese, horse riding, McClellan Saddle, horse riding erectile issues, George B. McClellan, dysfunction, Dr. James Warson

When we think about children and riding, we usually picture little girls and their ponies. Popular equestrian magazines with the target market of younger riders are usually focused on girls – it’s really rare to see photos in these magazines featuring boys.

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