Horses are powerful and sensitive. As domesticated animals, they have been helping humans accomplish day-to-day tasks for thousands of years. In some parts of the world, machines and massive equipment have replaced “horsepower,” and the animals are no longer used as primary modes of transportation. They are, however, still being raised for sports and for carrying on the tradition.
There are various pieces of equipment used so that a person will be more comfortable riding a horse. Bits and bridles allow the rider to communicate with the horse and steer it to the right direction or prompt it to gallop, jump, or run at breakneck speeds.
Your horse’s stamina and your safety are affected by how well these pieces of equipment fit. While it is ideal to have them custom-made for each horse, the prices can be quite limiting. The next best thing is to measure and find the best and most suited equipment online or from a trusted supplier. Here are some things to consider:
The saddle size should allow both rider and horse to move comfortably. The size needs to be based both on the horse and that of the rider. An incorrectly sized saddle can lead to serious back problems on the horse and can even cause lameness. For ponies, the saddles average 14 to 16 inches. For larger horses, the saddles can be up to 18.5 inches. This piece of equipment should be laid flat and steady on the animal’s back with plenty of space. The idea is to prevent the weight from pressing on to the animal’s spine. The saddle must be supported by pure muscle.
Riders looking for a new saddle should be patient in trying out different styles and sizes. Once you see something you like, you can ask for a fitting. The truly good ones will last for decades, so having one customized to your size and preference is a good investment.
It’s important to measure your horse’s forehead before buying a bridle. In cases where the horse’s forehead is wide, the browband and noseband might come out short. This will result in discomfort and some injuries. The bridle’s noseband works two ways: to stabilize the horse and to prevent it from opening its mouth. When it is on too tight, the horse might develop sores inside the mouth.
An excessively long bit on the horse can cause injuries, so shorter and thinner ones are now being used. Remember that this is a foreign object, and horses aren’t supposed to wear them in their mouths. When trying on a new bit, make sure that the animal can comfortably open and close its mouth without contact with the bar. Bits can hurt horses because they apply extra pressure on the mouth, chin curb, head, and tongue. Being extra careful and considerate when adding a bit to the horse helps with keeping the animal injury-free and healthy.
You can also add rugs and other pieces of equipment that will make riding more comfortable. Additionally, new horseshoes should not be forgotten to protect your horse’s feet. Horses are powerful yet gentle animals that have been helping people in various ways. Taking good care of them should be second nature to people.