TOTAL TRAINING MINI SERIES - Introducing Tack to Your Horse

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Part 3  - Introducing tack to your youngster should be a continuation from the ground handling work already undertaken.  

As your horse has become accustomed to lunging in a bridle, numnah and roller, the saddle is the next step.  

You must ensure that you use a good quality, correctly fitting saddle.  As with all aspects of training a young horse it is important that you ensure the tack is well fitting as any pain the young horse experiences will not be conducive to his education and may cause longer term problems.  
Young horses change shape continually and as he begins his ridden career and develops muscle and condition, he will need to have the saddle checked regularly to ensure the best fit. 

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Firstly place the saddle on the horses back in the stable and loosely fasten the girth, then tighten the girth gradually to allow the horse to become accustomed to the feeling.  Leave the horse for a short while in the stable with the saddle on and repeat for a few days to ensure the horse is happy.  You can now lunge the horse gently in walk and trot for a short while on each rein and assuming the horse is happy with this, take the stirrups down and slowly get the horse used to the feeling of the stirrups by his sides.  This may frighten the horse initially but take it slowly and should he have a buck, wait for the horse to calm down and continue in a gentle manner.

As with all aspects of training, all horses develop at different speeds so it is very important not to rush your horse and to allow him to learn at his own pace to ensure a confident and secure riding horse.

PART 1 - Ground Handling
PART 2 - Lunging and long-reining

Amanda Brewer is available for lessons and clinics, please call 07979 607 139.