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Checking Your Tack before Saddling Up

Part of the Horseback Riding For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Before you mount a horse, do a quick check of your tack to ensure everything is in good working order and attached to the horse properly. To stay safe in the saddle take a look at the following details:

  • Examine the bridle to make sure all the buckles and screws are securely fastened and that the leather isn’t unduly worn.

  • Examine the cinch (on a Western saddle) or girth (on an English saddle) to make sure the leather isn’t worn and prone to breaking under pressure and that knots and buckles are securely fastened. Also ensure your cinch or girth is snug.

  • For Western saddles, inspect the stirrup buckle to make sure it’s not loose. On English saddles, make sure the stirrup leathers are securely buckled and positioned on the stirrup bar.

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