Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Benefits of Slow Feed Nets

Did you know that slow feed hay bags/nets have been proven to reduce almost 94% of hay waste. Imagine how much money you could save in a years time! With round bale nets my horses have always wasted so much hay by pulling it out and laying on it. I've recently switched to the slow feed round bale net and no longer have any waste! It's easy to put on as well, with draw strings at the top. I'm so glad I made the switch and I encourage you to ditch the wasted hay and get a slow feed net!

Benefits of Slow Feeding

  • Slows down digestion/consumption
  • Helps prevent colic and ulcers.
  • Prevents boredom by keeping a horse eating longer.
  • Saves money on wasted hay!

Ask us TODAY about purchasing your slow feed hay net, available for square bales and round bales!
Call 866-880-2121!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Measuring for Horse Blankets

  1. Using a string, have a helper hold the end in the center of your horse's chest where his neck and chest meet. Pull the string around the side (covering the largest parts of the shoulder and stomach) and end in the center of the horse's rump area.

  2. Mark the length of the string with a marker (or cut it if you don't mind sacrificing your string). We'll measure this in the next step.

  3. Lay the string flat and use a tape measure to find the length. The length in inches is the size of horse sheet or blanket your horse will need. If the measurement falls between two sizes, round up to the larger size for the best fit.

    NOTE: if you own a fabric style tape measure that is long enough for this task, skip the string and use the flexible tape measure! But don't cut it... that would be bad!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Leather Versus Synthetic Saddles

Synthetic saddles

Synthetic saddles have three main advantages over a traditional leather saddle:

  1. Price: This is the factor that sways some customers away from a traditional leather saddle. You can get a quality, durable saddle that costs much less than a saddle made out of leather.
  2. Weight: Synthetic saddles run half the weight of their leather counterparts, giving your horse less to carry and saving you the hassle of logging around a twenty-five-pound leather saddle.
  3. Ease of Care: Throw away that old leather conditioner and the rags that go with it. All that's usually needed to clean a synthetic saddle is a damp cloth.

Synthetic saddles also come in many styling options in a wide variety of disciplines, so whatever you're wanting in a traditional saddle, chances are there's a synthetic saddle that comes close.

The term synthetic covers a wide range of saddles, including very cheap saddles made out of nylon or vinyl. Many imported saddles fall into this category. The Horse Saddle Shop is very picky about what saddles to stock; we do not sell imported or cheaply made saddles. When it comes to synthetic, the only material we're standing behind is Cordura. Fabtron and Big Horn have made a variety of Cordura saddles that we're proud to sell.

Cordura saddles

Cordura is a registered brand name of a nylon fabric made by Invista. It is used in a wide variety of products where durability is important, such as luggage, boots, military apparel, and clothing.

Why is it used for saddles?

Cordura is extremely useful for saddles because of its resistance to abrasion. According to Invista's website, Cordura is two times more durable than nylon and three times more durable than polyester. Cordura is made to last. It's also easy to care for and resists dirt.

Disadvantages of a cordura saddles

Styling: There's no way to replicate the traditional gloss, smell, and styling of a quality leather saddle. Cordura saddles can be attractive, but most western enthusiasts prefer the look of leather. Leather often leaves more room for your personal taste, giving you plenty of tooling and other stylish elements that will make the saddle all your own.

Durability: There's no way to say how long a Cordura saddle will last. Cordura is a very durable, abrasion-resistant material, and certainly, you're going to get your money's worth, but if you want a guarantee that the saddle will last a lifetime, leather is the only way to go. A leather saddle can be an heirloom; we doubt you'll see many Cordura saddles in a museum exhibit fifty years from now.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tying Trouble

I recently purchased a new horse! Everything was going great when I got him home! He stalled great, fit in well with the other horses, everything was perfect. Or so it seemed… After letting this new horse settle in for about a week or two I decided to throw a saddle on him and ride.

Well, little did I know he was going to give me a run for my money when it came to tying. I tied him up to the hitching post and began to tack him up for our ride. He then backed up and held pressure on the lead rope knowing exactly what he was doing to try and snap the lead rope. He did just that! He snapped the lead rope and got loose. I finally got him caught, and put back away.

I began thinking I can’t be the only one that has struggled with this issue. After conducting endless amounts of research, I came across a friend who had the same issue with one of her horses. She told me to use a neck rope along with her halter and lead rope. I thought yeah, sure he will slip right out of that! I was desperate to try anything, as without tying you can’t do much with a horse.

I put the neck rope on him and tied him up to the hitching post again and he pulled back to try and put pressure in the lead rope and snap it again, just as I thought he would. However, this time the neck rope stopped him! He fought it for a few minutes then gave up. It took about 2-3 times of using the neck rope and he was tying like a dream!

If you are struggling with a horse that won't tie, don’t give up! Purchase a neck rope and try it. However, you want to be sure to tie them in an area where he or she can’t hurt themselves because they are going to fight it to try and get loose as this is a learned behavior.

It shouldn’t take more than a couple times of trying this and they should be back to tying like they need to, and you can have your horse back! It worked for my gelding and I hope it works for you too! No one should have to struggle with this issue when you can try a simple thing such as this to fix it for good!

- Leah

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Deworming Dos & Don'ts

The biggest mistake made deworming a horse is using only ivermectin wormers. If you only use one type of chemical class your horse can become tolerant, and your worming schedule will be ineffective. Below is a great chart used to describe the different Drug classes for wormers and why they are used.

This chart was made by HorseSaddleShop for informative purposes only. You always want to consult your Veterinarian before treating your horse. In some cases, your Vet will come up with a rotational worming schedule directed especially for your born, as they will know the risks for parasites in your area.

Some prevention to parasites can be made by cleaning manure out of pasture frequently, as well as feeding your horses from a feeder rather than the ground.

Here are some factors that can result in a higher risk of parasites for your horse:
  • Horses being pastured in a dry lot (dirt lot)
  • Sharing pastures with cattle, goats or sheep
  • Hight Pasture Population ( Having one or more horses per acre of land)
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017

    Saddle Diagram

    Ever been lost when it comes to saddle terms? Cowboys and cowgirls ain't nothing but confident ain't you can't be confident if you don't know what you are talking about.

    We can help you know your stuff.
    Take a look at our easy saddle parts breakdown.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017

    Checking the Fit of your Saddle

    Goal of Fit: Bar Contact to the Horse’s Back

    The bars protect the spine and distribute pressure from the rider’s weight evenly across the horse’s back. Larger riders and performance saddles need longer bars to give more contact area to distribute pressure.

    Checking the Fit of your Saddle

    The tree has two main factors that determine the fit; gullet width and bar angle. The combination of the two factors makes for slight variations in the saddle industry. There are not any standards or definitions of specific tree sizes, but each saddle builder provides a description to give an idea of the size of horse the tree should fit.

    Gullet Width or sometimes referred to as bar spread is the measurement 2 inches below the narrowest part of the gullet, even with the side conchos. This is the most common factor because we can measure it more easily. When measuring, make sure you’re underneath the bars, not in front of the saddle.

    A narrow gullet width will keep the saddle perched higher. A wider spread will drop further down on the horse’s back.

    Bar Angle is not often measured but the angle needs to be as close to the angle of the horse’s back as possible.

    A narrow or tight angle will make contact at the bottom of the bars, not the top. A wide angle will make contact at the top of the bars, not the bottom.

    Approximate degrees (+/- 3 degrees):
    86 degrees - Normal/Narrow Angle
    90 degrees - Wide Angle
    94 degrees – Extra Wide Angle

    Other Factors

    Bar Flare: The bars will flare to some degree in the front and back of the saddle. The front will flare away from the horse to allow for shoulder movement. The back may flare to keep the bars from digging into the croup.

    Bar Slope or Rock: The curve of the horse’s topline should be as close to the shape of the bars as possible.

    Bridging: When the bars make contact in the front and back of the saddle, but not in the middle. It causes what looks like a bridge across the dip in the back. The weight of the rider is carried only at the ends of the bars causing a lot of pressure that can result in white hairs and sores.

    Rock: when the bars bend more than the horse needs. This is the opposite of bridging and less common. The saddle may tip forward, though that could also be from a saddle that is too wide in the front. Rock is found on horses with a flat toppling.

    Tree Sizes

    Semi-QH: Semi Quarter Horse can be referred to as Medium, Regular, or QH bars. This tree size has a higher pitch or angle to the bars. It’s for the horse with a more defined wither. (1/2 Arab, Appendix, Thoroughbred, etc).

    Full-QH: Full Quarter Horse or FQHB can be referred to as Wide (usually 7” gullet). The angle is flatter compared to the Semi-QH tree. This is for horses with a broad shoulder. They’re considered mutton withered or a less pronounced wither. (Quarter Horse, Paint, etc)

    Arabian: Have a narrow front (usually 6.5" – 6.75" gullet) similar to the Semi-QH bar but the back of the saddle has a flatter pitch angle. So the saddle goes from a little narrow in the front to flatter or wider in the back. Can sometimes fit non-Arabian horses.

    Gaited: The gaited tree has a higher gullet to accommodate the higher withered horses. They usually have a wider or flared front to allow for shoulder movement. The tree narrows toward the back where the bars have more pitch. The gaited saddles usually have more rock to the bars. (Tennessee Walker, Fox Trotter, etc)

    Haflinger: Short backed, mutton withered – these trees have a flatter pitch to the bar angle and very little rock. Usually a 7.5" gullet, they’re often used on other large horses needing an extra wide tree.

    Draft: Usually an 8" gullet to fit on large draft horses.