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Horse Tack
by Sarah Myles

Steps on how to tack up a horse, or how to saddle your pony or is it how to put the gear on your horse. Why do horses bite when you do the girth up and what does the word "tack" mean anyway?

The steps for knowing how to tack up your horse are

- Catch and secure your horse or pony

- Make sure they are clean, especially in the areas where your horse riding tack is going to touch your pony or horse

- Your pony's or horse's hooves must be clean before you tack up your horse

- The saddle goes on first - the girth must be secure so the saddle doesn't slip, but at this stage does not have to be tight. If you tighten the girth too much it at once it can make your horse or pony sour and teach them to bite when you do up the girth.

- Adjust any other gear attached to the saddle. This could be a breastplate, martingale or crupper.

- If you horse has boots or bandages, they can go on now

- Tighten up the girth one hole each side (if needed)

- Next make sure you have your helmet and are ready to ride

- Tighten up the girth another hole (if needed)

- Undo the head collar or halter and put on the bridle

- Final check on the girth and other tack and you have finished tacking up your horse!

- Enjoy your ride!

While you are riding, think about this

What is tack? Where does this word originate?

For equestrians, your tack is all of the equipment used for riding. This includes your saddle and bridle, your halter and other extras like breastplate and martingale.

You keep your tack in the tack room. And when you put your tack on your horse you are tacking up!

Others call it their gear, short for horse gear, which means all the bits and pieces needed for riding.

What do you call it?

Tack, gear, saddlery?

Do you know where the word tack originated when referring to horses?

Do you "tack up" or "saddle up" when you ride?

Do you have a "tack room" to store your tack/saddlery?

A tack is a type of small sharp nail that is used in making saddles. Is there any connection between this tack and the term tacking up?

Tacking in sewing is big stitches to hold things in place until properly stitched. Does tack in equestrian terms have anything to do with sewing?

A tack is part of a sail on a sailing boat. And tacking is what you do when sailing to change direction in the wind. What has that got to do with horses? Anything?

Is it all a mystery to me? Tell me what you know. Or what you think about using the word tack.

About the Author:
Sarah Myles - Horse riding instructor, sports (equestrian) coach, horse owner, equestrian competitor and most of all, horse lover,,
Win up to $1,000.00 for your horse club or group, monthly competitions, prizes, forums - ask an expert, blogs, videos, make your own profile, and much, much more.
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