Making decisions for developing a young horse’s riding career is never easy. Choices have consequences!
Make the right ones…
Which Trainer should you trust?
What extra nutrition will they need with increased mental and physical work?
Are their Feet and Teeth up to date?
People usually consider these things, but often overlook one of the most important ingredients to a good start:
The Saddle! Don’t start with just “any old something”. Your horse feels EVERYTHING and it should feel GOOD from the very beginning!
As a saddle company, we’ve often seen what happens when wrong choices are made. Saddles are one of the most important lifelong factors for ridden horses. They can be extremely impactful in a negative way…or key tools for successful balance and harmony.
From the very start at any age, any horse deserves to be comfortable while carrying the weight of a saddle and a rider.
Allowing room in the budget for quality equipment should be a priority of any horse owner. As we know, horses are entirely dependent upon their humans for safety, comfort, and wellbeing.
Investing money in poor equipment will result in consequences including poor performance, unhappy attitude, diminished health, and far less fun than would be desired for both of you. Horses learn to be unwilling, anxious, distracted, reactive and often just downright dangerous.
Some horses will suffer in silence…at least for a while…but if you know what you’re looking at, a horse will be telling you if the saddle hurts.
Your aim no doubt is to develop a willing partner, not an unhappy one…or worse, an uncomfortable and powerful animal who tells you he’s miserable in big and scary ways.
In addition to the correct tack, here’s a checklist for preparing to start your horse:
- Trainer – Choose a trainer who shares your philosophy. Watch him or her with other horses, ask about how involved you can be in the process: can you watch, take part, what expectations does the trainer have of you.
- Dental Health – Be sure you have teeth examined and floated prior to being started. Dental issues can yield unexpected imbalances in way-of-going plus obviously interfere when bridle and bit are eventually used. You won’t want pain in this process and neither will your horse.
- Hoof Health – Make a date with your trimmer/farrier prior to your horse heading off for starting. More work than normal will put heavier stress on feet and incorrect hoof care at the beginning will detract from the mental AND physical states of your horse.
- Veterinary – Sending your horse off to an unfamiliar area means you can be exposing them to all sorts of potential health risks. Be sure they’re up to date with virus protection and appropriate worming.
- Body Work – Has your horse had the once over? Sending them off to take on intense training without it could inhibit success.
- Feed – Ask your trainer what your horse may need in addition to your normal feed. When a horse’s physical and mental stress is increased, it pays to supplement with all things needed to build good muscle, protect bones, keep a level head and have enough energy to perform what is being asked.
At Natural Horseman Saddles, we are not unlike you. We just want to be the most responsible horse owners/parents we can be.
A good start with a good saddle begins at our website. There you’ll find key information about what makes our saddle equipment different and why it can set your horse up for success for life. Which model style might suit you and your future discipline(s) is up to you. We’ve got the underside of the saddle built perfectly for your horse no matter what sport you choose. Our saddle team will go to work for you for free as you start your saddle journey. Our advice is based on 20 years of research. We offer a lifetime of support as your horse grows and changes with you.
Check out our FREE Saddle Fit Evaluation and get valuable feedback on what your horse needs NOW while supporting what they will need in the future. All with the same saddle. It is possible with our adjustable shimming system and easy 2 saddle sizing philosophy.