When you buy a saddle, what you need to look for is: whether it fits your horse, whether it matches the kind of riding you want and whether it is comfortable for the rider. Saddles come in different types meant for different purposes like dressage, polo, racing, showing, etc. There are saddles that are meant for a rider who intends to do all kinds of riding and there are saddles that can fit a horse of any shape.
Bridles are usually made in leather, which makes them long lasting and comfortable to use. They are made in synthetic materials also, designed to make them easier to clean and maintain. The size of the bridle depends on the type of horse and the size of its head. Normally, bridles come in four different types: snaffle, double, western and endurance. A snaffle bridle is easy to handle and modify to suit the type of horse and the way it rides. A double bridle gives the rider a high degree of control over the horse. A western bridle is minimal in appearance and is designed for a hot climate to allow the horse's skin to breathe. It is also easier to repair, if away from home. An endurance bridle is flexible enough to be changed to a head collar, which is suitable for long distance travel.
Bits are the part of horse riding equipment that help the rider to communicate with the horse regarding its speed and pace and gives some control over the horse. There are five different types of bit, and all five affect the different areas of the horse's head. A bit should fit tightly into the horse's mouth and should leave a little space free on both side of the mouth. Bit sizes are measured by taking the distance between the two bit rings in either centimetres or inches. Bits are made in different materials like stainless steel, copper, iron, etc.
The part of horse riding equipment that allows the horse to pull vehicles like a carriage, a sleigh or a wagon is the horse harness. It is also used to latch the animal to other loads like a plough or canal boat. The two main parts of a harness are a breast collar and a head collar, either one being used. There are different kinds of harnesses suitable for different purposes like shows, pulling a carriage or van, pulling a cart or wagon, racing or ploughing.
Horse rugs are meant to protect the horse from sun, rain, snow, wind and flies. It gives the horse warmth and protection while it is in the field or stable. It helps the horse to remain healthy, hygienic and safe while travelling, as well as after exercise. Rug sizes range from 3 ft for a colt to 7 ft 3 inch for a big horse. Depending on the purpose, rugs are of different kinds like stable rugs, travel rugs, cooler rugs, blanket, summer sheet, turnout rugs, sweat rugs, fly rugs.
Horse riding equipment would not be complete without riding whips and boots. Horse riding whips are used to lead the horse on. They should be carried on the inside hand and used just behind the rider's leg. Whips are of different kinds like a short whip, dressage whip, hunting whip, polar whip, show cane and lunge whip. Whips are used for various purposes like show jumping, dressage, cross-country, hacking, schooling and polo. Always remember that whips are not meant to be used on the horse often.
Boots for horses are worn on its front and back legs. They protect the horse from injury while travelling or participating in a competition. There are different kinds of boots for different purposes and protect the different areas of the horse's legs. They are normally made of synthetic material, leather or rubber with either Velcro fastenings or leather buckles.
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