Must-Have Accessories When Riding a Horse

If you have decided that you wanted to ride a horse, one of the things you need to consider is its tack. Tack includes the items that a rider needs to actually ride the horse, such as the bridle, saddle, bit, reins, stirrups, saddle pad, cinch, and many others. 

As a beginner rider, walking into a tack store can be a bit overwhelming. This experience can be a good opportunity since you can exactly choose the items that are necessary for your horse. However, too many choices can be a bit confusing and might leave you wondering whether you made the proper choice or made a mistake with your purchase. With that, below is the list of the tack a beginner rider must know before riding their horses. 


A photo of a saddle

A saddle is a seat that is fastened at the back of the horse using a wide girth or cinch. It is essential that the saddle you are to choose fits the horse and is also comfortable for the rider. The improperly fitting saddle may cause pressure points at the back of the horse and may result in injuries for both the rider and the horse. There are several types of saddles that are specifically designed for various tasks. It is divided into two types, the Western saddle and the English saddle. There are also Australian saddle and sidesaddles, which do not fit either of the two types. 


A photo of a stirrup

Stirrups are items that support the feet of the rider. It hangs on either side of the saddle and helps provide stability for the horse rider. However, stirrups create a potential risk since the rider’s feet can be stuck in them. If that happens, when a rider fell off the horse, they could be dragged if the horse runs away. In order to minimize this risk, safety precautions are advised. In fact, horse riders are encouraged to wear proper riding boots with a smooth sole and a heel. Moreover, some saddles like the English saddles provide a safety bar that allows the stirrup leather to fall off if ever the falling rider pulls it backward. In addition to that, Wester saddles provide a wide stirrup to prevent the rider’s feet from being stuck. 


A photo of an English bridle

Bridles are headgear used to control or drive the horse. It consists of a buckle strap wherein the bit and reins are attached—there two types of bridles, the English bridles, and the Western bridles. English bridles have nosebands that encircle the jaw and nose of the horse. On the other hand, Wester bridles usually do not have a noseband. 


A photo of a curb bit

A bit is an item that is placed in the horse’s mouth. It is kept on its head through a headstall. The mouthpiece of the bits rests on the gums. There are several types of bits that are useful for training and riding a horse. Choosing the style of the bit is also necessary in order for the item to work properly and be comfortable for your horse.  Some of the types of bits are the Curb bit, Pelham bit, Snaffle bit, and Weymouth bit. 


A photo of a breast -collar harness attached to a carriage A harness is a device that attached the horse to the carriage, cart, or any other load. There are two main types of harness, the collar and hames style and the breast strap. The collar and hames style of harness contains a collar that is attached to the neck of the horse with metal or wood hames in the collar. Meanwhile, the breast strap is a wide leather that runs horizontally across the horse’s breast and is attached to the traces and then on the load. These two differ in how the weight of the load is attached. 


A photo of a horse wearing a martingale

A martingale is equipment that keeps the horse from raising its head too high. This equipment can usually be attached to the horse in two ways. It can either be attached to the center chest ring or can be attached using two straps; one goes around the horse’s neck, while the other is attached to the girth. There are different types of martingale, such as German martingale, Irish martingale, and standing martingale.