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How to Dress a Horse


by sschwalb on February 24, 2010

Table of Contents

License: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Intro: How to Dress a Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

step 1: Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

step 2: Fetching the Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

step 3: Grooming - Curry Comb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

step 4: Grooming - Soft Brush . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

step 5: Grooming - Mane Comb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

step 6: Grooming - Hoof Pick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

step 7: Saddle Blanket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

step 8: Saddle Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

step 9: Girth and Cinch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

step 10: Chest Strap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

step 11: Bridle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

step 12: Bridle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
License: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa)

Intro: How to Dress a Horse


Welcome to "How to Dress a Horse" where you will learn the proper technique on how to saddle and bridle your horse. In order to use this Instructable safely, it is pivotal
that you have a basic knowledge of horses and how to handle them. It is also important that you never try to saddle and bridle a horse that has not been trained. If you
are not going to be performing these instructions and you just want to know more about horses, then enjoy and hopefully this Instructable will feed your curiosity!

step 1: Preparation
Gather all the supplies that will be used in the dressing process and place them near the area where the horse will be dressed. The horse will spend less time standing
and you will spend less time walking back and forth to grab individual items.

The items in the picture are only the basic items needed for grooming and saddling. Sometimes more equipment is needed, depending on the horse, the rider, or the
season.

Image Notes
1. Curry Comb
2. Saddle Blanket
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
3. Bridle
4. Lead Rope
5. Soft Brush
6. Mane Comb
7. Hoof Pick
8. Saddle

step 2: Fetching the Horse


Retrieve the horse using a halter and a lead rope. Tie the horse to a sturdy fence post or a tree so the horse has limited room to move.

Image Notes
1. Halter

Image Notes
1. Lead Rope

step 3: Grooming - Curry Comb


Begin the grooming process with a curry comb, and brush in a circular motion all over the horse. Make sure you brush the whole horse, including the legs, body, neck,
and face if needed. This will remove dirt and loose hair so that the saddle will sit comfortably on the horse.

*It is important to note that during this process, you will be walking behind the horse. Before you walk behind it, place a hand on the horse's tail and continue walking
around the back. This will ensure that the horse will not get spooked, and you will not get kicked.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
Image Notes
1. Curry Comb

step 4: Grooming - Soft Brush


Next, use a soft brush all over the horse's body to brush off any remaining dirt or hair. Stroke the horse's coat in a sweeping manner so that dust can be seen in the air.
Again, make sure the whole body of the horse is brushed.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
Image Notes
1. Soft Brush

step 5: Grooming - Mane Comb


If needed, use a mane comb to brush out any burrs or mud stuck in the mane. This is especially important around the ears, forehead, and withers of a horse to ensure
that the horse is comfortable when the saddle and bridle are placed.

Image Notes
1. Mane Comb

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
step 6: Grooming - Hoof Pick
Next, use a hoof pick to clean the horse's hoofs. Apply pressure to the hoof with the pick, making sure to follow the outline of the hoof. If a white line is made on the hoof
then too much pressure is being applied. Reduce the pressure and continue until the hoof is clean.

*If too much pressure is applied, the horse may try to pull it's foot away from you. Reestablish your grip and continue to clean the hoof with less pressure.

Image Notes
1. Hoof Pick - I lost the actual hoof pick, but any object shaped as pictured will do the job.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
step 7: Saddle Blanket
Now that the horse is groomed, it is time to put on the saddle pad or blanket. Before it is placed on the horse's back, let the horse smell it to become familiar with the
process and to recognize what is going to happen. Then, place the blanket so that the top of the pad hits at the withers of the horse.

Image Notes
1. Saddle Blanket

step 8: Saddle Up
Now it is time to put on the saddle. It is easiest to do this from the left side of the horse because you can flip the girth, the stirrup, and the chest strap from the right
over to the left. Hook the stirrup on the horn so that the saddle can be lifted without straps falling down and getting in the way. Place the saddle on the saddle blanket so
they are both lined up at the withers.

Image Notes
1. Stirrup over the horn
2. Girth
3. Chest Strap

step 9: Girth and Cinch


Once the saddle is placed, walk around to the right side of the horse and gently lower the stirrup, girth and the chest strap on the right side of the saddle. Make sure that
the girth and stirrup are not twisted and walk back to the left side of the horse. Lean under the horse and grab the girth from the other side. Using the strap, cinch up the
girth looping it a couple times. Tighten the girth inch by inch until you can fit four fingers comfortably between the strap and the horse. This is done so that the horse
does not feel any discomfort and is not being pinched. Fasten the girth as shown in the pictures.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
Image Notes
1. Girth

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
Image Notes
1. Cinch

step 10: Chest Strap


Next, fasten the chest strap by reaching around to the right side of the horse and buckling the strap to the loop where the girth was tightened. To finish this process, clip
the middle part of the chest strap to the loop in the girth between the front two legs of the horse.

Image Notes
1. Middle Strap

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
step 11: Bridle
The final step is to place the bridle on the horse's head. When approaching the horse with the bridle, let the horse smell it to recognize what is going to happen. To place
the bridle, use one sweeping motion. Begin by introducing the bit to the horse's mouth and separating the lip with your fingers. Once the bit is sliding into the mouth,
place the horse's ear into the ear loop.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
Image Notes
1. Bit
2. Ear Loop

step 12: Bridle


To finish the bridle process, buckle the strap underneath the horse's chin. Leave about four fingers high between the chin strap and the chin. Place the reins on the
saddle and the horse is ready to be ridden! Hop on and Enjoy!

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/
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Comments
3 comments Add Comment

Shades of Grey says: Dec 4, 2010. 9:45 AM REPLY


If you could put a picture on this step of how you hold the hoof/leg while cleaning it would help the un-initiated. Great instructable.

Shades of Grey says: Dec 4, 2010. 9:46 AM REPLY


"this step" is step 6, sorry

canida says: Sep 2, 2010. 1:22 PM REPLY


Nicely documented, and a pretty horse!

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dress-a-Horse/