Getting ready to ride takes a bit of attention to detail. You want you and your horse to be safe and comfortable. Here are mistakes to watch for as you tack up.
1…Inattention to Grooming
It’s always a mistake not to groom your horse’s back and girth area before you ride. Grit, burrs, or other debris can become lodged in your horse’s hair coat, especially when the hair is thick in the winter time. This can lead to chaffing, galls or discomfort that can make your horse misbehave. Always groom the saddle and cinch area before you put the saddle pad or blanket and saddle on your horse.
Another grooming mistake is to skip checking your horse’s hooves before you tack up to ride. Objects can get lodged in the bottom of the hoof, that can make your horse’s feet sore. And, you may miss problems like thrush and white line disease that can get worse if not treated promptly. A loose shoe can cause lameness and can trip your horse, which could injure both of you. Clean and check hooves each time you tack up–and when you are done riding.
2…Wrinkled, Dirty Saddle Pad and Blankets
Always check that your pads or blankets are clean. Dirt build up can cause chaffing and things like twigs, burrs or other debris can cause discomfort that can make your horse misbehave. When you put the blanket or pad on, be sure it’s perfectly smooth, and there are no folds or wrinkles where the saddle sits.