Synthetic Western saddles

Synthetic Western saddles offer riders of every level an economical alternative to traditional leather saddles. Cost isn’t the only benefit of synthetic Western saddles though. Not only is going the synthetic route less expensive, but because synthetic materials are more durable your new saddle will age better and last longer.

The materials used to make synthetic Western saddles (biothane, equileather, cordura, and equisuede) are less porous and absorbent than leather, making them much easier to clean and more resistant to water damage. You don’t have to oil your synthetic Western saddle to keep it looking shiny and new; a quick swipe with a moist cloth and dish soap will do the job!

Synthetic Western saddles are also much lighter than their leather counterparts, making them an ideal choice for trail riding. You’ll immediately notice how easy it is to carry around a synthetic saddle and will no doubt appreciate the load it takes off of you. We’re sure your horse will appreciate the lighter saddle too! Going synthetic doesn’t mean less choices either.

Synthetic Western saddles come in many styles and even offer some color options you can’t get in leather. Synthetic Western saddles are made for pleasure, trail riding, speed events and showing. In every field they offer unique benefits. Pleasure riders will enjoy the extra padding in the seat while trail riders will appreciate how well their synthetic Western saddle stands up to hard use.

Barrel racers will shave pounds off the weight of their rig while young showmen will catch the judge’s eye with unique colors and patterns. Synthetic Western saddles aren’t just for smart shoppers; they’re for smart riders!

Synthetic jumping saddles

For the discerning rider, there is no substitution for a good, high quality jumping saddle and synthetic jumping saddles are a variable alternative to traditional leather. Jumping saddles come with a slight curve in the seat, wide padded flaps to give good knee support, and a short stirrup length, all tailored to keep the rider firmly in the saddle during the most rigorous of leaps.

For these reasons, jumping saddles are frequently called close-contact or forward-seat saddles. Other features include a balance set further back than in traditional eventing saddles, and a low pommel that won’t get in the way of a rider’s posture. Just as in other types, jumping saddles can come in traditional leather or synthetic materials, such as Cordura.

There is a substantial debate between which material is superior, just as there is in many other competitive sports. However, synthetic materials do offer significant advantages over leather saddles that interested riders may wish to consider.

Foremost is that synthetic saddles are typically lighter than leather saddles. Saddles are heavy, and the longer a heavy weight rests on a horse, the more wear and tear on that horse’s muscles. Riders looking to spend a lot of time in the saddle can give their animal a break by reducing the load carried.

Leather saddles also, due to material costs, production means, and overall popularity, cost more than synthetic models. Horse riding is expensive, and a good synthetic saddle will offer similar durability to a leather version for less investment.

Finally, all it takes to properly maintain a leather saddle is a damp cloth, rather than the oils and conditioners required to keep a leather saddle in good condition. While leather saddles are by no means an inferior choice, synthetic jumping saddles are a viable option for riders looking for a lower cost, equal quality alternative.

Synthetic dressage saddles

For many competitive and exhibition riders, everything revolves around dressage. A system of training designed to truly showcase the abilities of both horse and rider, proper dressage should appear effortless and relaxed, with horse and rider flowing from movement to movement as naturally as breathing. Such execution requires excellent control and similarly outstanding equipment. In particular, it requires a good dressage saddle and synthetic dressage saddles are plentiful and of high quality.

Dressage Saddles

The dressage saddle is distinguished from other English saddles by two features in particular, the first being a very deep riding seat and the second a long, straight cut flap. The deep seat allows the rider to feel more secure during the many changes of position required in dressage performance, leaving the rider free to focus on guiding the horse instead of fighting to remain seated.

The longer flap allows the rider to stretch out their legs, instead of keeping them high and tight as do competitive jumpers. Both these features are intended to keep the rider focused on the matter of making the gentle, almost invisible motions required to steer the horse through a proper dressage routine, giving them much more control than a jumping or general purpose saddle.

There is definitely a case to be made for using a synthetic dressage saddle over a leather version, specifically relating to the weight. The weight savings of a synthetic saddle allows a rider to execute commands to the horse for less pressure than the denser leather saddle would require, as well as making less demand on the horse’s endurance in competitions.

In addition, there is the practical consideration of reduced initial and maintaining costs for synthetic saddles, and less time spent maintaining is more time spent caring for the horse itself, and more time out riding.

Advantages of synthetic saddles

Any horse enthusiast can attest to the fact that equipment is becoming more and more expensive. As a result, many individuals are seeking alternative products that will provide the same benefits at a lower cost.

Synthetic saddles are such an item that as a result has increased in popularity. Synthetic saddles are indeed much cheaper than a leather saddle, but there are many other reasons to consider purchasing one. The materials that synthetic saddles are made of have many advantages over leather.

Equileather, a material commonly used, can be cleaned simply by wiping with a damp rag. In addition, it never requires any type of oil or break-in processes.

Another commonly used material is Cordura, which is equally durable and also renders special care unnecessary.

The weight of a leather saddle can be very difficult to manage, but synthetic saddles weigh much less due to their materials. As a result, they can be much easier to use and may simplify the dressing process. Finding an appropriate storage place for a synthetic saddle is no difficult task, as they are usually light enough to be hung practically anywhere.

There truly is a synthetic saddle available for virtually any taste, and the styles available range from very traditional to very modern. A wide array of bright colours can be selected, or a more traditional leather-look may be more what a person is looking for.

In fact, there are some equileather saddles that are virtually impossible to distinguish from leather saddles. Many people originally choose a synthetic saddle due to the significant price difference, but owners will quickly realize that there are many other benefits as well. Before making any purchasing decisions, a prospective buyer should carefully consider the advantages of a synthetic saddle; the choice will be easy.

My first experience of dressage

The first time I witnessed dressage was at the yearly event held at a local race course. At the time, I already owned two horses. I had always ridden English, and we did groundwork, and went for trail rides. But what I saw in dressage fascinated and terrified me at the same time.

This post explains a few of my experiences learning dressage. The music, the idea of creating a dance between equine and human being, combined with the formal attire, and the way it all looked so easy, too easy – I wanted to try it! It seemed magical, almost spiritual, when you were lucky enough to observe a really good partnership in action.

For the rider to give cues that you can’t even see, and the horse responds in such a relaxed and giving way, I wanted to have the same experience with my own horses. I know they get bored sometimes, so it would definitely be a challenge for them as well. But where to start?

My daughter participated in a riding club at the time, so I started there. At our next meeting, I asked if anyone could recommend a good dressage trainer who would teach at a private home, not just a training barn. I got a couple of leads, but nothing seemed to pan out. The more people I talked to, the more one trainer in particular kept coming up. She was a woman in her 80s, but still rides every day. People made her out to be some kind of a dressage guru.

But she only trains at her own barn, and I don’t own a trailer, so working with my own horses was out. Her barn was almost an hour away from me, so lessons during the week were out, too because I work during the day. She was also extremely expensive, but everyone who had taken lessons with her swore that she was worth it. I went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, so many times. I finally decided to call and find out if she was taking on new students.

First Dressage Lesson

In my first dressage lesson, you would think I had not ridden a horse in ten years. The saddle and leg position were totally different than what I was used to. I was embarrassed, but my new trainer was patient and extremely gracious. She taught me how to experience a completely different sense of balance.

My leg strength improved. I looked forward to my weekend lesson all week, and tried to teach my own horses during the week what I had learned.

My trainer has taught me that you are never done learning dressage. Every time you master something, you then set about refining it, making the cues more subtle. As a result, my horses have learned to be extremely responsive to my requests. I love to see the wheels turning in their heads when I ask them for something they know a little more lightly. Our relationship and communication has deepened. Indeed, dressage is an ambition worth pursuing.

The above post was contributed by a reader.

An equestrian romance

Riding through a stretch of tranquil countryside is an ideal way to get to know an intriguing fellow horse enthusiast. In fact, a pleasant day spent outdoors on horseback sets the perfect scene for a blooming equestrian romance. They arranged to meet in a pasture, near a local tack and saddlery shop, where other riders often congregated on Saturday mornings.

He quickly recognized the woman from her photo on the online dating website. With a wave she approached on a handsome appaloosa with an easy trot. Shaking her gloved hand, he laughed nervously and she commented on the weather. She asked about his dark chestnut thoroughbred and he explained how Victor had been a loyal friend for many, many years.

He smiled as she reached over and stroked the grey hairs on Victor’s cheek, prompting him to nuzzle her hand. Walking over the dewy grass toward the nearby woods he asked her about her first horse. The breeze sent autumn leaves sailing to the ground all around them as she began her story. In the woods, the wide trail gradually narrowed and he let her walk ahead. As the conversation continued, he noticed that a few honey blonde strands of her hair had escaped from beneath her riding helmet, curling over the back of her red gilet.

They both chuckled when Victor got a bit too close to the appaloosa’s (Anne’s) tail and she answered with a quick, rearward kick. Victor then prudently decided to give Anne her personal space. Later, as they crossed a creek both horses stepped gingerly as the cool water spilled over their hooves. During the past two hours she’d shared stories about her childhood on a horse farm. He found himself nodding when she confided her love of the sweet smell of hay that overwhelmed her every time she dropped a flake into a horse’s hay rack.

The trail circled around through the woods and the entrance way to the field suddenly reappeared. They simultaneously spotted an old stump in the field and began to race toward it. Victor performed valiantly, but the light-footed appaloosa finally took the contest. Victor received a gentle, conciliatory pat on his mane. The morning had given way to the afternoon. Leaning down to adjust a stirrup iron, he caught her watching him and she quickly looked away.

As the horses moved along she took a breath, closing her eyes, then exhaled. A smile came to his lips as he realized that he’d discovered someone who treasured the peaceful feeling of riding out in the open air as much as he did. They stopped at the pasture gate and exchanged an anxious smile.

Victor tossed his head in aggravation as his owner nervously fiddled with the reins. Eventually, he took a breath, but was cut short. “You know,” she piped up, “This beautiful place deserves another go ’round. Shall we say same time next Saturday?”

He hesitated, staring at her in surprise.

Finally, she received his reply, “Next Saturday sounds just perfect.”

The above post was submitted by a reader.

The importance of horse blankets

When I was 10 years old, I was forced to ride a horse for the first time. While having no experience, I was put at the back of the line, and instructed that if the horse got too far, I was to hit it with a metal coat hanger. As the trip took the group up and down mountains, I lagged behind. Following my instructions, I struck the horse, which sent him into a furious rage down the mountain. I was terrified that I would die.

Years after this traumatic experience, I have grown to understand the reaction of the horse, and I have grown to understand the magnificent creatures for what they truly are. Now, the owner of several horses, I have taken it as my mission to educate on proper horse handling and care and this post contains some of the horse welfare tips I’d like to share with you. In my area, winter can be dreadfully cold and quite damaging to the horse. In order to protect them, I have adopted some methods of horse maintenance.

Proper blanketing, with a blanket thick and warm enough to keep horse hair down, is a great way to ensure that the elements do not harm the horse. After the blanket is removed, a brush should be used to keep the horse hair fine and even. With winter also comes extra feeding. It’s very important to ensure that the hay is not mouldy or too dusty, either of which can damage the horse’s digestive system. As the horse eats, the extra weight will provide some insulation against the cold temperatures.

Finally, one should be extra cautious while riding in the winter as ice can be damaging and painful to a horse. Always try to keep a slow, steady, walking pace unless the ground has some cushion on it such as snow, and there is no danger of ice underneath it. With proper winter care, your horse will be happy and healthy for the spring months. With spring, it is time to ease back into a riding regimen. First, it is advised to help the horse shed their winter coats by use of a shearing blade. With the extra weight, the horse will be ready for conditioning. It’s advised to schedule a veterinarian visit as soon as possible to check for any issues.

Once this check-up is complete, horse shoes is the next step if your horse uses them. Usage of horse shoes varies from owner to owner, but considering the damage that the hooves can go through, it can be a necessary thing toward helping your horses health. Finally, before riding full-out, a horse must be slowly conditioned if they have not been ridden during winter months.

This conditioning will allow a horse to have a more enjoyable spring, free from injury. Horses are wonderful animals, who with a little work, patience, and perseverance, can offer lots of fun and excitement in return. As with all animals, they require special care and attention, but the dedicated horse owner will find this care just as rewarding as riding.

The above post was contributed by a reader.

Horseback riding holidays

Any journey inevitably is not only about where you go, but how you go there. A horseback ride through the mountains of Scotland is perhaps one of the most beautiful and soul-restoring journeys you are likely to take; and should you be lucky enough to find a partner with whom you can ride, your experience will be the richer for it.

In this post we’ll review some of the ways of choosing a horse riding holiday. The natural rhythms of a horse allow you to interpret the earth in a way that is completely separate from any walking or driving tour. You no longer feel the ground with your feet, but with your entire body. Gradually, you begin to sync with the steady breath and strength of your horse, until the animal is a kind of extension of your own body. Having a riding partner who also is capable of this kind of bond with his or her animal is extraordinary.

The two of you can ride in companionable silence, taking in the overpowering serenity of the mountains, or strike up conversations as you meander through mossy groves or stone-littered streams. Truly, there is no better way to move through nature. When planning a riding holiday, you should remember a few key pointers.

Budget, while important, should not always be the primary consideration when choosing a locale in which to ride. There are many reputable brokers working in the travel industry who specialize in equestrian holidays. Often, travel brokers will be able to help you find a special rate or package deal which will enable you to ride in whatever place suits you best. If you love the mountains, or the sea breeze, or the rich silence of a healthy pine forest, try to identify two or three areas that match this description and then start comparing rates and deals.

It should be said that these sorts of holidays are wonderful ways to make new friendships and connect with like-minded people. In fact, the more frequently you take a riding holiday, the more people you will meet who will undoubtedly offer you suggestions on where to go for your next foray into the great outdoors. The element of human society always increases both your appreciation of a holiday and the likelihood of finding another pleasurable ride in the future.

Among the options for your riding holiday, you can choose to stay at the same inn throughout your trip, or opt for an inn to inn experience, where by the end of each day’s riding, you have arrived at a different location. Additionally, you can hone your riding skills by opting to take classes from a riding instructor.

This option is especially prevalent in European holidays, where a great many renowned riding instructors reside. One of the most memorable and stunning rides you and a partner can take is a planned castle journey.

In Scotland, the array of ruins and gorgeously maintained fortifications will make for a picturesque journey that can only be experienced to be fully understood. Ultimately, the only limit to your riding holiday is your imagination!

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Love Horse’s beginnings

The Love Horse® dating site came into being in January 2005. It has been through many changes since in order to meet the expectations of its members and to keep up to date with innovations in the online dating industry. Love Horse® was the third of a series of niche dating sites that emerged from the Love Service stable.

The first two were Love Air and Love Sail, both of which continue to serve their respective niches to this day. In its first incarnation the Love Horse® site contained a basic dating site structure with a forum attached. It wasn’t long before word spread and the site soon attracted a membership of equestrian singles and country folk who shared a common interest in all kinds of outdoor activities and professions.

That same year, 2005, two members met on the site and began a lasting relationship. Despite living over 300 miles apart they soon met up and after a courtship lasting several months they were married. Martin and Louise’s story was picked up by a journalist writing an article for The Sunday Times about the burgeoning online dating industry and Love Horse® was given due prominence in his description of of the world of cyber matchmaking.

As time passed more and more people used the site and found it to be not only easy and fun to use but also that it produced the desired results i.e. it put them in touch with others who shared their love of the country way of life. Its popularity and reputation grew as people spread the word.

Find Love Online

That popularity came to the attention of other publications like Country Life and The Daily Telegraph to name but a few and Love Horse® was firmly established as one of the top UK dating sites for equestrian singles and country lovers. It continues to attract new members on a daily basis while former members often return to make use of the site again, confident in the knowledge that they will find new partners.

As with all successful dating sites eventually new sites emerge keen to cash in on the same market. This is to be expected and reflects the same pattern seen in other businesses. However, Love Horse® continues to break new ground and to forge ahead with innovations and new features that give excellent value for money to its members and which make the experience of being a full member of the site so much more enjoyable and successful.

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Do you love horse riding?

Do you love horse riding? Is it something you could not live without? Our members feel the same way. Join our dating site for horse lovers and meet people with whom you will connect.

Those who are involved with horses and the equestrian world generally, whether on an occasional basis or as a full time occupation, do not need to be reminded of how the love of horses can take over one’s life.

A passion for equestrianism can last a lifetime and may be important to a person than anything or anyone else, so it makes sense to look for love online in a dating site devoted to those who share the same outlook.

Horse riding is one of Britain’s most popular activities. For some this means just the occasional pony trekking holiday in Wales, for others it’s a regular weekend ride through the beautiful English countryside, and for some it means daily rides and practice in order to compete in show jumping and dressage, or to exercise and train for regular horse racing events.

Horse riders engage in all kinds of equestrian sports; horse racing, hunting, polo, eventing, show jumping, gymkhanas to name a few, and of course there are other sports which may not involve horse riding but which still include horses as the main feature like carriage driving and ploughing competitions with heavy or shire horses.

There is often a symbiotic relationship between horses and their owners or those who take care of them on a regular basis. They need each other and the partnership is mutually beneficial. It may not always seem that way when you have to get up long before dawn to feed your horses on a freezing winter’s morning but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

The Love of Horses

Someone once described horses and the dolphins of the land. By that they meant that our equine friends are super intelligent and in partnership with human kind. They have accompanied us on our journey through history since humans first tamed and domesticated wild animals, and despite all the advances in technology and transportation this relationship shows no sign of abating.

If anything, horses and humans need each other now more than ever. We have become divorced from nature to an extent that it’s becoming bad for our health and caring for horses can put us back in touch with the natural world; fresh air, clean water, open skies.

So whatever your interest in horses, whether you are skilled horseman or horsewoman, jockey, or just someone who loves horse riding on an occasional basis we may just have someone in our membership who is a perfect match for you. All you have to do is join the site and start your search.

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