Taking care of horses is one of the first things we learn in polo. Getting the saddling process right is a great way to show horses that they care. This post looks into how to saddle a horse for playing polo.
The first thing to do is to prepare your equipment in advance. It is important to choose the appropriate equipment for the day you are going to have. Basic saddling equipment consists of saddle pad, saddle, girth, bridle, and bit. In polo we use a polo blanket together with a special polo saddle, which is the English-style one.
For all horses, start by placing a good polo blanket. You may have seen that with western saddles, a much thicker saddle pad is used. This is because those saddles are heavier than polo ones. If you prefer to use something more decorative, you can place it over the blanquet. Line it all up keeping in mind your top priority: protecting the horse
Then place the saddle on top of the hose. Bring the saddle up and lay it down carefully on your horse. Make sure that the saddle is even. Check both sides of the hose to check if everything is in place. Note that the girth and the bridle had been previously put up.
It is time to put the girth. Start with the front strap to fix the saddle in case the horse moves during this process. Make sure that it is in line with the horse’s. Wrap the remaining part of the strap. Then go to the back strap. It should be a bit loose, but not so much, just enough to put your hand between the strap and the horse. Finally, place the bridle on the horse’s head and tighten it up for a comfortable fit.
Getting the saddling right allows you to have connect deeply with your horse and ensures a safe and fun polo match for players and horses alike.
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