How to Inspect Your Tack Before Mounting

Are you getting ready to mount and ride your horse? This article tells how to make sure the equipment on your horse is properly adjusted and secure before you get on to ride.


  1. 1
    Check your tack every single time before you mount any horse. Inspect both the saddle and the bridle. There are times after the bridle has been cleaned when the reins are not reattached properly, or the headstall is not fastened together completely, or any number of mishaps that can occur affecting the proper function of the equipment.
  2. 2
    Go to the horse's head and check to be sure the bit is sitting in the horse's mouth properly. Make sure it's not too high, so the horse has a smile on its face, nor too low, where it is lying on the horse's tongue, almost falling out of its mouth. The corner of the horse's lips should have two wrinkles for the bit to be fitted correctly.
  3. 3
    Check the noseband so it's not too tight nor too loose. You should be able to fit two fingers in between the horse's nose and the noseband for it to be correct. If the horse is using a figure-eight, make sure the bottom X of the noseband is not too far down the nose, restricting the horse's breathing.
    • Also, be sure the buckle is not fastened right on the horse's lips. If it is, readjust the figure-eight so the buckle falls above or below the soft part of the horse's lips, but not too far up so that it restricts breathing.
  4. 4
    Check the throat latch to be sure it is not too loose or too tight. The throat latch is there to keep the bridle from falling off the horse's head if the headstall should slip off from behind the ears, for some reason. If it's too loose, the headstall won't stay on, if it's too tight, it will restrict the horse's breathing when the horse flexes its neck.
  5. 5
    Check the reins next to be sure they are fastened properly onto the bit and that the ends are tucked into their keepers as well. The buckle at the very end of the reins should also be fastened and tucked into its keeper.
  6. 6
    Move onto the saddle next. Check to see that the saddle pads are positioned straight and flat against the horse's back under the saddle. If not, loosen the girth and straighten them out. When you re-tighten the girth, make sure it is not twisted on the off side and that the buckles come all the up onto the saddle pads and under the saddle.
    • If the buckles are left pressing into the horse's skin with no protection underneath, a sore could develop due to the chafing of the buckles pressing against the horse's body. Not to mention the constant chafing will be painful to the horse.
  7. 7
    Review any leg wraps. If the horse is wearing leg wraps, check to be sure they are wrapped evenly and flat. Make sure they are secured with strong velcro that is not worn-out. If you think the velcro is overly-used, put a piece of tape around it to better secure the bandage.
  8. 8
    Check the martingale. If the horse is wearing a martingale, it should be loose enough so that it does not restrict the movement of the horse's shoulders.
  9. 9
    Get ready to ride! That's it for the inspection. Always make these checks before every time you ride, thereby ensuring your safety and the safety of the horse.

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Categories: Horses