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SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHILDREN
PART I - SADDLING YOUR HORSE
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Step 1: Prepare your Horse or Pony.
Step 2: Check the Saddle and Pad
Before saddling your horse you should check all your equipment, pay special attention to the saddle pad and girth, any strange object or built up dirt can cause a horse to buck.
Step 3: Blanketing and Saddling
Always approach your horse or pony on the left shoulder, carry the blanket, don't make any brisk movements that might scare the horse. It is a good idea with unexperienced or nervous horses to let them smell the blanket until they realize it presents no danger for them. Place the edge of the blanket on the horse's back, just in front of thw withers.
Hook the right stirrup over the saddle and lay the cinches back over the seat of the saddle. It's not advisable to approach your horse carrying the saddle with the cinches dragging around your feet. There is the danger of stepping or tripping on the rigging and falling under the horse apart from making noises with the cinches that might frighten your horse.
Lift the sadlle over the horse's back placing it as gently as possible, make sure no elements bang onto the horse as this may frighten or hurt him. Don't drop or throw the saddle as you will scare or even hurt the horse, once a horse has a bad experience while being saddle it will generaly shy sideways as you try to saddle it.
If you haven't got the saddle or pad in position don't try to slide them forward on the horse's back as you will pull the horse's hair causing a sore back. If you need to move it lift the saddle off the horse's back and then move it, if you are not tall enough take it off and start all over again.
Step 4: Cinching the Saddle and Equipment
As soon as you have the saddle in place it's time to go round to the opposite side, let the stirrups and girth down, before tightening the cinch raise the neck of the blanket up allowing a small ammount of air under the pad to allow the horse's back to breathe.
When you tighten the cinch make sure you do it slowly and smoothly so that the horse can accommodate to the pressure. Make sure the cinch is tight enough to keep the saddle firmly in place but without bothering or hurting the horse.
Once the cinch is tightened you can fasten any extra equipment used as tie-down, brest collars or martingales.
It is usually necesarry to chech the cinch again before you ride, once the horse has relaxed, it should be tight but should allow you to slide your hand behind without great difficulty. If necessary after a short while riding chech the cinch again for any need to tighten again.
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