• Clare Long

Tuck it in & Girth them up Slow

(From the archives: Clarity Dressage original YouTube Channel : Posted 1/19/2015)


Featuring Clare and "Prima Ballerina"

16hh, bay Warmblood mare

(Wording from video):


Today our subject is "Tuck Everything in," and also "Go Slow Girthing."


The first thing we are going to talk about is Tuck Everything In.


So, not only do we do this because it looks good, but also we do it for safety reasons.


With the Bridle:

There is no reason that buckles should be flapping about, no reason what-so-ever.

Any of these buckles, they should be tucked in.

First of all, it looks really ugly, really messy.

Second of all, they can pop open.

If you are leaving the buckles untucked, to bombproof your horse, (to get them used to flapping buckles) wonderful...otherwise take a moment and tuck the buckles in.

It looks much nicer.


***Helpful Hint***

A good trick, if you lose the keepers that you tuck the buckles into, is...you get those little tiny Braidettes, (you can get them at any tack store or feed store) they come in all the different colors, you just wrap them around the piece, and then you tuck the buckle into it.

That way it's invisible, it is super tidy and neat, and you don't have the excuse that you lost the little keeper, because you can utilize the Braidettes as well.


With the halter, tuck the piece into the buckle.

One of the main reasons is that I have seen horses pop those halters off.

If the horse gets rambunctious enough, and bounces around enough, they can pop that buckle out, and then they don't have a halter on.

So take a moment, and tuck the buckle in.

Once you get in the habit of it, it's really easy and it won't be a problem.


Same for the saddle girth billets.

They don't need to be flapping about, tuck them in.

It literally takes a moment, and when you get in the habit of it, you just do it.


Girthing the horse up

In the Western world, it is called Cinching.


This mare is a little "cold backed."

The difference between "girthy" and "Cold Backed" :

A horse that is girthy, they don't like the feeling of the girth

being tightened on their belly, and that makes them grouchy.

A horse that is cold backed, the horse has trouble with the feeling of the

girth on their belly and the saddle on their back.


When you first girth a horse up, just make the girth snug enough

that it keeps the saddle basically in place.

Then, after a few moments, go up another hole, so it is snug enough

that if the horse ran off, than the saddle would stay in place.

Same with the Western saddle.

With the western saddle, cinch them up enough that the saddle will stay,

but not so much that it is uncomfortable.

And then, walk the horse to the arena (or around a bit) and then girth them up one more, and before you get on, girth them up one more, etc. (You get the idea.)


Once you are on the horse and you have walked them around a little bit to warm them up, lean down, check the girth, make sure that it is snug enough, because a lot of horses do bloat.


***Helpful Hint***

When I get off my horses, the first thing I do is loosen the girth.


***Helpful Hint***

One more trick:

If you pull the girth billets straight up, it's uncomfortable to your horse.

It is much more comfortable to the horse if you pull towards you, and then up.


Then it does not feel as intrusive and is much more comfortable to the horse.

It's a very good little trick to make your horse more comfortable: to pull very gradually towards you, don't yank on it! And then just pop the buckle in.

The girth will be nice and snug, the horse will not be grouchity, and it's done.

Then, of course, tuck the billets in.


And that's all.

We are going to work Prima, and we will see you next time.