It’s funny – as we get used to handling horses, tacking up is something we do on a regular basis, yet it is one of the hardest tasks to learn.
Take these examples…
Tack checking at the start of the rally, I noticed one pony’s bridle had been twisted before it was put on. The leather was back-to-front, the bit was in upside down, and it was just all wrong.
I looked at the 8 year old rider and asked her if she had tacked up all by herself.
“No Mummy did it,” she replied innocently. Glancing across at the gallery I saw Mummy going bright red and holding her head in shame, laughing as the other mums good naturedly teased her.
Another quick tale … at a recent stable management session, a young boy had tied his pony to the trailer (safely I may add, and if you don’t know how to safely tie up then you need to check out How to Handle Horses Safely).
But it all started to go wrong from there on. Granted the pony was a little big for him, but watching as he attempted to throw the bridle over the pony’s ears from in front was a wee bit painful (considering we had just had a demonstration – sigh…)
Tacking up can be difficult indeed for the smalls. Reaching up with that bridle is always tricky and getting the bit to stay in the pony’s mouth can be a challenge in itself. But it’s not just the small’s that struggle. Yee oldies aren’t perfect either!
But as with everything in the horse world, there are technique’s to follow that make the process safe and efficient (those of you who have been with me a while know those are my favourite words!), for both you and your horse. If you’re not sure what these are, or if you just need a brush up on your skills, check out our tacking up course – you’ll find it here.