Finding The Perfect Horse Riding Discipline

Horse Riding Discipline

There are countless disciplines within the equestrian world. Even though every discipline involves horses, each discipline differs in many ways. Some disciplines are more expensive, more popular, and more intense than others. With so many options to choose from, how are you able to find the perfect discipline for you? Check out what each discipline entails in order to pick the perfect horse riding discipline for you!

Background

In order to choose which discipline is best for you, you have to decide whether you are more interested in an English or Western style of riding. Within English and Western riding styles, there are multiple disciplines to choose between. Some of these disciplines focus on speed, others focus on position, and some purely focus on the horse! In order to decide which discipline you would like to focus on, figure out what you would like to work on as an equestrian.

English

Dressage

Dressage is one of the most common disciplines in the English style of riding. Dressage focuses purely on flatwork and how you and your horse can maneuver as a team. This discipline does not focus on speed but rather focuses on footwork, strength, and how well you are able to ride your horse through a series of movements.

Dressage is scored based on how calm, collected, and effortless your movements look. If you are looking for a discipline where you are able to focus on position, movement, and poise then dressage may be the perfect discipline for you!

Showjumping

Showjumping is another common discipline within the English riding community. This riding discipline focuses on speed, agility, and technique. Just like the name says, showjumping involves jumping! This discipline is judged on how fast a rider and horse are able to jump a course without knocking rails or going over the time allowed.

Though this discipline seems simple and straightforward, a lot of technique is involved in order to get through these unpredictable courses! If you are looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush within riding, then this discipline may be for you.

Hunter/Jumper

Hunter jumper is similar to showjumping with a few differences in scoring. Though you are still jumping while doing this discipline, it is scored on the horses movements, how the horse jumps, and if each line is correct. Hunter jumper is not scored on how fast your horse completes the course, but rather how correct your horse moves and jumps.

Hunter jumper also has a “hunter under saddle” option in which all the classes focus on flatwork. This discipline is a great option for someone who is looking for the adrenaline of jumping but also wants to focus on correctness and looking pretty!

Eventing

Eventing is the ultimate English discipline! This discipline of riding contains three events including dressage, cross country, and showjumping. Though dressage and showjumping can be done as separate disciplines, cross country is specific to eventing.

Eventers are known as the adrenaline junkies of the equestrian world, as this discipline is arguably one of the most dangerous. Since cross country contains jumps that are on uneven terrain and the jumps are solid, it can be quite intimidating to compete.  Eventing has three separate events to show off your horses diversity in discipline. So if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, look into eventing!

Western

Western Pleasure

Western pleasure is a slow and steady discipline in the equestrian world. This discipline is judged on how calm and collected you and your horse are in the show ring. Though this discipline may look easy, it takes quite a bit of technique to keep your horse calm and responsive! This is a great discipline for someone looking to stay slow and focus on equitation and how the horse moves.

Barrel Racing

Barrel racing sounds just like its name! In the discipline of barrel racing you complete a clover pattern as fast as you can on your horse. Barrel racing usually is combined with other western speed events such as pole bending. This discipline is judged on how fast you are able to complete the patterns given. This discipline is a great option for those looking for an adrenaline rush!

Reining

Reining is a fun western discipline that entails different fast paced maneuvers such as sliding stops and turns. This discipline is judged by how well these maneuvers are done. Reining is one of the largest western disciplines and is a discipline that would suit someone who would like to focus on technique and speed!

Which Horse Riding Discipline Is Right For Me?

This question is difficult to answer since every equestrian is different and has different goals for their riding. This is only a short list of the available disciplines out there! Think about which style of riding is near you, which style interests you most, and what you want as a rider!

7 Tips to Regain Confidence in Horseback Riding

Regain Confidence In Horseback Riding

Every equestrian understands how dangerous and complicated horseback riding can be. No matter the discipline you choose, there are risks we take every time we swing a leg over a horse. Knowing the danger can lead to nerves and a lack of confidence in the saddle.

Whether your nerves arise from riding green horses, preparing for shows, or recovering from a fall, it is important to regain the confidence to improve your riding. Here are our top 7 tips to regain confidence in horseback riding.

Tips to regain confidence in horseback riding

Wearing a helmet

I know many barns enforce a helmet rule while riding, however, I also know barns who do not. A helmet is a necessary part of my riding routine as it keeps my head protected and keeps my confidence intact. If you do not already wear a helmet, I would strongly suggest introducing one to your routine. If falls make you nervous, a helmet will add the protection your head needs!

talking to your trainer

Trainer Watching Student Ride

If you find yourself questioning your riding ability often, I recommend talking to a trainer about your concerns. If you are worried about your equitation, ask your trainer to talk you through a lesson or record a video of you riding. Go over your riding together and find highlights of your riding and where to improve. Communicating with  a professional will help!

ride a babysitter horse

If a large part of your concerns while riding revolve around the horse you ride, it might be a good idea to ride a made horse for a while. Riding green horses can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Talk to your trainer about riding one of the lesson horses for a week or two. Switching your young, green horse for a made lesson horse will bring your confidence back to where it needs to be!

self talk

This may seem strange, but this is my go-to tip for calming my nerves when riding. When practicing a test or working through a course, I say what I am doing out loud to myself and my horse. Not only does it remind me what I need to do, my horse also focuses on my voice and less on the random things he could potentially spook at. Just remember not to scream out your dressage test during a show! That will probably end with some strange looks on the judges faces!

spending quality time with your horse

Girl Practice Riding On Her Horse

All equestrians understand how important teamwork is with your horse. Understanding each other is the key to success within this sport. If you are losing confidence due to a few complications while riding you should try spending some quality time with your horse. Hang out in their stall, go for a walk around the property, give them a good bath, or something other than riding where you and your horse can bond. Groundwork is great for improving the relationship between you and your horse!

go back to the basics

If you find yourself getting nervous attempting new things when riding such as jumping higher, going faster, or anything you are not used to, try going back to the basics. Work on flatwork a ton! Make sure you are 100% confident in each gait when flatting your horse. If you aren’t perfectly confident while trotting your horse, you should not attempt to canter. An accident will hinder your confidence even more!

read “brain training for riders” by andrea monsarrat waldo

Though I have spent the majority of my equestrian life being the confident rider, I have had my moments of nervousness and outright fear to get on certain horses. Brain Training For Riders explains the psychology behind your brain when riding and how to overcome your nerves. If you are having any confidence issues when showing, riding green horses, or improving your own riding, I would check this book out now! It has changed my mindset for the better!

Ride with confidence

Fear is natural, especially when you are on top of a 1200 pound animal with a mind of its own.  Do not let nerves or fear hinder the love and passion you have for horseback riding. If you are experiencing confidence issues while riding, follow these tips, and watch your confidence improve in the saddle!

Horse Show Preparation Genius guide to staying sane!

Horse Show Preparation

Taking your equine partner off property to compete in a new environment can be a very nerve-wracking and stressful experience. If things are not prepared and planned out ahead of time there is a chance that critical items may be left behind at home. To ensure that smooth sailing while away, it is extremely important that horse show preparation and organization begin weeks ahead of your departure date.

Over the years that I have been competing in different riding competitions, I have gained the organization skills needed in order to be prepared ahead of time. In the past I would pack up my horse tack the night before leaving, this left me scrambling to find a pair of gloves or boots to borrow while in the show ring.

As you can guess, that carried over to my performance within the show ring, because of all the scrambling that happened before mounting and feeling stressed. To make sure you do not make the same mistakes, here are some pointers to follow.

Months Before Competition

Before deciding which classes you will be competing in it is important to figure out what both you and your horse are comfortable doing. This can be done by practicing various jumping exercises or creating conditioning sets to get in peak athletic shape.

Having a professional trainer to guide you is always highly encouraged as they will always be willing to help with different questions and advice. It is very important to make sure that you keep your horse on a consistent schedule to allow for muscle buildup and fluidity within training.

At this point in time, it is also a good idea to figure out if others would also be interested in going to the horse show. This allows you and others to figure out trailering placement for your horses so you are not left looking for a ride last minute.

Weeks Before Competition

At this point in time you should have consulted with a trainer and decided on which divisions you will be competing in. This allows for better preparation on pinpointing what you exactly need to be working on.

This may mean that you have a dressage test that needs practicing, a certain jump height that will need to be implemented within course work, or a cross country level that needs to be schooled. Oftentimes issues arise that may need extra attention.

Personally, my horse has trouble picking up his left lead while doing a dressage test, because of this weakness I have been doing more transitions while going to the left to strengthen up that side of his body.

Horse Show Preparation

Preparing Your List

I recommend that you begin creating a list of things that you will need to pack in the weeks to come (I will include my personal list below). Your list should include things for both riding and horse care.

It helps to put the items needed under different categories to make it easier to read. While writing out your list, think of the order you will use the different items and write them down as they come to mind as you may discover you need to pack more items than expected. Also make sure to double-check your list before packing.

Horse Show Packing List

Riding essentials:

Grooming Essentials:

Stable Supplies:

Horse Care:

Feeding:

  • Hay
  • Grain
  • Alfalfa Cubes

For The Rider:

  • Muck/Tall Boots
  • Tan Breeches
  • White Show Shirt
  • Black Belt
  • Tall Socks
  • Black Gloves

Days Before Competition

As your competition begins to approach faster and faster, your nerves and excitement will increase. It is now time to go over your packing list and start organizing everything! I recommend using a tack trunk with wheels as it is easier to move from place to place (I use a 50 gallon Stanley chest) this allows me to pack many items into it.

Gather all of your items into one area and start packing them up neatly. Place the larger items on the bottom such as saddle pads and blankets, as the trunk fills place the smaller items on the top. Use a tupperware container to store little clips or ties along with other small items.

Leather items such as saddles and bridles should be protected by saddle covers and bridle bags. This prevents your tack from obtaining scratches and keeps them nice and neat. Once all of your horse’s tack has been gathered, start loading it into the trailer. It is best to do this the night before departure when you are done using your equipment. 

Load in an organizational manner so unloading is a seamless process. This is also a good time to pack up the hay, grain, and supplements your horse will need over the next few days. Scoop the grain into separate ziplock bags for each feeding, this is easier than hauling large bags that will take up lots of space.

Depending on how much your horse eats you will need to be sure to bring enough hay. Be sure to also have all of your clothes/essentials/food packed the night before leaving! 

Day of Competition/Departure Day

Arrive at your barn early enough to begin getting your horse prepared to leave. Every horse acts differently within the trailer which means some may need standing wraps, shipping boots, or a head bumper.

Standing wraps help protect the horses legs from any possible injuries that may occur while within the trailer. Head bumpers are also another piece of protective equipment that prevents head injuries if they were to hit their head on the roof of the trailer. Once your horse is all wrapped and prepared it is time to go!

Arrival At Showgrounds

When you arrive at the showgrounds it is important to first unload your equine partner and get them settled into their stall with water and hay, this allows them to become comfortable with the new surroundings. Next all tack and equipment will need to be unloaded in an organized way.

Oftentimes I will rent a “tack stall” to store away all my things while I am at competition. A lock and chain will also be used in this case to keep my equipment safe while I am not there. The day before I compete at the new venue I will always hack around the property to get my horse comfortable with the new surroundings.

At the end of each night always clean up your area and reorganize everything so it will be ready for the next morning. Lastly, always keep a positive and uplifting attitude towards other competitors while competing as it can oftentimes become stressful, and in the end, you are all in it together! Happy horse showing!

Horseback Riding on a Budget – Ride For Less

Horseback Riding On A Budget - Getting The Most For Less

The stereotype surrounding equestrians revolves around having a lot of money. Though horses are expensive, there are plenty of options that can help reduce the cost of owning a horse. Whether it is board or breeches you are worried about, there is a way to manage all of your equestrian related expenses! Here are some ways to keep horseback riding on a budget!

Equestrian Expenses

The most important thing to understand when riding is that purchasing a horse is the least expensive thing you will purchase as an equestrian. After purchasing a horse, you have to worry about recurring necessities for your horse such as board payment, feed, supplements, hay, farrier, vet bills, teeth floating, and much more.

There are also many expenses that are not as recurring such as tack, riding apparel, brushes, and more. This can seem intimidating, as these expenses can add up quickly. Though horseback riding may seem only for the wealthy, there are plenty of ways to ride on a budget.

Horseback Riding On A Budget Breakdown

The Horse

Since horseback riding is an expensive sport, you will need some money in order to begin. Luckily, you do not need to purchase a horse in order to begin riding. There are options such as taking lessons, leasing and purchasing. Just taking lessons is the cheapest option, as you will just need to purchase some apparel in order to ride.

Though taking lessons is the cheapest option, you will usually only have access to this horse during your lessons. If you were to choose an option such as leasing, you would have access to this horse a few times a week. Leasing a horse requires a monthly payment to the owner of the horse in order to use this horse for recreational riding. Depending on the lease contract, you may have the opportunity to use this horse for showing and off-property riding. Some lease contracts do not require the purchase of tack and responsibility of vet bills.

Purchasing a horse is the most expensive of these options, however it will give you the most opportunity with your horse. You have full control over your riding experience when you choose to purchase a horse. Though you have full control, you also have full responsibility over all the expenses that come with your horse.

Horses can range from free to thousands of dollars. Make sure you purchase a horse in your price range and that you will be able to use it for your discipline. Carefully evaluate your income and commitment to riding before making the decision to lease or purchase a horse.

Board Payment

If you were to choose to purchase a horse, you will have to deal with the monthly board payment. Each barn has a different set price to board your horse there. These prices can range from a couple of hundred dollars to a thousand.

Horses In Barn

It may seem like the best option to choose the cheapest barn in your area, however you may end up regretting that decision. Before choosing a barn, see if they provide feed, hay, shavings, and other benefits within the board payment.

Sometimes paying more for the board will end up paying other expenses you would otherwise have to worry about. Evaluate what you want within a barn. Some good questions to consider before making your decision:

  • Does this barn follow my discipline?
  • Does this barn provide feed/hay?
  • Will I have to clean my own stall and feed my own horses each day?
  • How far will I have to travel to this barn?
  • Do I enjoy the atmosphere in this barn?
  • Does this barn have an indoor, trails, etc?
  • Do I get along with others at this barn?

Apparel and Tack

Whether you choose to take lessons, lease, or purchase your own horse, you will need to purchase riding apparel and occasionally your own tack. This can be the least or most expensive purchase point for equestrians. You will need to decide if you are willing to spend more on tack and apparel or if you want to save in that department. Some tips to save on tack and apparel:

  • Look for sales on different equestrian sites
  • Look for used bridles, saddles, breeches, and other tack or apparel
  • Look at reviews on cheap tack to ensure they work properly
  • Maintain your tack and apparel so you will not have to replace it early
  • Look at thrift stores for riding apparel. Some places do not understand how expensive some items are and you can get a great deal!
  • Compare prices on different sites and items

Unexpected Expenses

As a college student, I have had a difficult time-saving money. It took me a while to establish savings in order for me to have the extra money in case of an unexpected vet bill. However, there are ways to save and keep money compiled for unexpected expenses.

Since you will never know how much an unexpected vet bill will be, it is always best to overcompensate. Whether it is a vet bill, tack breaking, behind on board payments, or another large financial commitment, there is a way to come up with the cash! A few tips that helped me, a horse obsessed college kid:

  • Save small, it grows faster than you think!
  • Prioritize necessities! Do not spend that money on a matchy set if you know you will need teeth floating done next week.
  • Save money in an account you do not access unless necessary
  • If possible, get ahead on payments
  • Keep loose change! It adds up quickly!
  • Take a percentage of your paycheck and keep it in a savings

Tips and Tricks

Whether you have the nicest tack and the most expensive horse in the barn or if you are working hard to afford what you can, all equestrians have one thing in common: we love our horses and would do anything for them.

Horse Apples

Saving money is important no matter what kind of equestrian you are. As a college student, I found many tips and tricks to save money horseback riding. Here is what I have learned:

  • Ask if you can reduce board payments by feeding or cleaning stalls
  • See if your horse is eligible for a lesson horse, this can reduce board payments
  • Save for the unexpected
  • Evaluate what you can afford! Lessons, leasing, or purchasing
  • Find someone to lease your horse if necessary. This can help with finances and board payment
  • Know what is necessary tack and apparel and what is not
  • Understand you do not need the most expensive things

be a frugal Rider

You do not have to have millions in order to ride horses. Horseback riding on a budget means you just have to be smart with money! The stereotype behind equestrians being rich is just quite the contrary. The only requirements are commitment and a passion for horses. If you possess those qualities, being an equestrian should be no issues for you!

What Color Saddle Pad Looks Best on My Horse?

What Color Saddle Pad Looks Best On My Horse?

One common question I always get asked when tacking up with my barn buddies is “Does this color look good on my horse?” Now, I do not think horses necessarily look bad in specific colors, but there is usually a specific color that looks best on each colored horse. So, what color saddle pad looks best on my horse?

Fashion sense in the equestrian world is more common than we may think. Whether it is choosing which color breeches work best with our polos or matching our saddle pads to our ear bonnets, we’re always looking to look good!

Grey

Grey horses can be slightly strange to find colors for, as they do not have a predominant color. Depending on whether they are flea-bitten, dappled, or perfectly pristine white can all have an effect on what color looks good on them! Good news for grey owners: no color looks bad on grey horses! However, if you are looking to pop in that arena, look into the following colors for your horse

Palomino

Palomino’s tend to be trickier than some since the color mostly depends on the undertone of the saddle pad. Since most palominos have a warmer undertone to them, you will want to find a warm tone colored saddle pad. No matter what color you choose for your palomino, there is one that will always turn heads in the ring. Hunter Green is the way to go with a flashy palomino!

Chestnut

Similar to palomino’s, chestnuts need a warm-toned saddle pad color. Since this
color is in the middle of the range, you have quite a bit of freedom! If your
chestnut is lighter than most, you might want to stick to a darker color. If your
chestnut is darker than most, you might want to add a bright color that will pop!

Bay

As a bay horse rider and saddle pad enthusiast myself, I have found that there
are many colors that work well (and NOT so well) on bay horses. Depending on
how predominant the red is in your bay will impact which color suits your horse
best. The more red, the less red you will want in your color! So blood bay horse
owners: red may not be the best option!

Black

Black horses are easy to find saddle pads for because practically every color looks great on them! Since black horses’ hair is so dark, a pop of color usually will turn heads rather than dark colors. Any pastel or neon color will do the trick! Though I enjoy many colors on black horses, a bright blue will always look the best on a black horse!

Neutral Color

If you are not a fan of bright colors on your horse, do not fear. There are still countless options for minimalistic equestrians. Black and white saddle pads can get boring after a while (and dirty). One way to spice up your tack is by adding a pop of color to the piping! Finding a neutral saddle pad with piping that matches your horse’s color will keep you looking sleek in the ring. For example, if you have a bay horse, adding red piping on a white saddle pad will keep it interesting and sleek. 

Summing it up

Finding the perfect color saddle pad for your horse is not the most stressful thing we have to do as equestrians. No matter the color, your horse will shine in the show ring! However, it is fun and exciting to know you and your horse will look good strutting into the arena. Find what fits you!

8 Best All Purpose English Saddle Pads For 2020

Best All Purpose English Saddle Pads

Saddle pads are a necessity for horseback riding. No matter what discipline you ride, you will need a saddle pad. There are many types of saddle pads, so it may be difficult to find the perfect one for you. That’s why we are here to help you make the decision. We have reviewed the best all purpose English saddle pads and our top pick is the Saxon Element Quilted AP Saddle

No time to waste? Skip to our review of all 8 English Saddle Pads

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What is a Saddle Pad

A saddle pad acts as a protective barrier between your horse and the saddle. Saddle pads are necessary no matter how well your saddle fits. Your saddle pad will offer protection against your horse’s hair and back and will also prevent rubbing and scratches on the bottom of your saddle.

Saddle pads come in many different colors, shapes, and styles. Whether you ride english or western, you will need a saddle pad. Western saddle pads are a lot thicker than English saddle pads. This is because western saddles have no padding underneath the saddle.

English saddles do have some padding built-in, however, you will still need a saddle pad. English and western saddle pads are not interchangeable. You will need to get the correct saddle pad for your discipline.

What Style of English Saddle Pad do I Need?

All-purpose English saddle pads are great because you can use them for nearly every discipline besides dressage. If you are a showjumper, eventer, hunter jumper, or just enjoy doing flatwork, then an all-purpose English saddle pad will probably work for you.

If you ride dressage, then an all-purpose saddle pad might not be the best option. Since dressage saddles have longer flaps than close contact saddles, you will need to find a saddle pad that is specifically built for dressage saddles. Luckily most saddle pads have a dressage option!

How to Use a Saddle Pad

When using a saddle pad, first make sure your horse is completely groomed. You want to place the front of your saddle pad on the horse’s withers with the remaining fabric going towards the horse’s hindquarters.

Make sure your horse’s entire back is protected from the saddle. If you choose to use a half pad, play set directly on top of your saddle pad. Attached the keepers to the Billet straps of your English saddle in order to prevent slipping.

Run the girth through the openings to make sure all your tack stays in place. After you are done using your saddle pad, place it upside down to dry the inside.

How To Put English Saddle Pad On Horse

How to Wash a Saddle Pad

Since saddle pads are placed on the horses back, they tend to build up dirt and sweat fast. In order to protect your saddle pads fabric, washing them is necessary. Start by taking a brush to the inside of your saddle pad and wipe away all the dirt and hair that is built up on the inside.

You can wash your saddle pad inside your washing machine on the low cycle. make sure you wash your pad on the low cycle to prevent tearing on your saddle pad. Try not to use your saddle pad until it is completely dry.

Does Color/Shape Matter?

If you are using your saddle pad for schooling and Recreational riding the color and shape does not matter whatsoever. You can choose whatever color and shape you would like to ride in.

Lighter colors look better on dark horses and dark colors look better on lighter horses. However, if you would like to show in your saddle pad, make sure your saddle pad is white. This gives a professional look and is desired and most riding disciplines when showing.

Our List of Best All Purpose English Saddle Pads

TuffRider Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad

The TuffRider Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad is an inexpensive option for new riders. This saddle pad comes in an arrangement of colors that will look great and flashy on all horses. Though this saddle pad looks great, there are some function issues that go along with the pad.

The saddle pad does not include keeper straps. This may result in the saddle pad slipping back during your ride. This saddle pad also is a bit larger than the average all-purpose saddle pad. I would recommend this saddle pad to someone with a larger horse who had an extremely well-fitted saddle.

Pros:

  • Large arrangement of colors
  • Conventional look
  • Contoured back

Cons:

  • No keeper straps
  • Abnormally large
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Derby Originals Extra Comfort All Purpose English Saddle Pad with Removable Memory Foam

The Derby Originals Extra Comfort All Purpose English Saddle Pad with Removable Memory Foam is a great alternative to using both a saddle pad and a half pad. The saddle pad comes with a built-in half pad. The built-in half pad is removable. This pads uniqueness can either be a great addition or a fault depending on what you are looking for.

Other than this saddle pad’s unique feature, it is quite an average saddle pad. It has a contoured back and comes with both keepers and a girth strap. I would recommend this saddle pad to someone who is looking for extra support in their saddle pad.

Pros:

  • Built in half pad
  • Color options
  • Contoured back
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Removable half pad openings do not close
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Back on Track All Purpose Saddle Pad

The Back on Track All-purpose Saddle Pad is a great option for people who own or ride a horse that has a cold or sore back. This saddle pad comes with warmth reflectors that will help horses with sore muscles in their backs.

Other than this saddle pads unique feature, this saddle pad is fairly average. This saddle pad would be a great option for someone who has a horse that has muscle soreness.

Pros:

  • Conventional look
  • Contoured back
  • Warmth reflection for sore backs

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Limited color options
  • Somewhat long
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Roma Circle Quilt Pads

The Roma Circle Quilt Saddle Pad is an awesome option if you love a little flare in your life. This pad has a twist on a conventional look and offers extra padding for your horse’s comfort. An arrangement of colors is offered, however, plain white is not an option. This saddle pad would be best suited for someone who enjoys a little color in their life and values their horses’ comfort.

Pros:

  • Color options
  • High comfort for the horse
  • Conventional look

Cons:

  • White is not an option
  • Somewhat expensive
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Equine Couture All Purpose Saddle Pad

The Equine Couture All Purpose Saddle Pad is the ultimate saddle pad! It offers an arrangement of colors and styles within a comfortable and conventional saddle pad. There are countless color options including multiple white pads for showing.

My only complaint with this saddle pad is that it does not have keepers to hold the saddle pad in place. I would recommend this saddle pad for anyone with a great fitted saddle.

Pros:

  • Countless color options
  • Conventional look
  • Inexpensive
  • Contoured back

Cons:

  • No keepers, might slip
  • Color is slightly different in person
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Weatherbeeta Prime All Purpose Saddle Pad

The Weatherbeeta Prime All Purpose Saddle Pad has a different look! This saddle pad seems to be more breathable than the average saddle pad. This saddle pad is slightly longer than the average, however, it will not accommodate a dressage saddle.

This saddle pad is also unique, as the keepers attach to the D-ring rather than the billets. This may affect the use of a breastplate or draw reins. I would recommend this saddle pad for someone who enjoys light riding and does not use a breastplate or draw reins.

Pros:

  • Some color options
  • Unique look.
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • Somewhat Expensive
  • Keepers attach to D-ring
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Saxon Element Quilted AP Saddle Pad

The Saxon Element Quilted AP saddle pad is a great option for someone looking for the average saddle pad. There are limited color options, however, the options that are available will work for everyday use.

A contoured back, keepers, and girth loops are all included in this saddle pad. This pad has a conventional look and average durability. I would recommend this saddle pad for anyone looking to add to their collection.

Pros:

  • Conventional look
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • Limited color options
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Tough 1 EquiRoyal Square Quilted Cotton Comfort English Saddle Pad

The Tough 1 EquiRoyal Square Quilted Cotton Comfort English Saddle Pad is somewhat disappointing. This saddle pad is fairly thin and is shaped like a square. This saddle pad does not have a contoured back and the girth loops are in a strange place. This pad is somewhat breathable due to the thin fabric. I would recommend this saddle pad as an extra pad.

Pros:

  • Color options
  • Inexpensive
  • Somewhat breathable

Cons:

  • No back contour
  • Thin
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Our pick for the best all-purpose English saddle pad

It can be difficult to find the perfect saddle pad since they all look very similar. In my experience, I feel the Saxon Element Quilted AP Saddle Pad will be durable, comfortable, and look great on your equine friend.

This saddle pad pretty much has it all at a reasonable price. The keepers and girth loop will keep it in place your entire ride and the contoured back will ensure your horse’s comfort!

Our review of the 10 best fly sheets for horses

Best Fly Sheets For Horses

Summer is on the way, which means sun shirts, shows, and trail rides! Unfortunately, it also means gnats, mosquitoes, and flies. Protecting your horse from the summer bugs is important for your horse’s comfort. When fly spray just is not enough to protect your horse, it is time to invest in a flysheet. So the question you may be asking is what is the best fly sheets for horses?

In a hurry? Our reviews of each Flysheet will be under the table here:

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What is a fly sheet?

A flysheet is a protective covering that prevents bugs from landing on and biting your horse. Even though there are alternatives such as fly spray, purchasing a fly sheet will protect your horse more efficiently than the alternatives.

Sprays and other alternatives do not prevent bugs from landing and biting your horse, they just deter the bugs away from the odor. Investing in a fly sheet will provide a barrier between bugs and your horse’s skin, ensuring the protection and comfort of your horse. 

how to choose the best fly sheet?

Each horse is different, that is why it is important to find a fly sheet that is perfect for your horse. There are different shapes, materials, weights, and protection levels to consider. You need to determine your horse’s needs when looking at fly sheets.

If you have your horse in a warm and wet climate, you might want to get extra neck coverage. If your horse is pretty crazy in the paddock, you might be interested in a heavier, more durable sheet. It all depends on you and your horse’s needs when purchasing a flysheet. 

what are the benefits of a fly sheet?

Fly sheets have more benefits than one may think! Not only do they keep the bugs off your precious ponies, but some also offer UV protection. Many fly sheets also have fly repellent built-in and offer extra neck protection.

The best benefit of investing in a fly sheet rather than fly spray is how great it is at preventing diseases from bug bites. Since bugs are not able to get at your horse when they are wearing a sheet, it is less likely for them to contract any diseases that bugs can carry.

One of my favorite things about fly sheets is that they allow healing from previous bug bites. Nothing is worse than seeing bites all over your horse! Flea bitten greys are pretty, however, fly bitten greys are not so pretty!

how to fit a fly sheet

A crucial part to remember when purchasing a fly sheet for your horse is to get the correct size. There is a large range of horses all measuring different in shape and size. If a horse’s fly sheet is too large, it can be hazardous to the horse’s safety and may not offer complete protection! To measure your horse when fitting for a sheet:

  • Find a tape measure
  • Start at the base of the horse’s chest
  • Wrap the tape measure around the horse’s side
  • Place the tape measure around the horses hind-end
  • End the tape measure at the tail of the horse

The measurement should be done in inches. This measurement will be able to be converted to the flysheet size your horse will need. For reference, an average 15 hand horse will usually be between 71”-72”, and the sheet size will be 66”.

Material and durability

The largest factors to consider when investing in a fly sheet is material and durability. Each horse is different, therefore the tack and other equine items you use for your horse must work for them! Some things to think about when purchasing a fly sheet:

  • Grey horse who sunburns easily? Try UV protection.
  • Rough horse when turned out? Try a thicker material.
  • Horse that gets warm easily? Try a thinner material and light colors.
  • Worried about maximum protection? Try a fly mask and neck cover

Fly sheets are made to protect your horse and keep them comfortable! Make sure you are making the correct choice by following these tips:

How To Fit A Fly Sheet

add ons and extras

Sometimes, fly sheets just are not enough. They only cover a percentage of your horse’s body. Luckily, there are plenty of items you can find to help protect the rest of your horse. Fly masks are pretty common and will protect your horse’s face and ears from bugs.

There are also neck attachments that will help protect their neck and mane from getting bitten! Nothing is worse than losing a thick, beautiful mane to some pesky bugs! There are also tail covers and leg wraps as well!

cleaning and maintenance

Since fly sheets get dirty fast, it is important to clean them every once in a while to ensure they last a long time. The best way to wash a flysheet is to spray with a hose and let air dry. If you find that just water is not enough, you can soak the sheet in a tub with soap and water.

You can also use a washing machine, however, buckles could be a concern for your washing machine. No matter how you choose to wash your flysheet, always air dry your sheet! Putting a sheet in the dryer could damage or negatively affect your flysheet and can make it unusable.

best fly sheets for horses review

Amigo Mio Combo Flysheet

The Amigo Mio Combo Flysheet offers extra neck and tail protection with the sheet itself! This sheet is very breathable, which is good for horses that get warm easily. Because this sheet is lightweight, it could potentially tear if your horse gets rowdy in the paddock.

This sheet otherwise is well made and affordable. I would recommend this fly sheet for a horse that is careful in the pasture but also needs extra protection.

Pros:

  • Breathable, great for horses who get warm easily!
  • Extra protection offered in neck and tail cover
  • Fairly durable for an average tempered horse
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No UV protection
  • Not incredibly durable, rough horse could tear it
  • One color option
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Kensington Platinum SureFit Fly Sheet

The Kensington Platinum SureFit Fly Sheet offers so much in a cute package! This fly sheet comes in many colors and sizes. This sheet also has UV protection, which is great to prevent sun bleaching and sunburns. The material on this sheet is thick, which is great for durability, however not so breathable. I would recommend this sheet for a horse who plays tough and needs even tougher protection.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable, great for a playful horse
  • Has UV protection, will prevent sunburn and bleaching
  • Comes in many colors!

Cons:

  • Not breathable, may cause sweating
  • On the expensive side
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HILASON UV Protect Mesh Horse Fly Sheet

The Hilason UV Protect Mesh Horse Flysheet is a lightweight, breathable flysheet. This will prevent your horse from sweating in the hot summer sun. This fly sheet has built-in UV protection, which will also assist in protecting your horse from the sun’s rays. The sheet comes equipped with a belly cover and a neck cover.

Though this sheet is breathable and lightweight, it is not incredibly durable. I would recommend this fly sheet for a horse owner who is mostly concerned about protecting their horse from sunburn or sun bleaching.

Pros:

  • Has UV protection, will prevent sunburn and bleaching
  • Comes with neck cover and belly cover
  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not durable, might tear easily
  • Sizing is slightly off
  • Stitching is cheap
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TuffRider Mesh Fly Sheet

The TuffRider Mesh Fly Sheet is a breathable full coverage sheet with a sleek shine. This sheet also offers UV protection, however, there are higher UV protectant sheets on the market. It comes with a neck cover and has extra fabric to protect your horse’s belly.

This sheet is lightweight, making the fabric less durable. The mesh on this sheet is fairly thin and could tear in a short period of time. I would recommend this sheet as a back-up sheet or for a quiet horse that is careful out in the paddock.

Pros:

  • Has UV protection, will help prevent sunburn and bleaching
  • Extra coverage in belly area
  • Neck cover included
  • Breathable and lightweight

Cons:

  • Not worth the price
  • Not durable, will tear easily
  • Thinner fit, will not fit on a thick horse well
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Bucas Zebra Fly Sheet

The Bucas Zebra Fly Sheet has quite a unique look! Do not be fooled by the pattern, it is not just for looks. This sheet’s exterior is made to prevent flies from even thinking about your horse. Though the exterior is great at preventing flies, the stitching and durability on this sheet is questionable.

The belly band is non-adjustable, which could cause your horse discomfort. The sheet is equipped with UV protection and neck protection. I would recommend this sheet for someone who’s main concern is preventing flies!

Pros:

  • Unique fly preventing design
  • Has UV protection, will help prevent sunburn and bleaching
  • Neck cover included
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Stitching is somewhat questionable
  • Non-adjustable in the belly band
  • Expensive
  • Not durable, will tear easily
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Weatherbeeta ComFiTec Ripshield

The Weatherbeeta ComFiTec Ripshield Flysheet is great if you are willing to pay a hefty price. This fly sheet is incredibly durable, however, it might cause your horse to sweat if you reside in a hot climate. This sheet also offers no UV protection, so it is not suggested if you worry about the sun on your horse.

It comes with a neck cover and belly cover. This sheet will keep even the nastiest flies off your horse. I would recommend this sheet to someone who is purely focused on preventing flies and is not super concerned about the sun.

Pros:

  • Incredibly durable, will not tear
  • Neck cover included
  • Material is great for keeping bugs away
  • Breathable for a durable sheet

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No UV protection
  • Limited color options
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Saxon Mesh Fly Sheet

The Saxon Mesh Fly Sheet is a cute and comfortable option for your horse. This fly sheet comes in a few different patterns. Though there are different patterns and color options, it does not offer UV protection.

The material is thick which will add to the durability but will not help with breathability. This sheet would be a good option for someone who is not too concerned with the sun and sweat. I would recommend this sheet for a horse that likes to play in the paddock!

Pros:

  • Extremely durable
  • Cute and fun patterns to choose from!
  • Neck and belly cover

Cons:

  • No UV protection
  • Not breathable, may cause sweating
  • Somewhat expensive compared to similar sheets
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The Horseware Amigo Evolution Flysheet is the ultimate flysheet. It has every important factor included such as UV protection, neck, tail, and belly cover, and water-resistant all in a colorful package. Though this flysheet has it all, it comes at an expensive price.

This fly is extra durable, however, due to the thick fabric, it is not incredibly breathable. I would recommend this sheet to someone who is focused on the utmost protection of their horse.

Pros:

  • Has UV protection, will prevent sunburn and bleaching
  • Neck and belly cover
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable, will not tear easily
  • Colorful pattern

Cons:

  • Not incredibly breathable
  • Neck and belly cover are attached
  • Expensive
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The Shires Highlander Mesh Flysheet is the practical flysheet. It offers extra protection with an included neck cover and belly cover. This sheet offers no UV protection, which may be an issue for someone looking to protect their horse from the sun.

This sheet is breathable and lightweight with strong mesh to ensure durability. I would recommend this sheet to someone who is looking for a practical, long-lasting flysheet.

Pros:

  • Practical look
  • Neck and belly cover
  • Breathable and durable

Cons:

  • Limited color options
  • No UV protection protection
  • Expensive compared to similar fly sheets
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Which Flysheet Is the Best?

Though there are many options that are great to consider when investing in a fly sheet.. The flysheet that will protect even the nastiest of bugs is the Weatherbeeta ComFiTec Ripshield Flysheet. This sheet offers practically everything you will need and then some.

Unless you are predominantly concerned about the sun, this sheet will do what you want it to do. It is durable, breathable, and will not let any bugs near your horse.

FAQ’s

Do fly sheets really work?

Yes! If you choose a reliable fly sheet then it should keep the bugs of your horse!

Are Flysheets Weatherproof?

Most fly sheets are not waterproof, however, some fly sheets such as the Horseware Amigo Evolution Fly Sheet are water-resistant.

Do Horses get Hot in Fly Sheets?

It is not rare for a horse to get warm while wearing a fly sheet. If you are concerned about your horse’s temperature I would recommend a lightweight, lightly colored fly sheet.

Do Fly Sheets Keep Horses Cool?

Fly sheets usually do not keep horses cool, however if you invest in a breathable and lightweight fly sheet, it will not affect your horse’s temperature as much as a heavier fly sheet would.

Can You Ride A Horse With A Fly Sheet On?

I would not recommend riding a horse with a fly sheet on. Some fly sheets such as the Cashel Quiet Ride Bug Armor Flysheet is made specifically for riding in!

7 turnout sheets for horses – What To Know For 2020

Turnout Sheets For Horses

Just like people, horses need protection from outdoor weather. Since many
horses spend an abundance of time outside, it can be easy for them to get wet
from rain or muddy from rolling around. Turnout sheets for horses will help
protect your horses’ skin and coat from the outdoor climate.

Just take me to the reviews you ask? Our reviews of each will be under the table here:

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What Is a turnout sheet?

Turnout sheets are used for protecting your horse from wet and muddy weather.
Unlike blankets, turnout sheets do not provide warmth for your horse. They can
be used to protect your horse year-round, even in the hot summers!

For durability and comfort, most turnout sheets are made of a poly/cotton lining. This fabric is also water resistant which is great for keeping your horse dry. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to go on a relaxing ride around the arena only to find out my horse was soaking wet from the rain!

If you live in a wet climate please save yourself a lot of trouble and invest in a turnout sheet. This will save you a ton of time…and towels!

Horse sheets are waterproof or at the very least water-resistant. Don’t confuse rain sheets with turnout sheets though. Rain sheets are designed to not only cover the horse but also the tack while the horse is being ridden or otherwise supervised.

Different types of turnout sheets for horses

Though there are various forms of protective blankets for your horse. Each plays
a specific role in ensuring your horse’s comfort!

In contrast to turnout sheets, stable sheets are used to protect your horse when they are hanging out in their stall. They are not waterproof and are normally used to protect your horse’s coat from dust and dirt.

Unlike turnout and stable sheets, turnout blankets are used to protect your horse from the cold. Blankets are quite a bit heavier and are filled with wool or synthetic fleece to ensure your horse is warm in the sleet, snow!

What to look for in a turnout sheet

Most turnout sheets look similar. That is why it is important to always read into
what each sheet offers.

Some of them offer a better fit for a horse with broad shoulders. Some are able to conform to horses with low backs. The best way to find the perfect turnout sheet is to know your horse.

It is not the best idea to find a sheet that would best fit a high-withered, tall thoroughbred if you are riding a downhill quarterhorse. Some turnout sheets offer neck protection as well.

If you live in a cool, wet climate, it might help your horse to keep warm outside. However, if you live in a warmer climate and rarely see rain then neck protection may not be as important.

how to fit a turnout sheet

The most difficult part when purchasing a turnout sheet for your horse is sizing. There is a large range of horses all measuring different in shape and size. If a turnout sheet is too large it can be hazardous to the horse’s safety!

To measure your horse when fitting for a sheet:

  • Find a tape measure
  • Start at the base of the horses chest
  • Wrap the tape measure around the horses side
  • Place the tape measure around the horses hind end
  • End the tape at the tail of the horse

The measurement should be done in inches. You can then convert the inches to the sheet size you horse will need. Most sheet manufactures will have a sizing chart to help in the conversion.

For reference an average 15 hand horse will usually be between 71″-72″ and the sheet size will be 66″. I’ve included a short videos below demonstrating how to fit a horse sheet.

How To Measure A Horse For A Horse Sheet Or Blanket

Comfort and durability

I have seen plenty of turnout sheets that are durable. Thanks to my mouthy thoroughbred I have also seen many sheets that have me less than impressed as they have more or less disintegrated while being used.

A perfect turnout sheet should be able to offer your horse protection, comfort, and durability. Ensuring your horses comfort with a sheet usually centers around the fit. Many turnout sheets are adjustable while some are made specifically for horses with different conformations. I have always needed to purchase the most durable sheets for my horses. (Again, thanks to my frisky thoroughbred!)

If you have a horse who likes to chew on sheets, chase other horses constantly and throw their legs in ways they should not go, then you might be just like me! This type of behavior makes it imperative in finding a sheet that offers the most durable design and materials. Now, if you have a calmer and relaxed (or at lease normal) horse, then durability might not be your biggest priority.

Why turnout sheets are important

Turnout sheets may not provide warmth during the Winter months they will protect your horse from some of the elements. Even if it’s quite warm outside, rain can make your horse incredibly cold.

It’s important not to use a blanket in warmer weather for protection. Blankets are specifically made to keep your horse warm. Having a blanket on in warm or hot weather is just like throwing on a Winter sweater on on a hot July day. You and your horse will get dangerously overheated.

Turnout sheets will keep your horse dry and warm from the rain and offer protection from the mud and dirt which helps in keeping the coat shiny and soft.

We review 7 horse turnout sheets

TGW RIDING 1200Denier Turnout Sheet

The TGW Turnout Sheet offers a lightweight turnout sheet in a range colors. This sheet has added wither comfort which is great for horses who have sensitive withers.

The straps on this sheet are adjustable which will provide added comfort and fit for your horse. The sheet’s exterior is incredibly durable which is great for rougher horses. Though the exterior is quite tough, the straps seem to fall apart easily. If your horse tends to chew/play with strings or straps be wary of this sheet.

Being naturally contoured and breathable makes this sheet great for ensuring the comfort of your horse. I would recommend this sheet for a horse that needs extra durability and enjoys being comfortable in the paddock.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, easy to put on and take off
  • Wither fleece, adds comfort for your horse
  • Adjustable straps, provides perfect fit
  • Durable exterior, will keep your horse dry!
  • Natural contour, will fit to an average horses build
  • Breathable, will not overheat your horse

Cons:

  • No neck protection
  • Flimsy straps, could break easy
  • Will not fit a straight-backed horse
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Horseware Amigo Hero Ripstop Sheet

The Horseware Amigo Sheet is the epitome of your average turnout sheet. This sheet has an average amount of external durability, average horse fit, and average buckles. This might be a good choice for you if you have an average horse.

If you are looking to protect your horse from rain and mud this would be the perfect sheet for you. However, if your horse enjoys chewing or rubbing on the fence, this sheet might not be the best choice. I would recommend this sheet for an average and calm horse.

Pros:

  • Will fit the average horse
  • Looks great on all color horses!
  • Front leg arches, added comfort when moving around

Cons:

  • No neck protection
  • Not incredibly durable
  • Not lightweight, will be more difficult to get on and off
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Tough-1 320D Rain Sheet

The Tough-1 Rain Sheet has one stand out feature which is the a neck cover. The neck cover will add to protection to your horse from the outdoor elements they run into. Other than this feature the sheet is very normal.

The durability of is low with this sheet. The exterior may fall apart fairly easy. The Velcro also is pretty weak. Rain and mud will negatively impact the Velcro even further. This might lead to the sheet being unusable.

The Tough-1 has a naturally contoured back which is great for most horses! I would recommend this sheet for a horse that is very calm and pastured alone or as a backup to your normal sheet.

Pros:

  • Neck cover, adding protection
  • Naturally contoured back, great for most horses
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Lightweight, easy to get on and off

Cons:

  • Low durability, will fall apart fast
  • Velcro is cheap, will stop sticking fast
  • Overall low quality
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ComFiTec Essential Turnout Sheet

The ComFitec Sheet is practically perfect! I have used this sheet for a while and it’s incredibly durable and fits great on almost all horses. This sheet offers many great attributes. It’s breathable, adjustable, lightweight, and looks great on every horse color.

The only issue I see with this sheet is the fact it doesn’t have a neck cover. This can cause issues if you are looking to protect your horses neck from the rain obviously. I would recommend this sheet for someone who appreciates quality and wants a comfortable and durable turnout sheet for their horse.

Pros:

  • Breathable, great for horses who get warm easily
  • Durable, will last a long time
  • Adjustable, will fit comfortably for every horse
  • Lightweight, easy to get on and off the horse
  • Looks great on all horse colors!

Cons:

  • No neck cover
  • Somewhat expensive
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Horze Avalanche Turnout Sheet

The Horze Avalanche Sheet has a great fit and great look. This sheet offers a highly durable exterior. This sheet is a bit on the heavier side which can make it difficult to put on and take off your horse.

The sheet will keep your horse dry without overheating and the sizing is adjustable keeping your horse comfortable and dry. The high neck on this sheet is great for added protection. I would recommend this sheet for a horse with an outdoor board in a cool and wet climate.

Pros:

  • Breathable, great for horses who get warm easily
  • Durable will last a long time
  • Adjustable will fit comfortably on every horse
  • The high neck offers added protection against wet climate
  • Fun pattern!

Cons:

  • Heavier than the average turnout sheet
  • Expensive compared to other turnout sheets
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Saxon 1200D Standard Neck Lightweight Turnout Sheet

The Saxon Standard Neck Sheet offers a large range of sizing. This sheet has great durability and is breathable which will keep your horse safe and comfortable. This sheet does offer some wither protection which can add comfort for your horse when rolling.

The Saxon has adjustable straps and falls into the slightly expensive range. I would recommend this sheet for someone who wants a durable sheet with many options and whose primary concern is not price.

Pros:

  • Breathable, great for horses who get warm easily
  • Durable, will last a long time
  • Adjustable, will fit comfortably on every horse
  • Wither fleece, adds comfort

Cons:

  • Runs small, sizing correctly will be difficult
  • Expensive, not affordable for the quality
  • No neck cover
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Horze Nevada 1200D Lite Turnout Sheet

The Horze Nevada Sheet has a great look and design. Though the look is very nice, the durability and water resistance of this sheet is questionable. Water tends to soak through and under the sheet quickly resulting in a cold and wet horse.

Being lightweight it is easy to put on and take off your horse. Being breathable alleviates the horse from getting too sweaty. There are some questionably low straps that could be dangerous to the horse and result in injury. i would recommend this sheet as a back up at best, unfortunately.

Pros:

  • Nice design
  • Lightweight, easy to take on and off
  • Breathable, great for horses who get warm easily

Cons:

  • Not waterproof, will not keep horse dry
  • Low straps, could become a safety hazard
  • Expensive compared to other turnout sheets
  • No neck cover
  • Cheap Velcro
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Which Turnout Sheet Would We choose?

There are plenty of turnout sheets for horses out there than look the same, so finding the right one for your horse can be difficult. Think about what is best for your horse. If your horse gets chilly from rain easily then a sheet with a neck cover would be best.

However, if your horse enjoys some rough playtime in the paddock then an extra durable sheet is obviously your best option.

We chose the ComFiTec Essential Turnout Sheet as our pick of the litter. If you are looking for an all-around durable and comfortable sheet for your horse then this sheet is for you. The ComFitec offers everything your horse needs at an affordable price. The sheet will last quite a long time and looks great on every horse. This is the sheet I’m currently using and I love it!

Turnout Sheet Accessories

Having a sheet won’t do any good if it gets beat up or dirty. Here are a few accessory ideas we use to keep our turnout sheets in good condition for as long as possible.

Blanket Racks

Horse Sheet Cleaning Supplies & Storage

8 best horse riding helmets for children 2020

Horse Riding Helmets For Children

As equestrians, we understand the danger surrounding the beloved sport of horseback riding. It is inevitable that we all will fall at some point when riding. That is why it is important to protect our children when the inevitable happens.

Finding the best horse riding helmets for children can be a difficult task. It is vital to ensure the safety and security of your child when they ride. Introducing a helmet into their riding routine will not only bring your peace of mind knowing they are safe, but it will also enhance your child’s confidence in the saddle!

Time running short? The full review of best horse riding helmets for children is here:

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Choosing the best riding helmet for your child

There are countless brands and styles of riding helmets. This can make finding the right one for your child even more difficult. There are steps you can take to guarantee you have made the correct choice on purchasing the perfect helmet. Start by determining your child’s riding style. You might find yourself regretting the flashy, brightly colored helmet made for barrel racing if your child is pursuing dressage.

Find the style that fits your child’s discipline! Whether you choose a sleek helmet or a showy helmet, it is important to verify that this helmet is ASTM/SEI certified. Yes, that bright pink helmet with embedded rhinestones might match that new saddle pad you just got perfectly, but will it protect your head from a fall? Verifying the helmet’s certification will confirm the reliability of the helmet.

Speaking of safety, the fit of the helmet plays an important role. If your child’s helmet is sliding around or barely makes it over their forehead, it can impact the security of the helmet. Try not to purchase and use a non-adjustable helmet expecting your child to grow into it. Instead, find a helmet that fits your child and can adjust to become larger.

If I found a helmet that was adjustable the first time I purchased my helmet, it would have saved me tons of money! Just because you find a great style and the perfect fit doesn’t mean you won’t need another in the future. It is important to educate yourself on new helmet advancements and standards. Certification companies are always finding new ways to increase the safety of helmets.

Our 8 Best Horse riding helmets for children

Unless you have money and time to burn, it is practically impossible to test out every helmet on the market. Manufacturers will sugar coat every aspect of their helmet and push their products. This can make it difficult to find a truly perfect helmet for your child. That’s why we have reviewed a few helmets for you!

Ovation Kid’s Metallic Schooler Riding Helmet

The Ovation Kid’s Metallic Schooler Riding Helmet can be a good option for young riders who enjoy some character to their helmet. The helmet has a shiny exterior and is available in an assortment of colors.

The helmet is lightweight, which can be good for younger riders who do not like heavier helmets. This helmet also has high ventilation which can be useful if your child enjoys fast-paced riding or gets warm easily. The chinstrap on this helmet is designed for comfort. This helmet is shaped differently than most, which can be a good thing if your child has a round-shaped head.

This helmet is also adjustable so it can grow with your child. The adjustment strips are made with strong teeth, so the helmets’ adjustment features will stay intact longer than the average helmet. This helmet does come with a removable visor, however, the visor seems somewhat flimsy and could possibly break off if messed around with too much.

This child helmet may be a good option if you have a little one that enjoys fast-paced riding but is careful with their possessions.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Strong teeth in the adjustment straps
  • A fun assortment of colors available
  • High ventilation, can be useful for fast-paced riding
  • Comes in an XXS up to XL
  • Adjustable and removable lining for growing heads

Cons:

  • Strange helmet fit can be tight on the average head
  • Unsturdy visor could break quickly
  • Paint chips easily from the exterior
  • Does not come in black or other neutral colors
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Troxel TX Horseback Riding Helmet

The Troxel TX Horseback Riding Helmet may be a good option for young riders finding their first helmet and comes in a variety of colors and finishes. The helmet has high ventilation and a removable head liner.

The looks of this are great, however the adjustable lining loosens over time. This helmet also has a visor, but it is not removable. This can be useful if you would like a sturdy visor for your child’s helmet. The chinstrap is connected to the interior of the helmet, which may cause some discomfort to the sides of your child’s head.

If you are looking for a professional look, this helmet comes in a matte black! This Troxel helmet also comes with a dial-fit knob in the back, which can help with perfecting the fit to your child’s head. The helmet has an average head fit which will fit most children’s heads.

Pros:

  • High ventilation with 6 mesh openings
  • Comes in a variety of colors and finishes
  • Incredibly professional and sleek look
  • Dial-fit knob helps adjust to perfect fit

Cons:

  • Adjustable lining loosens after awhile
  • Visor is not removable
  • Visor will break forward rather than backward during a fall
  • Chinstrap is attached to interior of helmet, can cause discomfort
  • Sizing runs small
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One K Boys’ Defender Jr Helmet

The One K Boys’ Defender Jr Helmet has such a great sleek look! If you are looking for a variety of color, this may not be the helmet for your child. It comes in matte black, which can be perfect for showing!

The chinstrap is padded, which is great for added comfort. The excess material from the chinstrap is easily hidden with velcro. This helmet is on the higher side of the price range. If you are looking for a show helmet, this may be a good option to consider.

This helmet has high ventilation and a washable quick-dry liner, which can be great for heads that get sweaty! I would recommend this helmet for a child who is pursuing a showing career and appreciates a sleek, professional look!

Pros:

  • Sleek, professional look which is great for competition
  • Very comfortable chinstrap
  • Quick-dry interior, great for sweaty heads
  • Plenty of ventilation

Cons:

  • Only one color option available
  • Expensive compared to other children’s helmets
  • Non-removable interior lining
  • Non-removable visor
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Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet

The Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet has a large assortment of colors and patterns for your child. If you are looking for a fun pattern, this is definitely an option to consider. This helmet offers a dial-fit knob, which is great for adjusting to your child’s head size.

The helmet’s interior lining is removable, which is great for easy cleaning. This helmet does have ventilation openings, but might not be suitable if your child’s head gets warm easily. Finding the right size for this helmet can be tricky, as the sizing chart is based on helmet size rather than head circumference.

The helmet is a bit on the bulkier side than the average child’s helmet. This helmet’s visor is not removable, which can be an issue if you would like a removable visor. I would recommend this helmet for a young child who is looking for a helmet for leisure riding.

Pros:

  • Plenty of colors and patterns to choose from
  • Removable interior lining
  • Dial-fit knob for easy adjusting
  • Extra interior padding
  • Inexpensive compared to other children’s helmets

Cons:

  • Bulkier than the average children’s helmet
  • Not high ventilated
  • Sizing may be confusing
  • Color is slightly different than the photos
  • The removable back piece is slightly flimsy
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Troxel Legacy Children’s Horse Riding Safety Helmet

The Troxel Legacy Children’s Horse Riding Safety Helmet offers an adorable pattern for young riders. Though I think the pattern is cute, this helmet only offers this pattern in pink and blue. This helmet offers a dial-fit knob, which is great for young children who are growing fast.

The sizes are only offered in small, medium, and large. The interior lining is removable and washable. This helmet does not have a professional look, so I would not recommend showing with this helmet.

The helmet offers an average amount of ventilation, which can be good for leisure riding but not fast-paced riding. The helmet has an adorable look and is made for small children. I would recommend this as a first helmet for young riders just starting out.

Pros:

  • Adorable Design
  • Dial-fit knob for easy adjusting
  • Made specifically for young children
  • Removable interior lining

Cons:

  • Only comes in 1 design
  • Made for small heads
  • Not professional looking, unable to show in this helmet
  • Limited size options
  • Bulky looking on small heads
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Tipperary Sportage Equestrian Sport Helmet

The Tipperary Sportage Equestrian Sport Helmet has quite a unique look! This helmet is not your average show helmet. There are different color options for this helmet, which can be great whether your child is interested in showing or trail riding.

This helmet has plenty of ventilation for fast paced riders. The exterior is made from ABS material, which is great for high impact absorption. This helmet’s chinstrap has a cover, which is great for added comfort. If you are looking for the most protective helmet, this may be an option to consider. This helmet drops low in the back for added protection.

This helmet does have a visor but is not removable. The padding on the inside seems to fall apart pretty fast, unfortunately. I would recommend this for a child who enjoys fast-paced riding like barrel racing or showjumping.

Pros:

  • Plenty of color options, great for leisure riding or showing
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Great for high impact absorption
  • Low back, great for added protection
  • Low-profile helmet
  • Chinstrap cover for added comfort

Cons:

  • Unique style, not an average helmet
  • Non-removable visor
  • Cheap interior padding
  • Somewhat expensive compared to the average children’s helmet
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TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Safety Helmet

The Tuffrider Starter Horse Riding Safety Helmet comes in a sleek black style. This helmet is only offered in matte black, so it can be used for showing. The removable visor sits low on the helmet, which is good if you are looking for a low-profile helmet.

The helmet is designed for both adults and children, which can be good for people who share helmets. This helmet has a decent amount of ventilation, but might not be enough for a fast-paced rider. This helmet has a dial-fit knob, which can be useful for children whose heads are still growing.

The helmet’s chinstrap also has a lining under the chin, which is nice if you are looking for added comfort. I would recommend this helmet for a child who is looking for a new helmet for showing or leisure riding.

Pros:

  • Sleek black style
  • Low-profile fit
  • Dial-fit knob for easy adjusting
  • Chinstrap comfort strip for added comfort
  • Detachable visor

Cons:

  • Not highly ventilated
  • Not designed specifically for children
  • Only available in one color
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Troxel Pink Dreamscape Helmet

The Troxel Pink Dreamscape Helmet has a great design for little girls learning to ride. This helmet is only available in pink. Since this helmet only comes in one design and one color option, it is not suitable for showing.

This helmet is made for children, which can be a positive for how the helmet fits on the child’s head. This helmet offers a dial-fit knob for children whose heads are still growing. The visor on this helmet is flexible and great for sun protection.

If your child does quite a bit of outdoor leisure riding, this is an option you should consider. The interior lining is removable and washable. I would recommend this helmet as a first time helmet for a little girl who is just starting riding lessons.

Pros:

  • Adorable design
  • Dial-fit knob for easy adjusting
  • Flexible visor that offers sun relief
  • Removable interior lining
  • Specifically made for children

Cons:

  • Only one design, not suitable for showing
  • Non-professional look
  • Limited air ventilation
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Which Helmet should I Purchase?

Choosing the perfect helmet all depends on how you choose to use it. A patterned, brightly colored helmet made for small children might be the perfect option for a first time rider. A matte black, highly ventilated helmet might be the perfect option for a child who is pursuing competition.

If we are looking at the perfect helmet that we all would like to use, the Tipperary Sportage Equestrian Sport Helmet has it all. Not only does it have an assortment of colors, it offers a sleek black finish for showing. This helmet is made for protection.

The low back and chinstrap are made for comfort and security, which many other helmets do not offer. If you need a helmet you can trust on the trails and in the show ring, the Tipperary Sportage Equestrian Sport Helmet is your best option.

What Size Helmet Does my Child need?

Now that you have found the perfect helmet for your child, it is time to measure! Grab your tape measure and wrap it about an inch above your child’s eyebrow and bring the ends to the back of the head. This is where the helmet will sit on your child’s head. Mark the exact measurement of the circumference.

This will assist you in translating inches to helmet size. Since manufacturing companies size differently, you will need to compare the measurement to the companies sizing chart. If you choose to try on helmets, set the helmet on the child’s head. The helmet should sit evenly and comfortably on your child’s head.

If you see the helmet moving back and forth or falling over your child’s eyes, it is most likely too big. Since all heads are shaped differently, the helmet may appear to fit well even if it is too big at the top. Try different shapes of helmets that match up with your child’s head shape.

How to Choose the Perfect Helmet

Now that you know the basics of riding helmets, it is time to find the perfect helmet! There are countless brands, styles, colors, and accessories that make all helmets unique. I know how overwhelming it can be when trying to choose a helmet that is comfortable and safe for your child.

Should you spend the extra money on getting the visor? Is the extra ventilation really worth it? Does the color really matter? Figuring out these questions all depend on how your child intends on using the helmet. Here is what you need to know.

What Style of Helmet is Right for my Child?

Helmet style and your child’s riding discipline go hand and hand. If your child intends on competing in the near future, look into what kind of helmet fits their discipline. Purchasing a brightly colored helmet if your child intends on competing in dressage might not be the best idea.

However, if your child is just starting to ride, finding a fun color may add excitement into their riding routine! If your child is looking into fast-paced competition such as show jumping or barrel racing, extra ventilation might be a good option. If your child plans on doing trail riding and other leisure activities, paying for an extra ventilated helmet may not be necessary.

If you spend quite a bit of time outside in the sun, purchasing a visor for your child’s helmet might be a good idea. In contrast, if you reside in a cooler climate or spend the majority of the time riding inside, a visor may not be useful to the helmet.

How Important is Comfort and Fit?

All heads are shaped differently. That is why it is important to find a helmet that comfortably fits your child’s head shape. Whether their head is rounder, slim, wide, or square, the helmet should fit all around the child’s head.

Ovation helmets tend to fit round shaped heads, while a brand such as troxel can adjust to fit oval heads. Some helmets’ inner lining can adjust to fit head shape, however the exterior helmet cannot change shape. Helmet manufacturers such as Charles Owen offer a range of head shape options in different helmets.

Before letting your child mount their horse, make sure the helmet fits comfortably and is adjusted correctly. If they end up falling with a helmet that does not fit, it could cause further damage to their heads.

How To Properly Fit A Riding Helmet

How Reliable is my Child’s Helmet?

No matter what helmet you decide upon for your child, it is crucial to make sure the helmet is certified by ASTM/SEI. Horseback riding is dangerous whether your child is walking down a trail or starting to jump. Be wary of borrowing helmets or using old helmets.

Even if you don’t take a fall in a helmet, it should still be replaced every 5 years. The sweat and grime that builds up over time can negatively impact the inner lining and even the durability of the helmet. Avoid using a biking helmet for horseback riding activities. Though they may seem more affordable, the standards for biking helmets and horse riding helmets are drastically different.

Horseback riding helmets are made for impact absorption and chinstrap retention. Spending a little more on a certified riding helmet can save you money on future emergency room visits. Besides, there are plenty of durable and affordable riding helmets available!

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