Hi, I’m Meredith Hodges, and welcome to
the Lucky Three Ranch Training Tips. You’re going to be wearing a properly fitted riding helmet from now on—no exceptions. If your equine were to bolt or buck, a helmet could prevent a concussion. Around the Lucky Three Ranch, it’s always safety first! Never wear tennis shoes when riding. Stick to standard cowboy boots or riding boots. You can also use half-chaps with low profile boots, in order to protect your legs. Check your bridle and make sure everything fits correctly. Make sure that all straps lie flat, straight and are in their keepers. Check the bit for type, size and comfort. I like to use an Eggbutt snaffle bit for the beginning stages of training. Check saddle placement for balance and freedom of movement. Place the saddle so the girth lies four inches behind the forearm and clears the sensitive area of skin directly behind the forearms. Make sure the saddle clears the withers and shoulders. Slide your arm underneath the saddle pad or blanket from the front under the saddle horn. Then push it up against the saddle to promote airflow across the spine. Tighten the girth in increments so as not to “surprise” the equine. Make sure it is snug, but not too tight on the final girth check. On a Western saddle, attach the back girth snugly, but not too tight. Attach the crupper and make sure it is snug enough to hold the saddle in place. Use protective wraps on your equine if needed. Collect any extra items that you might want to use during mounting and lunging training. Then put them in a place that is clearly out of the way, but easy to access. Now you are ready to begin!