Written by: Hank Erickson
Most people don't know or don't care to know about the life of a cowboy. Most people think it's easy, but that is completely wrong coming from a cowpuncher himself *cough**cough* Hank Erickson. You have to worry about your horse acting up when it's cold or rainy or if you gave him too long of a break. But that's the easy stuff. Enough about that. Let's get into the first part of every cowboy job ever.
Saddling a Horse is a simple enough task, but for someone that is new or has never done it before it can be quite challenging. You have to catch, brush, braid (if you are fancy), put the pad on, throw the saddle on, and cinch it up. That's really broad so let’s get in to detail.
Step 1. Catching the horse
Everyone that has horses has a different way of catching their horse. The way I got taught was to walk up and put the halter on and walk him out, tie him up and give in grain so that they get a treat when they get caught.
Step 2. Brushing the horse
This is probably the simplest part. You just brush where the saddle sits if you are going for a ride. If you are going to a show you need to make the horse look fancy.
Step 3. Putting the pad on the horse
This is very important so your saddle doesn’t gald the horse. Putting the pad in the right place is also important the pad goes on the withers. The red circle is the wither. It it right at the base of the horse's neck. (see image below.)
Step 4. Saddling the horse
Perfect saddle placement is key so you don't accidentally hurt your horse. If your saddle is too far back, the back cinch will get in his flank and will cause the horse to buck. If it's too far forward it will gald (cutting your horse) and that's no bueno. The right bit is also a factor when cowboying. If you use a snaffle bit on a horse that has been ridden a lot, is a spade, or even a correction, your horse won’t be as soft-mouthed. A soft-mouthed horse is a really good thing if you are gentle with your hands. If you are hard with your hands it can hurt a soft-mouthed horse. But that is just the basics. You can find out more on Dale Brisby's YouTube channel or talk with Hank Erickson in person if you have questions about the life of a cowboy!