Do you need special stirrup leathers for a treeless saddle?

The short answer is yes.

A traditional treed English saddle has a recessed metal stirrup bar affixed to the tree of the saddle. It is recessed into the tree so when the buckle of the English stirrup leather is right up against the stirrup bar, you won’t feel it under your thigh. It is covered with a small skirt of leather. Sometimes this still results in a bulge over the buckle, but it’s slight, and most people can tolerate the small lump under their thigh.

Treeless saddles do not have a tree, and therefore the stirrup attachment is most often under the seat. If you put your English stirrup leathers under the seat in the traditional way, the buckle will be a lump right under your thigh and you will be very uncomfortable. The solution is to put the buckle of the stirrup leather down by your ankle.

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Barefoot English Stirrup Leathers with buckle down by the ankle and stirrup leather keeper.

Basically, you are turning the English stirrup leathers upside down. Under your seat will only be the fold of the leather, and it will lie flat and not bother you. Now that you have the buckle down by your ankle, what do you do with the excess ends of the leathers so they don’t flop around?

To answer this question, the illustration below works better than words. Simply tuck the ends of the leathers back into the buckle and then between the two layers of leather and slide a stirrup keeper over the whole thing to keep everything neat and tidy. Ta-da!

BarefootDiagramAttachStirrups

 

Barefoot English Stirrup Leathers are rigged so the buckle is at the ankle and comes complete with the stirrup leather keeper. They are nylon lined so they won’t stretch, and made with soft and pliable leather for comfort.

 

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Action Rider Stirrup Leather Keepers

You can use regular English stirrup leathers with a treeless saddle if you put them on as the above illustration shows. You can purchase the Action Rider Stirrup Leather Keeper separately.

 

A traditional western saddle with fenders has the buckle for adjustments down by the ankle. The western or endurance fenders for a treeless saddle has a similar design. It is important for the top of the fender to be thin and pliable enough for it to lay smoothly under the seat of the western treeless saddle. The Barefoot Western Fenders and Barefoot Endurance Fenders are made with a nylon section that goes through the stirrup attachment to allow it to lay as flat as possible under the seat.

In Conclusion

The most important element for success with your English stirrup leathers, western fenders or endurance fenders with a treeless saddle is to eliminate the bulk of the buckles from under your thigh. To do this, the buckles need to be positioned down just above the stirrup, near your ankle. The result will be a smooth transition under your leg and you will be comfortable and in close contact with your horse.

 

 

 

 

The First Rides of Spring – Keep It Safe!

The rain and snow have slacked off, the weather is warming up, and the trail beckons. You put a date on the calendar to go ride with your favorite horse buddies. You anticipate the day’s ride coming up with visions of a warm spring breeze on your face, green grass and spring flowers abound, and your horse’s mane and tail gently blowing in the wind. You sigh…., “I can’t wait until this weekend.”

Sandy Cheek
Photo: Endurance Action Rider, Sandy Cheek

The first rides of spring can be glorious. But be sure to take some precautionary steps to avoid unwanted surprises. Most importantly, check the frame of mind of your horse! The completely dependable trail horse that you put away in November for his yearly time off, may not prove himself to be all that dependable the first couple of rides out.

Start off with some round pen work, or put him on a lunge line if you don’t have a round pen or arena. Watch how he moves at all three gaits keeping your eye out for soundness issues. How exuberant is he? Perhaps several days of lungeing are in order. Saddle him up and send him around some more. Has he lost or gained weight? Does the saddle still sit level? Girth still fits?

Then, choose an easy trail with good footing. If it’s too muddy, consider going a different way. It’s safer and doesn’t chop up the trails for the rest of the year. Be sure and give your horse some breaks if he gets winded, and gradually increase the length and difficulty of the trails as you both get back in shape. Watch for chicks and cubs who might be hanging around their nests and dens. Protective mothers in the wild are not to be messed with.

Don’t’ forget to stop and smell the roses.  And pack your sheepskin seat saver; you may need it after an hour or so! Happy Trails!

When Should You Replace Your Helmet?

According to Equus Magazine, “It’s a standard rule to discard any helmet that was struck hard in a fall. As a general rule, it’s best to get a new helmet every five or six years—replace your helmet sooner if it’s been exposed to extreme temperatures or chemicals like those found in automatic fly spray dispensers.” TipperaryHelmetsLIVE2

It’s also common sense to replace a helmet with any visible signs of wear and tear on the harness, chin strap or clips, or cracking, peeling, or dents.

Don’t need to replace your helmet?
9 Tips for Care and Cleaning your Helmet.
  • Most helmets have a liner that you can remove. You can then hand wash this liner with cold water and mild soap. Allow to air dry completely away from the sun.
  • Clean the exterior with a soft cloth, and brush the interior with a soft tooth brush. You can use cold water and mild soap on the exterior if it’s plastic. If it’s a leather exterior, use a dark damp cloth. and a bit of leather cleaner if necessary.
  • Let your helmet air dry, but not in the sun, after each use and after cleaning.
  • You can use compressed air to clean the helmet’s vents and channels.
  • Do not machine wash, put in dish washer, or dry clean.
  • DO NOT use or spray any products other than mild soap on your helmet. The chemicals can ruin the protective coating and compromise the integrity of the helmet.
  • Store your helmet away from direct sun, chemicals, solvents, bug sprays, cleaning products, or fertilizers. Do not store your helmet in your car where temperatures can exceed 100 degrees.

    KaidynonPony
    Action Rider Kaidyn Griggs
  • Store your helmet in a bag that has ventilation so it can dry out between uses. This will also help keep it clean.
  • To keep your helmet smelling fresh and clean, throw a dryer sheet into your helmet bag.

Be safe, have fun, always wear your helmet.

The NEXT Generation of Action Riders – Photo Contest!

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Large Marge and her foal Gracie, born in early April. Send in your photos for a chance to win one of the saddles pictured above!

It’s been a big year for us here at Action Rider Tack! We celebrated the grand opening of our brand new retail store front, as well as the birth of Megan’s baby Riley, and of course Carla’s very first grand babies: Gracie and Drew! In an effort to celebrate the ever-expanding next generation of Action Riders, we invite you all to share photos of your own Barn Babies and their Buddies, for a chance to win a brand new Barefoot Bellis or Barefoot Lilly Children’s Saddle, just in time for the holidays!

Baby Drew - Carla (owner) welcomed her first grandchild on August 10th! Baby Drew – Carla (owner of Action Rider Tack) welcomed her first grandchild on August 9th!

Whether they walk or crawl, on four legs or two, submit your photos to info@actionridertack.com with a short caption introducing your new Action Rider to the world! All photo submissions will be archived on our Next Generation Pinterest Board, available to browse on Facebook!

Miss Riley! Born in January, to Megan and Tyler. Miss Riley – Born in January to Action Riders, Megan and Tyler.

Each entry will be submitted into the pool of names, with one winning name to be drawn on October 20th, 2015. The winner gets to choose between a Bellis (blue) or Lilly (pink) saddle. The Barefoot Bellis comes in blue and black, and can also be ordered in a western version. The Barefoot Lilly saddle is available in pink and brown or blue and black, English only.

Please note, by sending in your photos to Action Rider Tack, you’re giving us permission to share photos and captions in an online photo collection.