April 2013

Happy Spring Everyone! I hope this newsletter finds everyone enjoying lots of beautiful warm sunshine, longer days and lots more riding time. To ensure our horse’s happiness I want to remind you of two things.


  1. Too much grass is very bad for horses and can easily cause painful laminitis.
  2. Be cautious when putting your horses back to work. Since tired fatigued horses are more prone to injury not to mention the behavior issues that can come up after a long period of rest, build your horse up gradually. Just because he feels like he has way too much energy to burn doesn’t mean he is ready for a 2-3 hour trail ride or a full hour of training his first time out. Do your groundwork, lunge a few times and take short rides before you head out for that first ride that was normal last year. It takes 4-6 weeks to get a horse fit.
Also, spring is the perfect time to check your saddle fit and all your equipment. Unless you rode all winter, your horse is not likely to have the same shape that he had in the fall therefore, saddles need to be evaluated and adjusted. Saddle fitting clinics are scheduled here at the farm on May 31 and June 28.

Saddle pads and girths are also an important part of saddle fit. Every saddle, pad & girth situation is different.           THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL

The 3 most important things I look for in saddle pad fit during a saddle fit evaluation is:
  1. The saddle pad needs to be the shape of the horse. Check & make sure your saddle pad has wither relief and that it actually does stay off the top of the withers while riding.
  2. The saddle pad does not interfere with the saddle fit or rider’s balance. Thick pads can make a saddle too tight and cause the rider to feel perched on top and wobbly. If you want to use a thick pad, you need to start with a saddle that is too wide or a narrow horse.
  3. The saddle pad material should be clean, comfortable and preferably all natural. Veterinarian report’s show that there are a lot less problems with all natural products like real wool and cotton.
The 3 most important things I look for in girth fit is:
  1. The girth needs to be long enough to attach to the saddle billets well above the elbows and even on both sides. The girth should attach to the billets in the same location on both sides of the saddle. For english saddles if you are 3-4 holes from the top on the left, you need to be 3-4 holes from the top on the right. For western saddles if you are 6 inches down from the saddle on the left, then you need to be close to 6 inches down on the right.
  2. The elastic on the girth or material of the latigo needs to be the same on both sides to prevent the saddle from being twisted.
  3. The girth material should be clean, comfortable and preferably all natural. Veterinarian report’s show that there are a lot less problems with all natural products like real wool, leather, horse hair and cotton.

To schedule your saddle fit evaluation go to Registration Form.


Sometimes a shimmable saddle pad can be helpful for allowing a saddle to fit more than one horse or to adjust the fit of a saddle that is not adjustable. I choose ThinLine pads because they are very thin yet offer superior shock absorption for horse and rider. The shims are made of the ThinLine material for even more protection and are form fitted to each individual pad so they won’t slip. The western pads are SO SOFT so they offer the protection without the bulk. The new Contender Pad offers the best of ThinLine and Back on Track technology in one pad. But the ThinLine half pads are still the most popular. The Segue half pads mold to the shape of the horse, offer wither relief, spinal clearance and are so thin that they do not interfere with saddle fit or rider’s close contact feel.

OH MY GOSH!!! somebody kick me. Just got in my first Obrigado saddle for demo and rode my husband's horse, Doc in it the other night. Several years ago, I trained on this horse myself for almost 2 years and finally gave up for something more comfortable, more fun, easier to ride ect. I was TOTALLY AMAZED at the improvement in his movement and the lightness that I immediately felt. It made me want to ride him more and that I have not wanted to do at all in years. Kick me because I was there when Jochen delivered that first Obrigado to the Olympic rider that helped design it. Jochen, I am impressed! This saddle made a huge gigantic difference in this horse. I can't wait to get it on Easy and Fancy.

As always thank you for reading our e-newsletter and for letting me be a part of your riding goals. The kindest compliment paid me is that of a referral, thank you very much for all the referrals. I hope everyone has a very happy spring.

TTYS & God Bless
Terry Peiper