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Always check your tack!

stacey |

This morning was absolutely beautiful. There was a little moisture in the air, NO wind, and with a light jacket the temperature was absolutely perfect. So, I got out and rode a couple of silly mares as the sun came up. My first ride was uneventful, except that my stubborn bay mare actually got in the bridle and was collected, for once. Yay! Then it came time to swap horses. Bella is the 'baby' of our herd and has only been ridden once (last weekend) in a very, very long time. Like, years. So I was being a little extra cautious with her. Just before I get on a young horse, or any horse that I'm just not sure of, I tend to stand on the ground and make them give their head each direction. I also like to twist the off side stirrup just to make sure that I can slip my toe right in. I am not sure why I picked up that habit. I suppose I must have had a horse, most likely Bella's grandmother, start crowhopping with me before I was all the way in the saddle. Whatever the occasion, it settled in my subconscious to the point that I almost always turn that outside stirrup on a green horse or a less than broke-in saddle. No matter where that little habit started, I was particularly glad of it this morning. After I flexed Bella's head to the right I reached for the stirrup to twist it and this is what I found. I had just almost lost my Blevins slide, and the stirrup was just held on by the stirrup hobble! That could have been really, really bad if this horse had chosen to show her Hancock heritage off with a cold back. So, I thought I would take a minute to remind you all to walk around your horse the next time you tack up and check all of your connections. Eyeball those latigos and off straps, billets, flank cinch hobbles, stirrup hobbles, and of course, those Blevins buckles and slides! We stock quite a few replacement parts and pieces, but we are always ready to special order you exactly what you need. Just last week we got in some custom ordered dark chocolate colored billets. We would be happy to help you match your equipment and keep you safe in the saddle! Just give us a call if you have any questions, or check our the 'off the rack' parts available on our site.