how to saddle a horse.

We’re trying to train Reuben, our horse, to tolerate a saddle. And reins, and a bit. He doesn’t like any of that nonsense, he’d rather be ridden bareback. I personally hate riding bareback and need him to get on board with the whole saddle thing so we can get to know each other a little beyond me throwing hay over the fence.

Precocious is trying to be a good horsewoman and learn how to properly take care of and train her animal, and as such decided she wanted to saddle up Reuben a few weeks ago. Keep in mind, this is a junior saddle, so it weighs way less than a regular adult saddle, but it was still a lot for her to handle. Watching Precocious saddle Reuben It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a really, really long time.

First, she says hello to Reuben.

Then she separates him from the rest of the wild herd into another pasture so she won’t get kicked while saddling Reuben.

She ties the lead rope to the gate, and goes to get the saddle out of the trailer.

It’s a little heavy.

Maybe it’s time to take Precocious to the gym to start weight lifting. Ha. I’m kidding, I’m kidding.

She lays down the saddle blanket. Just so.

And retrieves the saddle off the gate. Do you love it as much as I do that she has a little chocolate around her mouth?

Upsie daisy.

Whoa, just kidding. It’s heavier than it looks.

Let’s go for round number two. Up we go.

You’ve got it this time sweetie, go, go, go.

Just a little higher, you’ve got it.

No, that’s the wrong way sweetie, you’re losing it!

Oh dear.

Okay, let’s reassess. You put your hands underneath it, just like that, and push with your legs.

This is the one, I can feel it in my bones.

Team U.S.A. You can do it this time Precocious, the flowers I painstakingly painted on your nails give you special strengthening powers.

No? Never mind then.

Now all you have to do is drop it and let gravity take care of the rest.

You did it!

Now cinch that belt that goes around the front of the horse, the one I don’t know the name of but looks a lot like a belt I own, cinch that all the way around the front.

Tighten the cinch strap around Reuben’s belly.

Sweetheart? I hate to break it to you, but you’re on your own after this. I can’t remember how to do the cinch strap stuff, it’s been awhile.

Concentrate, really concentrate. I think it’s just like a belt.

Never mind, daddy will do it for you. Daddies know how to do everything.

Over the ears.

See Reuben’s tongue? He doesn’t understand the need for a cold bit in his mouth, it doesn’t make sense.

Now daddy fixes up the reins.

And, you’re off to the races kid! That wasn’t too bad was it? Now, we have to do that every day for the next 2 years and Reuben will be trained.

{For the record, I wasn’t the one who bought the horse for Christmas; that would be daddy.}

(Visited 765 times, 3 visits today)


Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. vanessa :

    lol you know we have a horse trainer in our ward, she is awesome. Every picture I am like ahhh! Don't stand behind the horse but she never did :) She knows better. PS You look hot in that dress in your below post!

  2. Donna :

    She did it! That's awesome. I never could, but then I haven't been round horses much. By the time you get back she'll have it down pat.

  3. Camille :

    Bless her little heart! I've picked up saddles before and they ARE heavy! and awkward! A few more times, and she'll be hoisting that thing over Reuben's back like a pro! She won't NEED to go to the gym!

    P.S. I love her candy red fingernails! So lady-like :)

  4. Midwestern Gone Idahoan :

    I nominated you for the "Beautiful Blog" Award.
    come to my blog to redeem!

  5. Sarah :

    Oh, we had a horse growing up. What fun memories! She'll get it and you'll all love having a horse in the fam.

  6. jules @ The Diversion Project :

    you're girl is so gorgeous! great perseverance, and determination – just what every girl needs.

  7. Cara jean :

    My husband wants a horse. He says our dog/chicken just doesn't do it for him. He says he wants something that will actually understand commands, not pee when it gets scared, and be worth the cost it is to feed it. Then I say, honey, we HAVE kids. And then he says, yeah, but they don't run very fast and complain when I sit on them.

  8. Tricia (@amelie522) :

    How awesome that you're able to give your daughter such an incredible gift! I wouldve DIED for a horse. And that's what it's all about: being able to take our kids dreams and help make them come true (some of them at least) :) And your girl did such a great job getting that saddle on! I love your blog! See you in Twitterverse!

  9. Mindy Gledhill :

    Awww. I loved this post. I had an Arabian named Red when I was a kid. He was my best friend. Also barrel raced a Quarter horse who was blind in one eye! Horses are so good for kids.

  10. Petit Elefant :

    Oh mom, I am REALLY not happy that you made a fool of me. I think that sometimes that you should give me a little heads-up if you're planning on doing a post about me. Sometimes it can be unbearably embarrassing! I bet that even SAGE was snorting.