End of Ride Preparation

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Horse Training

I’ve learned quite a few tips and tricks throughout the years, and one of the handiest is how to put my tack away, such that it is ready and efficient for the next horse. Showing up late to rodeos with  moments to spare, as well as throwing a saddle on a lot of colts will do that for a person – it gets you efficient. I don’t want to have to be fussing around with my tack when I’m putting it on a slippery colt for the first time. I want everything ready to go, so that I can get it on, and if need be, get out of the way!

When  I finish with one horse, I will tuck my cinch back in the keeper, backwards, and double it, making two even lengths. Then depending upon how long/short my latigo is, I will take a half hitch, or two, and place the remaining amount through my keeper.

Latigo ready for the next ride

I put my cinch away at the end of each ride, so it’s ready for the next

latigo ready for the next ride...

Here’s a different view of the whole thing.

This allows me to quickly, and quietly, pull the latigo through the cinch without fumbling.

pulling through the cinch

Here’s the start of catching the front girth.

pulling through the cinch

It’s almost through!

pulling through the cinch.

Done. Ready to take some wraps!

Now, I’m ready to finish the front cinch, fasten the back cinch and then the breast collar, if I were riding with one.

On the “off” side, or right side of the horse, when I finish my ride, I like to use the keeper that most well-made saddles are equipped with, to keep my cinches neatly tucked up and out of the way. Sure, I could throw them over the saddle, but we all know they don’t always stay there when you go to put your saddle on your horse’s back – especially if you’re 5-foot-nothing, and trying to saddle a 16 hand horse. And on a colt, if you’re saddling them for the first time, you sure don’t want something that can bang them, fall down, or scare them, going on, so it’s safer and more thoughtful to use your keeper.


Breast Collar hanging over the saddle horn, front cinch, over the the buckle for the back cinch. These can be interchanged depending on the length of the buckles. This handmade front cinch, doesn’t have a buckle long enough that I can use the keeper and hang the back cinch on it.

Proper use of the keeper.

Close-up view.

I hope these tips will help you keep yourself organized, and safe when you’re saddling and unsaddling your horses.

Happy Trails!

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Horse Training

About Jenn Zeller

Jenn Zeller is the creative mind and boss lady behind The South Dakota Cowgirl. She is an aspiring horsewoman, photographer, brilliant social media strategist and lover of all things western. After a brief career in the investment world to support her horse habit (and satisfy her...

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