Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at
from Cherry Hill


January 2004

How To Think
Like A Horse
Horse Handling & Grooming
Horse Health Care by Cherry Hill
Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill
Horse Handling and Grooming by Cherry Hill

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Tack Issue #2

This newsletter is a personal letter from me to you,
a fellow horse owner and enthusiast.
My goal is to answer some of your questions and send you interesting stories
and helpful tips for your horse care, training, and riding.

January means taking inventory and getting a fresh start. It seems like the first of the year always finds us at the barn doing a major organizing and cleaning. While we were sorting this year, we pulled out a stack of tack that we didn't need and added a small Tack Store to our site. There is only one of each item, so first come, first served! Visit the Horsekeeping Tack Shop at

To help you make good choices when choosing tack and to take good care of your tack so it looks good, is safe, and lasts a long time, here are two full length articles - one on Stable Blankets and the other on Western Cinches.

Stable Blankets
Selection and Care

A winter stable blanket should be comfortable for your horse and stay put. Since shifting often leads to blanket damage, generally I prefer a blanket with leg straps which tends to hold a blanket in place. I also like a cut back wither which prevents mane rubbing and I prefer nylon lining which helps polish the coat over fleece and flannel linings which tend to be hay, hair, and dirt magnets.

A stable blanket must be tough enough to withstand a horse rolling and rubbing but it doesn't need to have the weather proof qualities of a turnout blanket. A winter stable blanket needs to be warm in temperatures from about -10 to 40F and not cause sweating if it gets a bit warmer than that.

How heavy of a blanket you should use on your horse will depend on your climate, the length of your horse's hair coat, your horse's metabolism, activity level, type and amount of feed, and the barn temperature and draftiness.

When talking about lightweight, midweight and heavyweight blankets, the terms refer to

To read the rest of the article go here:

Western Cinches

A front cinch lays against the horse's heart girth and fastens to the saddle with either a full latigo on the near side and either a full latigo or half breed on the off side.

Cinches (also called cinchas) have long been made of yarn, cord, or string. Traditional string cinches are referred to as cinchas. Those of solid material are referred to as cinches. With a cincha, there are up to 31 individual strings rather than a single solid piece of material against the horse's skin. This allows the horse's skin to breathe and the hair to dry as the horse works and sweats. The biggest complaint about string cinchas is that they absorb the sweat, hold onto the dirt and then rot and break. But, when properly cared for, string cinchas can last a lifetime. It's important to keep string cinches clean not only because they'll last longer but for the horse's comfort. A dirty cincha is more likely to gall a horse (rub the skin raw) because the crusty, sweaty fibers act like sandpaper on the tender skin behind the horse's elbow where there is little protective hair.

String cinchas have either one or two layers of strings. Single layer cinchas generally have from 14 to 17 strings; double layer cinchas have from 27 to 31 strings and offer greater strength while still being nearly as breathable as single layer cinchas.

To read the rest of the article, go here:


That's it for this month.

Don't forget, when you ride, keep your mind in the middle and a leg on each side.

Have a great new year with your horse!

Cherry Hill


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