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  1. How can I put a saddle strap on my Western saddle in order to have something to attach the lanyard of my Hit-Air vest to?

    Yes, typically you will see how to use the saddle strap on an English saddle.  It will run from stirrup bar to stirrup bar; it can also be run through the D rings just to keep the strap forward on or out in front of the pommel.  On the Western saddle the same strap can be used but needs to be placed differently.

    There are two strap styles.  One is what we call the loop style saddle strap and the other the ring style.  Either one can be used on a Western saddle.

    The loop style works well by going around the pommel and placing one end through the other loop end.  The lanyard can then be easily attached through the end loop.  We recommend putting this on the pommel, as if you were riding and looking at the horn, to the right of the horn.  This will be closer to where the lanyard is attached to the keyball mechanism of the keybox on the vest.

    The ring style saddle strap has a good amount of adjustability in the end loops.  With this one the end loops, both of them, can be widened to slip over the horn cap, then they can be tightened against the neck of it.  It can be spun so the ring is facing toward the rider and the location of the lanyard.   This will secure the saddle strap and the lanyard can be run through the ring.  Your horn style should have a substantially wider cap than neck to ensure the strap will not be pulled up and off.

    The lanyard can be lengthened or shortened prior to placing it through either the loop end of the loop saddle strap or through the ring of the ring saddle strap by adjusting the loop end on it.  You can refer to your user manual for best adjustment recommendations.
  2. Some of you may be considering a clip on your equine and if you have not you may want to.  If you ride a lot during the cooler months your fuzzball may get overly sweaty.  The longer winter coat takes a extra time to dry and if it stays wet may chill your friend.  But that does not mean you need to clip all of the hair off.  If you do a full clip you will want to blanket your partner for sure.  It is nice to leave the hair on the legs for protection especially if you foxhunt or ride out on trails. 

    Here are some options.

    The Strip Clip—This is similar to us unzipping a coat to let a little heat out.  From the chest between the forelegs and down the belly toward the sheath or udder is taken off.  You do not need to additionally blanket for this one as most of the hair remains.

    The Blanket Clip—This resembles a blanket of hair being left on.  Only the neck and belly areas are removed or there may be slight variations.  A quarter blanket could be used as a template too.

    The Trace Clip—Imagine the height of the traces on a carriage when the horse is hooked up in harness.  From below this point is clipped.  There are variations.  The underside of the neck may be partially clipped or the flank area may be followed as well.  The hindquarters may or may not be clipped.

    The Hunter Clip—This leaves a patch of hair for the saddle area to ensure the back is protected and the hair on the legs is left on for armor.

    Groom your horse well before you clip.  Dirt quickly dulls the blades and gums them up.  Plus it can get you off course of the area to clip.

    Hold your body clippers so the blade is parallel to your horses (pony / mules) skin and against the direction the hair lays.  This is typically about a 45° angle.

    Accustom your horse to clippers before you jump in.  You may end up with a botched job if you do not take your time.  Make sure your blades are sharp too.  Your partner may express the displeasure of their skin being pulled by the dull portions.

    Clean your clippers often with the little brush and oil them to keep them running smoothly.

    Cold weather clipping can begin as early as September; do not take the last clip after January as the summer coat is coming in.  Clipping from the Autumn Equinox to Winter Solstice is best.

    If you opt not to clip make sure you properly cool your horse after a ride.  You can use a cooler to help keep warmth in toward your sweaty partner while wicking away the moisture.

  3. RedRoyal+Blue...check them out on the SV2 and LV and Advantage models.  The SV2 and LV are available in black, royal blue and red.  The Advantage has come out with red in a medium.  The Advantage will be made in a royal blue and yellow soon.

  4. Come out on location to check out the protective riding vests available.  See the colors, feel the materials, watch how they work, try them on, ask your questions and order yours.  We will be available all weekend from 8:00-5:00 Friday, June 29th through July 1st.  If you are wanting to try a vest on under or over something you ride with bring it with you.  Get your custom fit.

  5. You can watch a presentation to familiarize yourself with the basic terminology that you will find associated with inflatable vests.  Find out what parts are included with a vest purchase and the products you may want to consider purchasing with your vest order.   Watch Inflatable Vest - Overview, Parts and Terminology to find this out.  Share what you have learned with others so they can become savvy as well.

  6. Pink Cooling Vestand the newest available in the HyperKewl brand by TechNiche International.  A great way to lauch into spring; a pink (close to a hot pink) evaportive cooling vest will keep its cool color through the summer and for years to come while providing protection from the flaming sun.  Are you tough enough to wear pink to beat the heat?
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