Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail

Saddle Blanket Advice

August 25, 2023 Stephen Bly
Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail
Saddle Blanket Advice
Show Notes Transcript

WESTERN WISDOM  "Saddle Blanket Advice" audio podcast by award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Sponsored by Legacy Series.  

"Rules For Saddle Blankets & Kids" blog post article found here:

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Stephen Bly
Circa 1996 

Standing at the corner, watching the entries line up for the annual fourth of July7 parade, my eye caught a grandpa and granddaughter team. “Don’t forget to put a little slack in the saddle blanket,” I heard the old-timer instruct the girl, about 12-years-old, standing on a short stool by the horse.  

A Pretty Sight 

It was such a pretty sight. With a turquoise ribbon braided into the horse’s tail and mane, she wore a turquoise blouse and turquoise boots. The saddle blanket was silver and turquoise. But still, Grandpa repeated the wisdom of the ages. After you saddle the horse and before you cinch him down, you stick a couple fingers under the blanket where it comes over the withers to work up a little slack. This lets some air circulate and keeps the back of the horse from overheating. 

A Girl’s Love for Her Horse 

I’m sure this young girl did it right. You girls usually do. They love their horses. I’ve always figured if horses could dream, they’d dream they died and went to a big, green pasture whe4re a 10 to 12-year-old girl was assigned to take care of them all day long. 

One Good Saddle Blanket 

That’s all you need—one good saddle blanket on a horse. Too much padding under the saddle made him sweat unduly and his back become tender. And a tender back gets rubbed sore a whole lot faster than a dry, tough one. Spend a few extra bucks and buy a quality blanket. It’s a lot cheaper than a vet. 

But no matter what the type of blanket or pad you use, there will need to be a little breathing room. 

It’s Like Raising Kids 

The same thing’s true with raising your kids. You make up your list of rules for the children. Hopefully, they’re biblically based, reasonable, well thought out, and fairly applied. But before you cinch them down tight on the spiritual backs of the kids, you’d better lift the blanket just a little and make sure there’s plenty of breathing room. 

Give some choices. Give them some free time and some space to develop their individual uniqueness. Rules cinched tight can rub a kid raw and cause more of a problem than they solve. 

Pay Attention to Paul 

I think that’s what Paul means when he says in the Bible, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). 

So, don’t forget to put a little slack under the spiritual blanket. Even a 12-year-old girl knows that.