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What Order do you Tack Up in?

matchy matchy mustard with bandages and wool half pad

There was a fun little competition going round on Facebook recently where you had to share the order you tack up for the chance to win. Now this got me thinking about the order I tack up and get myself ready. Now I’m pretty sure I don’t do it “correctly”.

When I was younger I vaguely remember being taught bridle and then saddle. And probably boots before either of these. And when you are doing it the BHS way, you have to have a riding hat on before all of this!

So what order do I tack up in?

Overreach Boots

Scottie lives in his overreach boots, so I guess these are technically first!


If we are jumping or hacking, I ride in a running martingale. This is because I have noticed over the years, that if Scottie is able to get his head up to a certain point, it’s like it cuts off the circulation to his brain and it can take a long time for him to calm down before we can try whatever the problem was again. So the martingale helps keeps him sensible so that we can solve problems before he loses the plot.

matchy matchy, scottie tacked up in our plum set


Next I put the saddle on. This is because he can be col backed so I like him to have his saddle on for as long as possible before I get on. I will only do the girth up loosely to start with, but I like to have it on him ready.

Brushing Boots/Bandages

If I am jumping I will put brushing boots on and occasionally I will bandage for photos etc. I will do this after putting his saddle on.

mountain horse boots, tack up

My Boots and Hat

Next I put my hat on and if I’m not wearing suitable riding boots already I’ll pop my boots on and anything else I might need. (Hi Vis, gloves etc)


Finally I put Scottie’s bridle on. I make sure the martingale is all attached and tighten the girth and pull the stirrups down. And then we head to the mounting block.

In what order do you get ready?

5 thoughts on “What Order do you Tack Up in?”

  1. Michelle Mansell

    I will always put Brevan’s gel pad and saddle on first, as like Scottie, he can be cold backed to start with, so I like it to warm up before I get on. Then I’ll put boots or bandages on, get me ready and then finally I’ll put his bridle on as the last thing. Then off to the mounting block to get on.

  2. Great idea for a post! I always put on my saddle pad, half pad and saddle first. I’m like you, I like to have it on as long as possible. Stella’s not cold backed, but she does have some deep-seated anxieties about saddling, so we really take our time about it. Once she’s got her saddle on, she tends to be a bit more settled, so then I start from the bottom and work my way up – overreach boots, polos or brushing boots (if we’re using them – she gets super hot in summer so I only boot her when it’s cooler out), then I put on my helmet, put on her bridle, and we’re good to go!

  3. I follow a pretty similar order to you Ruby. I can’t imagine that anyone would teach bridle first as how do you tie your horse up? If they do i’d Love to know the rationale

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