In 1952, Arthur A. Callister began trading wool with his father in a little shop on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, Utah. Noticing how many customers were in need of quality tack to outfit themselves and their horses, AA Callister's Western Wear and Tack was born! Over 50 years and many satisfied customers we are still a family owned tack shop still located on the original site. We are proud to represent the traditions and lifestyles that made the West famous. We are also proud to feature some of the finest tack, clothing, and equipment made. Come live part of the American West today!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Horse blankets are part of most owners’ basic horse equipment. With several choices on the market these days, you want to make an informed decision on your horse blanket purchase. Below are some basic blanket descriptions to help you navigate your way through all the options available at your local tack store or internet site.

  • BREATHABLE – Allows the blanket to wick moisture away from the horse’s body.
  • CLOSED FRONT - Blankets that do not open at the chest. These blankets will need to be slid on OVER the horse’s head (like a turtleneck sweater). Some horses are uncomfortable with this procedure at first.
  • DENIER (D) - Outer layer of the blanket. A blanket with higher denier will be STRONGER and WARMER. If your horse will be with other horses, consider a higher denier to withstand bites, rips and tears.
  • FILL - The amount of insulation in the blanket. Sometimes insulation is listed in grams and sometimes in ounces. A blanket with higher fill amounts will be warmer. Equine seniors and newborns may need more fill to keep warm.
  • HEAVY WEIGHT - Blankets designed for very cold climates where the temperature goes below 20 degrees. They are 1200D or more and have more than 8OZ or 200G of fill.
  • HOOD/ NECK COVER - These are usually separate pieces that will attach to rings/fasteners on your blanket.
  • LIGHT WEIGHT - Blankets designed for spring/fall or mild winter climates where the temperature doesn’t get below 40 degrees. They usually are 600D or less and have little or no fill.
  • LINER - This is the layer next to the horse’s body. Some liner options available are fleece, felt and nylon. Most blankets have a liner built in, but you can also buy them separately.
  • MEDIUM WEIGHT - Blankets designed for cold climates where the temperature doesn’t get below 20 degrees. They are usually 600D-1200D and have 8OZ or 200G of fill or less.
  • OPEN FRONT - Blankets that open at the chest and have buckles or fasteners to close.
  • SIZE - Proper sizing is very important. A blanket that is too big won’t stay in place. A blanket that is too small will rub. To get the correct size, hold a measuring tape at the center of the horse’s chest and move backwards to the center of the horse’s tail (making sure you go around the fullest part of the horse’s shoulders, barrel and hips). This will give you the size. Example 76”. Some blankets will only come in even sizes; so if your horse measures a 75” you may have to go up to a 76”.

How to Measure Your Horse for a Horse Blanket -- powered by

  • STABLE - These blankets are not waterproof or water resistant. They are intended for indoor use. They usually have a “quilted” look to them. You can use them outdoors in good weather, but if they get wet they can hold the moisture in like a sponge.
  • TURNOUT - These blankets are either water resistant or waterproof. They can be used indoor or outdoor. They usually do not have a back seem (stitching running down back/top line of the blanket/horse). They are usually breathable. They usually have gussets at the shoulders to allow for freedom of movement.
  • WATER RESISTANT & WATERPROOF – Water resistant may allow moisture to seep through. Waterproof should not allow moisture to seep through. Moisture can run down your horse’s neck and into the blanket. A neck cover will help stop this from happening.

Learn More:

The Parts of a Horse Blanket -- powered by

Keep these items in mind when purchasing your next horse blanket. If you have any further questions, we are only an email or phone call away and would love to help. 1-877-78HORSE or email me at

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Saddling a horse can be an easy process once learned. Doing it right helps ensures more comfort for the horse and rider and most importantly, safety while riding. Acquiring good quality horse tack from your local tack shop will greatly help in this process. Here are six easy steps to follow in saddling your horse.

1. Prepare your horse for receiving the saddle.

Begin by tying your horse securely to a hitching post, stall ring or trailer. The use of a quick release knot or a metal tie ring can help in the event your horse is spooked or feels the need to pull back. Then use good quality horse supplies like grooming brushes, curry combs and hoof picks to clean and remove any dirt, mud, or wood shavings from the horses coat and feet. Pay special attention to cleaning your horse’s back and belly. This will ensure that the saddle and cinches will not cause any irritations when placed on the horse.

2. Inspect your saddle and saddle pad.

Make sure your saddle and saddle pad are clean and in good working order. Remove any dirt or debris from padding (or fleece) beneath the saddle. Also cleaning your saddle pad or blanket will provide greater comfort to your horse and help to prevent sores or bruising by the saddle. Inspect your saddle for any missing parts (like Conchos, stirrup hobble straps, metal D-rings, screws, etc.)

3. Place your saddle pad on the horse.

Place your saddle pad or blanket onto the horse’s back. I like to place it a bit forward and upon the horse’s withers to start and then side it back a little to where is appears to be centered. Make sure the horse’s mane or wither hairs are not tangled or being pulled on beneath the pad.

4. Place your saddle on the saddle pad and horse.

Position on yourself with the saddle being held by both hands on either side of your horse. I like to saddle my horses from either side of them. I feel always saddling from the same side may cause the horse to become one-sided. I think it’s also good to step up on your horse from either side. I like my horses to feel comfortable when I am on either side of them. I then rest the saddle on my hip and then use a swinging and lifting motion, I raise the saddle up to the horse’s back. Center the saddle on the saddle pad. Make sure that your saddle pad extends at least one inch from the front and back of your saddle. Then lift the front of your saddle pad up and away from the horse’s withers. Once again, check to make sure that the horse’s mane or wither hairs are not tangle or being pulled on by the pad or saddle. I like to stand off to the side of the horse and visually see if the saddle is lying level on his back. Another way to check for proper saddle placement is to make sure you have one hand’s width of distance between the horse’s elbow and the front cinch. Placing the front cinch too close or next to his elbow can cause pinching or too much pressure from the saddle onto his shoulders.

5. Secure your saddle onto the horse.

When I’m not using my saddles, I like to tie my cinches, latigo, and breast collar on top of my saddles. I usually leave them tied up on top of my saddle even when I go to lift and place my saddle on the horse. After saddle placement, then I untie these items and let them hang down from the saddle. I always start by securing the front cinch. Exercise caution when reaching underneath your horse to grab any cinches (front or back) from the off or left side of the horse. I recommend standing next to his left front leg facing backwards and then using your left arm to reach under the horse. This allows you to look at his hind leg in case he decides to kick or jump. I thread the latigo (leather front strap on the saddle) through the front cinch buckle several times. Pull and tighten the latigo/cinch until the saddle doesn’t slide from side to side. Use either a “T” cross knot or use the tongue of the front cinch buckle to lock the cinch. If you are using a back cinch, make sure the front and back cinches are connected with a connecting strap. I like to leave about an inch of spacing between the back cinch and the horses belly when I’ve buckled and locked the back cinch into place. Having the back cinch too loose may allow a horse to get his hind foot tangled in it and having it too tight may cause him to be uncomfortable.

6. Relax your horse and perform final inspection.

I find relaxing my horse by walking him around for a few minutes helps to ensure a well fit and properly cinched saddle. I will usually rock the saddle from side to side while still standing on the ground to make sure it’s secure and that it’s going to stay in place when I get up into the saddle. I find that I usually have to tighten the front cinch a bit more before stepping up into the saddle. The end of your latigo should now be inserted into its keeper. All buckles should be locked and secured.

Having a properly fitting saddle will help ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience. If you have further questions regarding this article, please feel free to contact me by email at Also visit your local western tack shop for advice and help.



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