Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Numbers Worn on the Saddle Pad

There are multiple ways of wearing your number in the jumper ring. These include wearing it on your back, attaching it to your saddle pad, attaching a small number to your martingale or breastplate, or attaching a small number to your bridle. The most popular is, by far, pinning it to your saddle pad.

The choice of which side to put the number on is not yours to make. The number is there for the in-gate person to see as you enter the ring and it should therefore be on the side of the horse that faces the in-gate person while you're on deck.

Whether you choose to attach it horizontally or on an angle is up to you. Just make sure that the number is entirely legible!

To pin your number to your saddle pad, you will need a square pad and two or three large safety pins.

Most cardboard numbers come with one hole punched on each side and then a couple of holes punched at the top, as shown in the diagram on the right. While it's possible to attach the number using just these holes, I find that it makes for a loose number, and those sideways pins on the sides aren't very attractive, either!

Instead, I like to use the pin to create an extra hole on each side. In order to create a nicer picture, I like to run the pins through from underneath so that the bulky parts of the safety pin are hidden beneath the number. When done this way, only a thin strip of metal is visible between the holes.

To run the pin through from underneath, start by positioning the number where you would like it on the saddle pad. Insert one of the large safety pins up through one of the original side holes from the back of the number to the front, piercing the fabric of the pad slightly as you begin. Run it about an inch straight down across the top of the number and then pierce the cardboard, pushing the safety pin back down and into the saddle pad.  Once you've pierced enough fabric to hold it on well, close the safety pin and repeat for the other side.

It will take some practice to get the correct amount of fabric on both sides to make the number completely secure. If you've done it correctly, the bulk of the safety pin should be under the number like in the photo below.

If you are worried about either of the side pins coming undone, you can run another safety pin through the top holes. Again, try to hide the pin behind the number. This time, you won't have to pierce any extra holes because the two at the top should be close enough together.

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