“I like to fasten riding bells to my saddle because we live in bear country and letting a bear hear us coming can prevent a sudden surprise meeting! But even during the seasons when we aren’t likely to happen upon bears or when riding in the arena, the bells are a nice rhythmic accompaniment to a horse’s gait.
Jingling is nothing new – it is a horseman’s tradition. Buckaroos have jingle bobs on their spurs that jingle jangle jingle. One of the breast collars I use has a loose enough roller buckle so that when my horse is trotting, a nice jingle comes up from her chest.
We recently made up some riding bells for our saddles and for some of our friends and thought you might like to add some to your gear.
All of our Riding Bells are strung on leather. The bells range in size from 1/4 ” to 2 1/4″ and come in solid brass, solid copper and chrome and brass plated steel.
Big Brass Plated Bells – 2 1/4″
Copper Cow Bells
The sound the various bells make range from clanging for the very largest bells to a jingling ring for the medium sized bells to a soft tinkling for the smaller bells and for the rusty bells. We use crow beads and some wooden and brass beads as slider beads for decoration.
Chrome Plated Steel Bells with Cranberry and White Crow Beads
Solid Brass Bells with Amber and Brass Crow Beads
As always it is a good idea to accustom your horse to this new item before mounting up because depending on the size bell you choose, your horse’s lope or canter could generate quite a new sound! So, start with some small bells, and lead your horse around, then maybe even longe him with the bells before you mount up.
Where should you attach the bells? I’ve found that anywhere on your saddle works great – Breast collar Ds, rear cinch rigging, saddle horn, from the center of your horse’s breast collar, from the D rings in the middle of your horse’s cinch, in the mane or tail . . . but for safety sake, not on the bridle.
Bells in the mane
Bells in the Tail
You can attach the bells by using the slider bead to adjust the size of the loop (such as in the saddle horn photo) or you can open up the loop, run it through the ring you want to attach it to, drop the bells through the loop and snug it up, as shown on the hobble ring photo photo.
Slip over saddle horse and use slider bead to snug up.
Attached to hobble ring near rear cinch.
Have a great ride and . . . I’ll hear you out there on the trail.”