English Saddle Parts Definitions and Functions {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Have you ever wondered what to call a part of your Horse’s saddle or what function it serves? This article will provide you with easy to understand highlights of the parts of an English Saddle from the pommel to the cantle and everything in between sorted alphabetically. The bullet points below each item provides a high level summary pertaining to that item.

Bars

  • The part of the saddle tree that run horizontally along the horse’s back

Billets

  • Straps used to attach the Girth (also called Girth Straps)
  • Attached to the saddle tree webbing under the saddle flaps
  • There are generally three billet straps per saddle allowing for backups in the event of wear and tear.
  • Each strap has multiple holes to allow for tightening of the Girth
  • Billet straps can be long or short
  • Long straps attach to the girth below the saddle flap and decrease the bulk under the rider’s leg.

Cantle

  • The raised back section of the saddle seat that connects the bars of the saddle tree
  • Provides security for the rider

Channel

  • The gap between the panels on the underside of the saddle

D-rings

  • “D shaped” metal rings that are attached with panel hide to the saddle tree toward the front of the saddle
  • D-rings enable the rider to attach additional equipment to the saddle
  • D-rings should not be used to attach breastplates as they tend to be weak

Gullet

  • The open area between the panels that runs from the pommel to the cantle on the underside of the saddle
  • Ensures there will be no pressure from the saddle or rider on the horse’s spine

Iron

  • The stainless steel part of a stirrup where the rider’s foot rests

Panels

  • Each saddle has two panels.
  • The panels are attached to the saddle tree and run horizontal along both side of the horse’s spine.
  • Panels provide cushioning for the horse’s back and allow the weight of the rider to be more evenly distributed.
  • Panels are usually filled with wool, foam flocking or are sealed air pockets.

Pommel

  • The raised portion in the front of the saddle that provides clearance for the horse’s wither – also known as the head

Saddle Flap

  • The large section of leather on both sides of the saddle
  • The size and angle of the flaps are determined by the intended use of the saddle and the rider’s leg position (i.e. The flaps of a jumper saddle are more forward-cut than a dressage saddle to allow for shorter stirrups)

Seat

  • The lowest part of the top of the saddle where the rider sits

Skirt

  • The small pieces of leather near the front on both sides of the saddle that goes over the stirrup bar
  • Prevents the rider’s leg from rubbing on the buckle of the leather strap that connects the stirrups

Staples

  • Metal rings that are attached securely to the saddle tree toward the front of the saddle.
  • Staples are much stronger than D-rings and are used to attach items to the saddle such as breastplates

Stirrups

  • Stirrups are where a rider places their feet while riding
  • The stirrups are attached to the saddle with leather stirrup straps
  • The stirrups provides the rider with more security and control while riding

Stirrup Bar

  • Stirrup bars are attached to the tree of the saddle under the saddle skirt.
  • The stirrup straps connect to the stirrup bars

Stirrup Leather Keeper

  • A loop (similar to a belt loop) or slot that is added to the saddle flap to hold the end of the leather stirrup strap to keep it secured.

Sweat Flap

  • Large flaps on the underside of the saddle that fits between the horse and the billets
  • Prevents the horse from being pinched by the buckles and girth
  • Protects the outer part of the saddle from the sweat of the horse

Tree

  • The frame of the saddle
  • Traditional saddle trees are made of quality wood
  • Modern day trees may be made of wood or synthetic materials such as polyurethane or fiberglass
  • Some saddle trees are made with spring steel that runs from front to back between the bars. The spring steel provides the tree additional flexibility and is appropriately named a “spring tree”

Twist

  • The narrow part between the welts on the front of the seat

The design and materials of saddles vary greatly. A properly fitted, quality saddle is essential to ensure a happy healthy horse and your satisfaction. Enjoy the ride!



Source by Beverly Fox

Why UPVC Is Best For Exterior Doors {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Exterior doors are an important aspect of any home improvement project. Front entry doors are the first thing that visitors to your home will see and you will want to make a good impression. One way to be sure of doing that is with UPVC doors. A UPVC door has several advantages over a wooden door. There’s no denying that a beautifully finished wooden door is appealing. The question is, how long will that wooden door retain its appeal? In many cases, you will have to replace or repair the wood within a few years, as wood is susceptible to weathering and rotting. And it doesn’t take long for that lovely glossy exterior to become a peeling eyesore. If you live in a listed building, you may have to choose timber doors and windows for your remodelling project, but anywhere else, UPVC replacement windows and doors can offer long term value.

The good news is that exterior home doors do not have to be white plastic. Although that is the finish most commonly associated with vinyl exterior doors PVCU is now available in wood effect finishes. Most manufacturers can offer your front entry doors, PVCU patio doors, conservatory doors and double glazed windows in light and dark UPVC finishes. They will look like wood, but will have the weathertight properties that are one of the main advantages of UPVC windows and doors.

And that’s only the start. You can add a touch of style to your vinyl patio doors, external doors, and other plastic doors, with glass panels. These come in a wide range of finishes. You can add a touch of colour to external doors or outside doors with stained glass panels. If you prefer a more understated look, you can use plain bevelled glass panels with a subtle design.

Your PVC doors can let in as much or as little light as you wish. You may prefer just a small panel which allows you to see who’s at the door as an alternative to a peephole. Another option is to have several glass panels which let light into a dark hallway area. As an alternative to including these in the front entry doors, consider putting frosted glass panels at either side of the UPVC doors. Even with frosting, there are different effects you can have, depending on the level of opacity required. If privacy is not a consideration when you remodel, external doors can have almost clear glass panes. However, there are different levels of frosting, and some outside doors allow only a little light to pass through while obscuring the vision of any unexpected callers.

If you plan to install plastic doors, then security may also be a concern. The good news is that the locks on UPVC exterior doors are among the most secure available. Not only can you get secure Yale locks, but the standard locking mechanism favours security, with a ‘twist and turn’ locking process that keeps the door tightly shut and weathertight. With security, insulation, weather resistance and a wide range of finishes, you can’t beat UPVC exterior doors.



Source by Adrian Jones

Planning Permission Tips UK – Free Design Advice In The UK – How And Where To Get It {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Isn’t it funny how people shelve projects for the new year – perhaps the new year feels like a fresh canvas or something – I don’t know. Many potential clients I saw in Q4 of last year our now coming through as confirmed commissions – it’s a funny old world with no rhyme or reason…

Providing advice to these potential clients is always a dilemma. On the one hand you want to be helpful & prove your metal in order to gain their trust but on the other hand you are also giving away the family silver without any prior commitment from them that they will actually be engaging your services. Ideas & suggestions on how to achieve a clients building objective is often all we have to offer. Sure there is the technical & craftsmanship element of your service but that’s often taken for granted. The creative element is often the bit that actually makes a good development work.

Fortunately, residential development isn’t exactly within the realms of Richard Rogers stature especially when developing an existing dwelling with well needed extensions.

So, where does the ordinary householder obtain good independent advice when they are considering an extension to their home? And, is this advice worthy when offered for free? Finally, who do they select as their final design Agent if they lack the necessary skills in producing the design onto paper?

Firstly, There are loads of ways to obtain design free advice. The first step is to consider worked examples already constructed within your street or local area. Be critical & analytical. Decide what works & is pleasing on the eye & what doesn’t. Decide what details can you transfer over to your own scheme.

Secondly, go to your council or research a few other councils web sites & download their readily available design guides especially if your property is within a conservation or sensitive rural area. Most councils now have quite good design guides amongst their simplistic do’s & don’t’s pamphlets. Read these design guides and do take on board their messages.

Thirdly (and after completing steps 1 & 2 above) invite a few professionals to come & take a look at your property with a view to perhaps engaging one of them.

These ‘professionals’ range in terms from Chartered Architects, Architectural Technicians, Surveyors & other Designers of various stature & background. I wont promote any one over another but a lot will depend upon what type of overall service you may be looking for & how much of your potential build budget you are happy to hive off in fees.

However, as a guide, the one to stay well away from is your ‘kitchen table top’ designer – you know the sort, pencil tracings at the weekends while he works for the Gas Board during the day. Bargain basement prices they may be but they will have little interest in ensuring a pleasing design is accomplished at the end.

Most professional building designers still don’t charge for their time at the initial site visit which is a shame in my view as this tends to instantly sort out the serious from the tire kickers. Invite 2 or 3 round for their opinions & gauge their reactions & comments. You will be amazed at the varying attitudes you will encounter. Hopefully all of your invited professionals will have been sourced from recommendations. If not then you have a little research to do.

In order to get the best advice out of these people it is important that you are clear on your objectives. It has been my experience that most homeowners do actually know what they want from their homes. Temper that with a degree of flexibility & an enquiring mind that will allow the building designer to input some of his/her own thoughts from their initial first impressions of what they see. As with everything else in life, there are always options to be explored – the obvious well trodden path through a wood main not be the prettiest.

Now test the designers metal by throwing in an obvious ‘no-no’. For example….talk about your idea for an extensive flat roof or an obvious overlooking side window. If he/she simply panders to your thoughts on these points then you know the advice is dubious. Conversely, if the Building Designer is not listening to your principal requirements & shooting off all manner of other design concepts or projects then you also know that you wont end up with a building that satisfies your main needs or budget.

Somewhere between the two is what you are seeking. Someone who can clearly latch on to achieving your space requirements but who is not afraid to question or challenge your preferred siting, materials or layout in order to gain a better overall external appearance & internal design solution.

You will probably discover that you will actually need a building designer to carefully present your scheme through Planning & for the detailed design & specification build up later on so the exercise was worthwhile. For those with rudimentary drawing skills & a passion for ‘doing it themselves’ they will also find the exercise worth while.

No matter which route you take, time invested in these three simple but often time consuming steps stated above is usually an invaluable part of obtaining a well considered final design for your residential development. Those that ‘crash in’ without seeking prior advice or without completing a little research will often have regrets either in an awkward looking development that they are having trouble selling or incurring abortive fees from having the scheme refused at Planning.



Source by Martin Meaks

UK’s Flora, Fauna and Wildlife Under Threat As Hedgerows Continue to Decline {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

The traditional hedgerow is an institution of the British countryside and as well as its practical application, is one of the most important parts of our horticultural heritage and is becoming an important consideration in environmentally aware garden design.

Host to an eclectic variety of British wildlife, such as the Brown Hare, the Song Thrush, the Doormouse and the Stag Beetle and wild flowers such as the Bluebell and Ragged Robin, our hedgerows are also a cost effective and eco-friendly land and garden divider.

However, this ubiquitous staple of the British countryside, is actually a species under threat and between 1940 and 1990, the common hedgerow underwent a dramatic decline; predominantly due to human influence. More worryingly, the cornucopia of British wildlife that used to thrive in these hedgerows is suffering from the decrease in natural habitat. A combination of increased urbanisation, a rise in the intensity of farming and therefore field size, overgrazing by livestock and improper maintenance have all had a detrimental effect on our hedgerows.

Another key human factor is the collective ignorance of the 1997 Hedgerow Regulations that demand the application for a removal notice for any hedgerow exceeding thirty years of age. There are hedgerows in the UK that date back from before the Enclosure Acts period – 1720 – 1840 and it is a dreadful thought that this precious rural heritage is potentially being destroyed.

The other major contributor to the hedgerow’s decline is the dreaded Elm Bark Beetle. This is a carrier species of Dutch Elm disease (named after its initial discovery in the Netherlands and origins in East Asia) which is a fungal disease that destabilises or ‘flags’ the branch structure of the Elm species. Not being a native disease, our UK hedgerows had no resistance to this disease during the initial epidemics of the 1970’s and 80’s and huge numbers of Elm trees and Elm related hedgerows were lost to the disease.

In response to this rapid decline, two organisations in South London, Great Britain, the BCS (Bromley Countryside Service) and BBAP (Bromley Biodiversity Action Plant), are putting a plan in place to recruit and educate the general public in hedgerow conservation. In the meantime, however, the BBAP and UK’s DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) suggest the following:

Continue hedge laying and coppicing of hedgerows where appropriate and traditionally undertaken

Take account of the well-being of hedgerows when planning home expansion, garden design or improvement

Replenish any gaps within hedges to improve their appearance and potential wildlife sustainability



Source by Josh Ellison

Facts About Curtain Rods {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

The history of window treatments such as curtains and draperies can be traced several hundreds of years ago, in the 19th century. At that time, draperies were used in the houses of wealthy people that usually have large windows. Curtains, on the other hand, were used by the middle class families and sometimes by the servants who live in  Victorian homes. Even though this changed now, curtains and draperies are still popular among many different countries all over the world because of the benefits that they provide during hot and cold months.

With the popularity of curtains and drapes came the problem of how to hang them properly and attractively.  If you want your drapes or curtains to fall beautifully, you need to choose the perfect curtain rod. If you want to know more information about curtain rods, then you should read the facts below.

You should know that there are three basic types of rods where you can hang your curtains or drapes – the standard or sash rod, the spring rod, and decorative rods. The sash rod is the most popular rod for curtains. This looks like a rectangular tube that can be inserted into a similar shaped tube to make it longer. These are mounted on the window sill using clips.

The spring rod uses a spring that is attached to the window molding or trim. These can be easily attached to the window trim because of their springy quality. You do not even need a hanger to attach them. The same things happen with magnetic rods, but for magnetic rods, instead of using springs, they use magnets to be held into place.

Finally, the decorative curtain rods use hooks and they have designs such as sculptures or patterns usually seen on the end caps that make them decorative and attractive. You can choose decorative rods made of plastic, metal, or wood based on your curtain’s needs.



Source by Anabel Scott