These are girth buckles. The girth is the strap which holds the saddle on the horse's back. It goes under the horse's belly. Did you know that horses will inflate their bellies a bit to make sure that the girth is put on loosely and comfortably? You have to tighten the girth before you mount, so that your saddle won't slide off with you on it.
Here is my niece putting on the horse's bridle. She worked surely and swiftly as she tacked up the horse.
Here is a funny barn dog. He is sitting as close as possible to a girl waiting for her turn to ride. Every time she moved over, he scooted closer, and leaned on her.
I like this horse's calm, alert expression, as my niece groomed him after riding.
In this picture, my niece is scraping the mud out of the horse's hoof using the hoofpick. There is a tender bit on the bottom of the hoof called "the frog" which I was always very nervous about poking when I was a girl and had to do this, but my niece worked with confident care. I was so proud of her and so fascinated with all the activity around the riding barn. I realized how wonderful it is to be around horses, all over again, and that I miss it. I even miss all the horse smells- the sweat, the leather, and even the manure!