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View Full Version : Western saddles are the debbil!!



twotrudoc
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:24 PM
At least for me anyway. I am riding (and showing later) a pals darling handsome WB gelding this year and we had plans today at 9 am. She called early to ask if I could maybe possibly ride her other QH cross gelding (who hadn't been ridden in a while) as a gal was coming to look at him and possibly buy him. I could ride him first then the gal could get on. No problem.

The horse is awesome but here is the issue. The gal rides western. So me and my pal have no idea what end of a western saddle is what. My pal drags her husbands old 543 pound western Big Rig out of the tack room. We put it on, the gal does the girth. I get on (this is the part where everyone else would check the girth) and the stirrups are super perfect for my pals 6'3" husband. I am almost 5'4" and ride H/J. And, we have no idea how to move the length....so the gal does it for me. They are tolerable so off we go. It feels weird, like I am driving a bus (no feel thru that big ole saddle!) and I am really reaching for the stirrups but whatever. Everything is great until we canter to the right. I try to put some weight in my outside stirrup in a turn and me and the saddle start the inevitable tilt and slide....I slid right off and the saddle slid right under the horse.

*sigh*

I had a wet sandy butt all dang day. The horse was fine, no real spook or freak out although he loooks at me with suspicion as the only other thing we have done is pull his mane. I am the "Weird Lady Who Pulls Manes and Tilts Saddles In a Disturbing Manner".

The gal said she wants to come again LOL!!

AliCat518
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Hahaha! I have a great mental picture of that happening. Glad you and horse are okay!

I recently tried riding western (twice) and it is SO different. I saw pictures of myself and you really cant tell im riding western except for the saddle. Hearing my SO say to "hump" the saddle at the canter made me laugh....I had so much trouble doing it though!

alg0181
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:42 PM
I hate western saddles :( I have had few good experiences. I feel like I can't get my feet under me, they are always out in front. And I feel like I'm sitting on a big box.

Many people say it is more comfortable which I don't get. At all. Maybe it's just my conformation.

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:55 PM
I'm an epic failure at riding western. I took a few reining lessons this past year - the reining went fine, getting on and off the horse didn't.

I still can't figure out how to get out of a western saddle without hurting myself.

twotrudoc
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:00 PM
It's easy! Just slide right over and down, taking the saddle with you :o


:lol:

AliCat518
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:02 PM
hahaha! Yep, keep the cinch loose and dismounts would be easier!

Seriously though, after 19 years of taking both feet out of the stirrups, leaning foward and dismounting, I CANNOT dismount from a western saddle without being injured!

randomequine
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:07 PM
I've managed to mesh the two worlds -- found a saddle that fits my butt comfortably, and that's what I ride in!!! Dismounting was difficult until I figured it out ;)

Coreene
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:42 PM
I bought a fab western show saddle a few years ago, and I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even bought a pimped headstall and reins and a show pad. Looks smashing on a 17.3hh Holsteiner. We never do anything in it except cruise around, though he has done a nice canter pirouette in it after a bit of Come To Jesus discussion.

Aerial
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:46 PM
I'm an epic failure at riding western. I took a few reining lessons this past year - the reining went fine, getting on and off the horse didn't.

I still can't figure out how to get out of a western saddle without hurting myself.

be sure to hook your bra on the horn as your sliding down. :lol: that works really well...I know from experience.

My2cents
Apr. 1, 2011, 09:08 PM
i worked at a barn quite a few years ago that was trying to sell off one of the schoolies. he wasn't really kid proof and the manager wanted to sell him. well, we workers LOVED him and didn't want to see him go, so every time a potential buyer would show up, we'd chant under our breaths for the horse to misbehave and botch the sale. that worked two times until it came time for a gal to try him out western style. since i was the only one who had a clue about western saddles, i begrudglingly saddled him up, i thought i tightened everything up as tight as it could go. turns out the gal wanted to see someone else ride him first (smart gal, eh?) so, my friend was recruited to get on. well, she stepped into the stirrup and we all gasped as the saddle did the slow slide on down and my friend ended up under the horse. the horse was a saint and never moved a muscle. the gal ended up buying him because he was soo good. so, our plan backfired. but at least he got a good home and i never had to cinch up a western saddle again.

MistyBlue
Apr. 1, 2011, 09:17 PM
I bought my first western saddle a couple years ago. Figured I might as well since I keep buying western horses. :lol: :rolleyes: :lol:

I did end up buying one of those gel seat things, my tuckus gets a tad sore after riding for any length of time. As a jumper rider I'm not overly used to a whole lotta time spent in any tack, LOL! Otherwise mine's pretty comfy generally. Cute too, although not the pimped out version Coreene has. :winkgrin:

I did grow up riding western often enough when working, so had no issues with tacking up. And I didn't buy one of the types that weighs more than I do. And I gotta admit to liking that Annie Oakley feeling when I ride in my cowgirl saddle. :D

But I did have to have my western riding niece over to adjust my stirrups for me. I couldn't get them high enough and didn't know there were ways to yank on them to shorten them a bit more.

I have no issues getting in and out of it when the stirrups are the right height for me, but damned if I can get out of my husband's Aussie saddle! In is no problem, getting out of it requires contortionist skillz.

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 1, 2011, 09:21 PM
be sure to hook your bra on the horn as your sliding down. :lol: that works really well...I know from experience.

:lol:

Been there, done that. I've also torn a few shirts that way.

RedHorses
Apr. 1, 2011, 10:48 PM
You need the right western saddle for comfort. I've ridden in many different saddles (worked as a trail guide for a few summers back in my teen days) and really most of them were uncomfortable. But I've ridden in a small number that fit beautifully and really were comfortable and easy to ride. I'd love a western saddle, but fitting my horse would be problem one, fitting my backside would be problem two! :lol:

kateh
Apr. 1, 2011, 10:58 PM
Ohhh western. I gave it a whole semester in the fall. Competed IHSA and everything, and gained a whole new appreciation for W/T riders-it's scary when you don't know how to fix something!

Personally, I really appreciated being able to mount from the ground for the first time in my life. Did hook my sweatshirt one of my first times dismounting. Also dropped a rein once while mounting. I also got teased for being an obvious cross over.

Slewdledo
Apr. 2, 2011, 12:52 AM
I am not a rider. I had my girl at our first show last year and w were doing ONE class under saddle - walk only Western. And when I put my foot in the stirrup to mount, the saddle slid down her side, my boss let her go and she bucked across the driveway and fell down. I felt so awful.

UrbanHennery
Apr. 2, 2011, 01:00 AM
This thread is cracking me up. I'm a western rider, always have been since I was a little kid. Finding a comfortable western saddle that fits you and your horse is an art, but once you do? I can ride all day (and often do) with a nicely balanced and secure seat.

Of course, put me in an English saddle and I'm likely to be all over the horse and spend the whole time trying to figure out where the balance point is. And mounting blocks? My brain has a hard time with them (although I will admit to using handy stumps and banks to get on my 15.3hh QH on the trails).

CobJockey
Apr. 2, 2011, 01:30 AM
Once you find a good Western saddle, you never let it go. My mom was going to get rid of her 20 year old, super comfy, somewhat light (for a Western saddle!) saddle, and I convinced her to keep it around. I love that thing.

Coreene
Apr. 2, 2011, 01:45 AM
I will admit to ripping the skin of the inside of my arm several times when I first got it - during the dismount of course, leaving my arm somehow stuck on the cantle plate - but it takes four seconds to put on a western saddle after you do it a few times. And neoprene cinches are your friends. I did change out the stirrups for engraved silver ones, but have restrained myself from buying an entire wardrobe of pimp-o-rama show pads. This has, of course, been exceptionally difficult. :lol:

twotrudoc
Apr. 2, 2011, 08:48 AM
Good Lord have mercy, if I wouldn't have fallen/slid off I could have gotten hooked on that horn thingy and flashed half of Tacoma, WA??? Because that is not how I like to spend a nice Friday morning OY!!

:lol::lol:

monstrpony
Apr. 2, 2011, 09:09 AM
I have a *good* western saddle and a very round QH gelding. I've done the saddle-under-the-belly thing with my jumping saddle, but my western saddle stays up there even if the cinch is not tight.

At a colt-starting clinic once, I saw Buck Brannaman get off, *loosen* his cinch till it was hanging, and mount from the ground, to demonstrate the correct technique for mounting a colt without torqueing its back. Granted, Buck is tall, but he was riding about a 16.2h horse that day. Needless to say, Buck rides in really quality saddles, the most important quality of which is fit on the horse's back (the second being balance for the rider).

goneriding24
Apr. 2, 2011, 09:12 AM
That's WHY you buy quality western saddles!! :-)

I have a Billy Cook All Around and can go all day and night with that puppy. I have silver engraved stirrups too! Never have I thought it was a problem getting in or out of a western saddle! You guys are too funny! Most of my bits are Reinsmen and only harness leather headstalls, fancier the better, yes, even for work. I have an image to uphold!! ;-)

I have tried an Aussie and it was very comfy. Even did a playday. I thought of buying one too, just never did.

Now, english?? I'm all over the map. Took lessons, putted down the lane, jumped, showed a little bit, did a bit of dressage on my steer roping horse (no kidding, he seemed to know what was going on and the instructor was astounded, so I used him) but overall, to me, it wasn't much fun.

As a heads up, the next time you cinch up a western saddle, cinch it only as tight as will hold the saddle on, leaving the bight to hang down, then walk your horse (pony in western parlance) about 12 steps (so he will breathe out, can't hold his breath) and then finish cinching up. You will never have that problem again. If you do, well, then, I don't know what to tell you!!

AliCat518
Apr. 2, 2011, 09:15 AM
This makes me curious about what western riders would say about hopping into english tack for the first time!

twotrudoc
Apr. 2, 2011, 09:19 AM
That reminds me to share this with Buck when I hopefully get to that clinic this year LOL!! :lol: Dang western folk!

coloredcowhorse
Apr. 2, 2011, 10:56 AM
This makes me curious about what western riders would say about hopping into english tack for the first time!

Honestly? I'm a bit older and have the memory to be able to say this.....first English saddle I rode felt like a stiff, oversized Kotex pad (and felt just about as secure).

Mtn trails
Apr. 2, 2011, 11:42 AM
I love my western saddle! It fits my butt and fits my gelding, not so much on the mare but with creative padding, it works fine and doesn't make her sore. It is a little on the heavy side but I'll put up with it because I love it! You don't vault off like you do with an english, you step off, just like you got on.

Yup, I always cinch up just enough to hold it on and then walk over to the mounting block and finish cinching there. How many people use the buckle on the cinch or tie a knot? I myself, use the buckle.

CindyB59
Apr. 2, 2011, 12:05 PM
HA HA HA...Went to feed this morning & told him E was coming over again today. He headed for the hills & I haven't seen him since. Not even for breakfast. Poor traumatized little guy.

His buddy was none to pleased to be put in a stall this AM.

stryder
Apr. 2, 2011, 01:00 PM
Honestly? I'm a bit older and have the memory to be able to say this.....first English saddle I rode felt like a stiff, oversized Kotex pad (and felt just about as secure).

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Oh, and the stirrups don't stay put.

EqTrainer
Apr. 2, 2011, 04:26 PM
I hate western saddles :( I have had few good experiences. I feel like I can't get my feet under me, they are always out in front. And I feel like I'm sitting on a big box.

Many people say it is more comfortable which I don't get. At all. Maybe it's just my conformation.

Me, too!!!!!

MistyBlue
Apr. 2, 2011, 05:03 PM
How many people use the buckle on the cinch or tie a knot? I myself, use the buckle.

You can use the buckle???
LOL, I had no idea you could do that. I thought they were always tied. That's how I was taught when I was a kid and just assumed it was only done that way.

UrbanHennery
Apr. 2, 2011, 06:27 PM
You can use the buckle???
LOL, I had no idea you could do that. I thought they were always tied. That's how I was taught when I was a kid and just assumed it was only done that way.

I was taught to tie a knot as a kid, but these days I always use the buckle. So much easier, plus that way I don't end up with the bulk under my stirrup. My legs are short enough that the Blevins buckle always ends up on the knot and that combination always makes my left knee hurt.

twotrudoc
Apr. 2, 2011, 06:39 PM
HA HA HA...Went to feed this morning & told him E was coming over again today. He headed for the hills & I haven't seen him since. Not even for breakfast. Poor traumatized little guy.

His buddy was none to pleased to be put in a stall this AM.
I think he feels as strongly as I do that the western saddle should be pitched.:yes:

Curiously
Apr. 2, 2011, 07:10 PM
I hate western saddles :( I have had few good experiences. I feel like I can't get my feet under me, they are always out in front. And I feel like I'm sitting on a big box.

Many people say it is more comfortable which I don't get. At all.

I don't think I've EVER seen a rider in a western saddle who does NOT ride in a chair seat. I figured that's how western is *supposed* to be. :confused:

And yeah, it's like sitting on an uncomfortable couch to me, not a horse. So MUCH saddle, you can't feel the horse. UGH. :dead:

Bluey
Apr. 2, 2011, 08:05 PM
All I can say is that if you learn to ride in an English saddle, western saddles feel like sitting on a bump on a log.:lol:

Western saddles have their place and purpose, but they are, even the best of them, just not as close contact as English saddles are and that can make a difference, like starting colts.
Sure, you are not tight in there if a colt acts up, but you can feel him and distract him better in an English saddle, before he starts acting up.:yes:

Some western saddles do put you in a similar long legged seat as English ones, but that is if you are tall and leggy and wider hipped to start with and are not riding a big, fat horse.
Chair seat can happen according to the conformation of the rider, horse and any one saddle that promotes that and those come in all kinds, not just western.

Slewdledo
Apr. 2, 2011, 09:17 PM
See, I had to watch a Youtube video on how to cinch a western saddle like 100 times. And I still can't get it right. I am not spatially oriented AT ALL. But my horse much prefers being ridden Western or bareback pad to English, so western it is for us most of the time.

danceronice
Apr. 2, 2011, 10:17 PM
Honestly? I'm a bit older and have the memory to be able to say this.....first English saddle I rode felt like a stiff, oversized Kotex pad (and felt just about as secure).

I don't remember it being THAT scary, but it definitely felt flat! Now I have a problem shifting back to western and sitting back on my pockets!

See, I wish I could find a reasonably-priced western saddle that will fit Lucky (thin TB who goes in a m/n PDN). He actually fits a McClellan quite neatly, but there are so few narrow western saddles.

ddashaq
Apr. 2, 2011, 10:28 PM
I don't think I've EVER seen a rider in a western saddle who does NOT ride in a chair seat. I figured that's how western is *supposed* to be. :confused:

And yeah, it's like sitting on an uncomfortable couch to me, not a horse. So MUCH saddle, you can't feel the horse. UGH. :dead:

Granted, I have not been around it in about 10 years, but back then the decent riders at breed shows were not in a chair seat. Very upright, legs underneath them. Now, your average trail rider? Total chair seat.

I have a 1994 Circle Y and I LOVE that saddle. Very comfy, but not a whole lot of feel. About the only time I use it is for the yearly trail ride at KHP in the fall.

cloudy18
Apr. 2, 2011, 10:44 PM
I had a wet sandy butt all dang day. The horse was fine, no real spook or freak out although he loooks at me with suspicion as the only other thing we have done is pull his mane. I am the "Weird Lady Who Pulls Manes and Tilts Saddles In a Disturbing Manner".

The gal said she wants to come again LOL!!

Of course she wants to come again! You are entertainment!

I guess I am a waffler, bc I started out riding Western, took an English riding class at college, and then ever since have been riding whatever. I only trail ride, and when we got our first horses we got Western saddles bc that's what you do when you trail ride. Then realized they didn't fit and I got an Aussie w/out horn for my mare. Loved it.

Then realized Western always makes my seat bones feel like someone much heavier is sitting on them, and they torque my knees into painful positions a half hour into a ride. Bought an old dressage saddle that's comfy but not overly secure for my gelding, but I use it on him when the mood strikes, and use it on the hard to fit mare. And then finally purchased a treeless Bob Marshall endurance model. Soft on the seat, lightweight, can feel everything through it. And no horn to hook your bra on, or crack your pelvis on, or break ribs.

I use the buckle on Western saddles and the Bob M. No bulky knot. I only do the knot if there aren't enough holes in the cinch strap.

I like the security of a Western, but I think it's somewhat all in the head. I was thrown CLEANLY from a Western into a creek one day. Didn't so much as hang up anywhere for a split second. So much for that horn and pommel keeping me in.

I always like it when non-horsey people ask what I hang onto when I am looking at hornless saddles on the internet.

partlycloudy
Apr. 3, 2011, 01:53 AM
You'all should try a barrel saddle...I have one and love it. The fenders hang in about the same position as the flaps on my dressage saddle and it has a very deep comfy seat. Nice basket weave...not too blinged out. not as heavy as a pleasure or show saddle either.

twotrudoc
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:29 AM
Of course she wants to come again! You are entertainment!

And no horn to hook your bra on, or crack your pelvis on, or break ribs.

I always like it when non-horsey people ask what I hang onto when I am looking at hornless saddles on the internet.

Western saddles come with handles LOL!!

Grataan
Apr. 3, 2011, 11:28 AM
You can use the buckle???
LOL, I had no idea you could do that. I thought they were always tied. That's how I was taught when I was a kid and just assumed it was only done that way.

I don't like to use the buckle because I feel like I'm either over or undertightening trying to make it to that hole. I prefer to tighten to just the right tension then tie the knot. I also trust my knot a lot more than some buckle a dude made in a factory (which is ridiculous, I know)

Be careful if you try barrel saddles, they are designed to tip you forward slightly.

UrbanHennery
Apr. 3, 2011, 12:02 PM
I also trust my knot a lot more than some buckle a dude made in a factory (which is ridiculous, I know)

Having had a buckle fail on the off-side billet before I agree with this statement. I should amend my earlier buckle endorsement to add that I use a knot when riding in steep or technical terrain where I'd really had to have a failure.

Bluey
Apr. 3, 2011, 12:05 PM
Practically all ropers use the buckle and they depend on it staying put, as they rope and the saddle takes a jerk at times, so it better hold.

I think it would be as rare for a good cinch buckle to fail as for a well maintained strap to break.:confused:

Mtn trails
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:00 PM
Practically all ropers use the buckle and they depend on it staying put, as they rope and the saddle takes a jerk at times, so it better hold.

I think it would be as rare for a good cinch buckle to fail as for a well maintained strap to break.:confused:

And that is one of the reasons I never buy cheap crappy cinches. Although I have to say, I've never seen a buckle fail on a cinch, even on very old ones that have been sitting around for 20-30 years, still work fine, a little rusty, but fine. Once I learned how to buckle it, I never went back. If I need additional holes to fine tune, I pull out the punch and add them; I hate having the knot under my leg.

Christa P
Apr. 4, 2011, 09:16 AM
I don't remember it being THAT scary, but it definitely felt flat! Now I have a problem shifting back to western and sitting back on my pockets!

See, I wish I could find a reasonably-priced western saddle that will fit Lucky (thin TB who goes in a m/n PDN). He actually fits a McClellan quite neatly, but there are so few narrow western saddles.

I grew up riding in whatever saddle I felt like, or driving, so various cinches and such are no problem. For entertainment try totally dismanteling a pair harness, cleaning and reassembling. After that a western cinch is easy :winkgrin:.


For a TB, I found an OLD (probably 60 years+, but no real idea) that fit my TB really well.


FWIW, I found it cheap on EBAY and when I got it the leather was shot. A friend found an Amish saddlemaker and he completely rebuilt the saddle to my specs on the old tree. This means I got my hard seat and stirrup fenders cut shorter than normal (I'm 5' 3") AND a really nice, solid, saddle that fits a wide variety of horses.

Christa

bluemooncowgirl
Apr. 4, 2011, 09:39 AM
You'all should try a barrel saddle...I have one and love it. The fenders hang in about the same position as the flaps on my dressage saddle and it has a very deep comfy seat. Nice basket weave...not too blinged out. not as heavy as a pleasure or show saddle either.

:yes:

lilitiger2
May. 3, 2012, 07:52 PM
I almost always tie the knot-I can't feel it in our saddles! And if anything happens between my and Mr. Lilitiger, I'm taking his older circle Y (which we got at a yard sale). And my saddle of course! I love comfy western saddles, which is to say, those that fit. I see people all the time in ones that don't; too small and they are jammed in there, no way they could get their feet in a helpful position, or too large and they are swimming. Or rock hard. This might be why a lot of people don't like western saddles!

Mine is a converted (to trail/general use) barrel saddle-deep seat, comfy cantle, actually more of a slick fork than usual barrel saddle, and I will never part with it. Bought it from a woman who was selling a horse I passed on (and a 10yo bought!!). With good padding it fits 3/4 of our horses, I need my husbands for the other one!!

I dismount the same way, kick free of the stirrups, then slide off, but of course its easier with a lower cantle.

and I love the nice fleecey thing to sit on!!

Chester's Mom
May. 4, 2012, 01:08 PM
be sure to hook your bra on the horn as your sliding down. :lol: that works really well...I know from experience.

:lol: Hey, that is MY patented move!

kookicat
May. 4, 2012, 07:07 PM
I bought a fab western show saddle a few years ago, and I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even bought a pimped headstall and reins and a show pad. Looks smashing on a 17.3hh Holsteiner. We never do anything in it except cruise around, though he has done a nice canter pirouette in it after a bit of Come To Jesus discussion.

You have to share a photo of that. :D

sk_pacer
May. 4, 2012, 07:24 PM
I dunno how you 'guys' manage to get a bra band hooked on a saddle horn, a shirt caught between buttons is another thing and that is why western shirts have snaps. I HAVE managed to snag a baggy t-shirt on the horn and have torn off buttons and shredded button holes on loose shirts but never the bra band. Oh, yeah and winter coats can be kind of PITA to keep from getting hung up.
Easiest way to dismount is NOT to put your right hand on the cantle but keep the reins in the left hand on the horse's neck and the right hand on the horn. Swing the right leg over, and when both feet are together drop to the ground regardless of horse height. I also never mounted by holding the cantle but left hand on the horse's neck and right hand on the horn and when I was young and silly, would cheek a bad one and mount completely one handed. Now, with all the aches and pains, I would need a crane, a la those jousing guys!!!ROFL

saddleup
May. 4, 2012, 08:14 PM
I have a Blue Ribbon work saddle that is the most comfortable saddle ever. It weighs a ton, though, but not as much as my show saddle. I trail ride in a Circle Y flex saddle, which is much lighter. I show my gelding in HUS and EQ, as well, so make the switch to an English saddle every few days. It helps that I started riding English decades ago, so after the first couple of minutes when I switch back and forth both styles feel normal to me.

And hooking your bra on the horn? Yep, have done it several times. Ripped a shirt once, too. Embarrassing.

sorrelfilly721
May. 7, 2012, 06:41 PM
You'all should try a barrel saddle...I have one and love it. The fenders hang in about the same position as the flaps on my dressage saddle and it has a very deep comfy seat. Nice basket weave...not too blinged out. not as heavy as a pleasure or show saddle either.

I LOVE mine! I tried a BUNCH of different saddles that either didn't fit me or didn't fit my horse. I finally bought a Circle Y Flex Tree Barrel Saddle and my horse will now canter on her right lead without bucking and swishing her tail. And I am GLUED in it. It only weighs about 20lbs and I have no problem getting my legs underneath me. I can even feel my horse through it.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3501161773483&set=a.3501160333447.168980.1404863297&type=3&theater

Bluey
May. 7, 2012, 07:00 PM
I LOVE mine! I tried a BUNCH of different saddles that either didn't fit me or didn't fit my horse. I finally bought a Circle Y Flex Tree Barrel Saddle and my horse will now canter on her right lead without bucking and swishing her tail. And I am GLUED in it. It only weighs about 20lbs and I have no problem getting my legs underneath me. I can even feel my horse through it.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3501161773483&set=a.3501160333447.168980.1404863297&type=3&theater

To find a saddle that fits you so well is wonderful.

In general, barrel racing saddles are some of the lightest of western saddles to save weight when running.
If someone wants a saddle for trail riding, it is better to have a little bit bigger housing, that is the leather skirts on the back.
Mother Hubbard housing is the one layer ones, standard are two layers, the one on top smaller.

The smaller they are, the shorter they are, the more over time, the longer we ride, they can poke on a horse's back, the less surface to drape over the horse around the back of the saddle.

Of course, too long skirts also can be a problem, those may even rub a horse in front of the hips.

Many old saddles had big square skirts because when your horse was the only way you had to get around, you would find in a hurry what works best for hours of riding.

Since we don't ride horses that much any more, we have made skirts rounder and smaller, saving weight and leather.

Since every horse's back is a bit different, it is hard to make rules of thumb about what is better.

This is just one comment so those that are new to western saddles pay attention to fit on the back, that the skirts don't poke or rub, as that can happen some times with western saddles.

katarine
May. 7, 2012, 10:04 PM
I love my Rocking R Lady Trail saddle. It is so comfortable.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31281399@N06/2929502464/



http://www.flickr.com/photos/31281399@N06/2928636111/


simple, not overly detailed/tooled, heavy as lead, LOL, but very well made.

and if you tangle with a plastic bag, it's easy to stay in it :)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tricia-n-dusty/2232867785/

In high school I got hung on my cutting saddle's horn; on a normal saddle it would be more of a trick LOL

alabama
May. 9, 2012, 11:37 PM
I grew up riding bareback so neither western or english bother me. I don't really know a dang thing about riding english (posting, etc), though I do have a saddle. Sadly, it doesn't fit my mare because I liked riding my gelding in it.

I LOVE my old, old, old Circle Y western saddle even if it does weigh a ton. I could mount my gelding from the ground without doing up the girth at all it fit him so well. I only did it a couple of times but I really could.

As for buckle/knot, I do a knot now but I grew up using a knot. It always looked like a man's tie (knot) to me.

And if I'm getting on a horse I'm not sure of, I want to be bareback. I can't get hung up on anything that way.