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Rode in a western saddle for the first time!!

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  • Rode in a western saddle for the first time!!

    And it was so fun, I had been wanting to try something new. But I had to wait until my mare was a little more "trustworthy". She was a trooper and had no problem with a "new" saddle on her back. Sitting the trot was no problem, and cantering her was a blast. I told my trainer that the canter felt like a "Cadillac canter" nice and smooth.....

    And it gets even better. The next day I put our normal dressage tack on, did our normal work--and the canter was great. My legs were long and not bracing. I finally understood how I had been bracing my thighs in the dressage saddle, and that was popping me out of the saddle when we cantered. Riding in the western saddle helped me to loosen up my legs and really sit the canter. I feel like I'm finally getting it, and my horse has been incredibly good lately-maybe she's growing up and maybe I'm learning how to ride her properly
    Connemaras Rock!!!

    http://community.webshots.com/user/lovemyrobin

    Meet my new horse Piedmont Penelope http://community.webshots.com/album/287402098dfpwFc

  • #2
    I started riding over 10 years ago in a western saddle, but as soon as I went to a jumper show with my friend I switched to english and never looked back. After having my daughter and taking some time off, I went back to the western saddle for some extra security, and I was suprised at how well my TB took to it. I thought it would take him some getting used to, but he never batted an eye.

    I do like the security, but one thing I can't get past is the lack of feel. I know that reiners can execute difficult patterns in those saddles, but I like a little more freedom. With the 2 new rescue horses, when it does come time to ride them, I want the extra security of the western saddle, but I'm just not crazy about riding in it. I've ordered an australian saddle and am hoping it's the best of both worlds...a little less bulk between me and the horse and a little more security than my close contact saddles. Fingers crossed!

    Comment


    • #3
      When we lived in a colder climate and my horse had the majority of the winter off, I used my western saddle for the first few rides every spring. It is very comfortable and I have always felt very secure in it, but I agree there is very little feel.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've been told, after the same complaints, by a reiner friend that the old-style Wade saddles have good feel, if fitted correctly. But I also have the same issues when I ride in my Western saddle... I like the closeness to my horse in my English, though I feel more secure and "tucked in" in my Western. When we played with cows though I guess the Western was a bit more secure for when Sam suddenly explored his cutting horse side... the Stubben would have been a bit more slippery. d;
        "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

        Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I agree, the "feel" was not there. I'm used to feeling my seatbones and using my leg. But my mare is pretty light with the aids, so it wasn't that hard to communicate with her. She did have one nasty spook (we have one of those locust bean trees next to the arena--loud crunchy bean pods on a windy day) She went sideways and I stayed in the middle of the saddle, lost the stirrup but got it back immediately. It wasn't finesse riding, but it was fun trying something new. I want to take her trail riding, so we would probably borrow the western saddle for that.
          Connemaras Rock!!!

          http://community.webshots.com/user/lovemyrobin

          Meet my new horse Piedmont Penelope http://community.webshots.com/album/287402098dfpwFc

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SarahandSam View Post
            I've been told, after the same complaints, by a reiner friend that the old-style Wade saddles have good feel, if fitted correctly. But I also have the same issues when I ride in my Western saddle... I like the closeness to my horse in my English, though I feel more secure and "tucked in" in my Western. When we played with cows though I guess the Western was a bit more secure for when Sam suddenly explored his cutting horse side... the Stubben would have been a bit more slippery. d;
            My SO has a fancy-schmancy, custom, handmade wade that he had made a few years ago (makes Devocoux prices look CHEAP) and it rides like an over-sized dressage saddle. I am very comfortable with how I sit in it.

            I ended up buy a ranch cutting saddle this spring so I wouldn't have to borrow his saddle when I went to working cow horse shows. I LOVE it!!! It is so comfy and rides like my dressage saddle. Not as bulky as some of those pleasure/trail saddles.

            It is really funny to see the look on my SOs face when he comes out to the arena to see me riding my super stocky cowhorse/reiner in my jump saddle Good times!
            RIP Kid Gloves (Holly) 1992 TBxHanv CCI*** mare.
            http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/holly
            New mare: Miss Bunny Express (Missy) 1995 AQHA Jumper mare.
            http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/missy

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            • #7
              I haven't been in a western saddle other than a short trail ride (I didn't actually have to ride, lol) in ages.

              When I was coming back from an injury, I bought an Aussie saddle for more security while I was regaining confidence. After a while, I actually felt more secure in my dressage saddle- I'm used to having my butt and legs on the horse, and the aussie put my legs out in front and made me feel unstable on top of having an extra layer of rigid material between me and him.

              My nice grippy, deep Schleese with my mongo thigh blocks does the job.

              Comment


              • #8
                I bought my first western saddle not long ago...I've ridden english for 25 years, but wanted something to trail ride in. I had tried my friend's western saddle on my eventer and he was fine....thought he was big stuff in his fancy duds. I'll try to pull a pic off my camera of him in his get up. It's kinda fun!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I confess, I've only ever ridden in western saddles on trail rides. Probably not the best saddles on earth. That said, I've always found them to be fairly uncomfortable. Something about the way they're shaped makes my hips very sore.

                  Which is depressing, because I loves me a good trail ride! Boo.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I never rode in one till I was 18. I had shown since I was 6. I didn't think you could ever fall off in one, I did for the first time this year, on a green pony horse at the track who decided to buck when I got on. Broke 4 vertibrae. That was the last ride I have had as well. So they are comfy, but you can fall off to. Play safe.
                    https://www.facebook.com/russellracingstable

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                      I confess, I've only ever ridden in western saddles on trail rides. Probably not the best saddles on earth. That said, I've always found them to be fairly uncomfortable. Something about the way they're shaped makes my hips very sore.
                      Most are designed for men, which means that they're super-uncomfortable for women as far as the twist (or whatever western equivalent of twist) goes... I borrowed my friend's saddle when we went to play with cows and had the same woes. My western saddle is a cordura trail saddle, and is actually pretty comfortable, but still not as comfy as my Stubben. I just solved the trail riding problem by buying a water bottle/pouch combo that can clip on my D-rings. d;
                      "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                      Graphite/Pastel Portraits

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've ridden in an English saddle my entire life (40+ years) and never thought there was anything else. My old saddle fit me like a well worn shoe.
                        After getting popped off my new green QH a few times, the BO, (a real Robert Redford type) suggested, "You might want to try training her in a western saddle. It'll give you sumpthin' to hold on to."
                        I went out and bought the first saddle that fit us off Craigslist for $100. It's no great shakes of a saddle, but it's very comfortable for both of us and the fenders are rather thin and plain, giving me the same "leg feel" that I had in my English saddle. Plus, the added bonus of a horn to grab "in case".

                        I think a well fitting saddle is a well fitting saddle, and a saddle that fits "just ok" or "poorly" will be just that no matter what the "type". My "old shoe" of a saddle doesn't fit me as well as I thought because it makes me sit back like a chair seat. I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't sat in the new Western one where my posture is perfect.

                        The ONLY thing I still haven't gotten used to is the stirrups. I feel like my feet are locked in thick leather nooses.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                          I confess, I've only ever ridden in western saddles on trail rides. Probably not the best saddles on earth. That said, I've always found them to be fairly uncomfortable. Something about the way they're shaped makes my hips very sore.

                          Which is depressing, because I loves me a good trail ride! Boo.
                          The problem with your hips is probably due to the twist. I need a very narrow twist and some of the western saddles are just too wide. However, some of the reining saddles are very narrow twist seats and those don't hurt my hips.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Many saddle makers also make Ladies versions of saddles, to help prevent that problem. Especially reining saddle makers.

                            And what types of saddles are you guys riding in? I have a great feel of my mare in my cutting saddle and my new reining saddle. If you are riding in a trail or pleasure type saddle, then no - there isn't any feel. Pleasure trainers have to use somethng to keep amateurs from messing up the horses once they are in the ring
                            Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Flash Jr learned to ride Western, and when he switched to English, he was very loosey goosey in the tack. But then he switched, and riding English really improved his Western equitation. And riding bareback has really improved his English seat.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Riding in a western saddle made for a woman is a huge difference. A lot more comfortable! Doesn't hurt your hips near as much.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Wow, i hate riding in a western saddle. I feel loose as heck and that the horse is going to fall out from under me. I love my english saddle. I have Team Penned in it and even Barrel raced in it. Different tastes for different folks I guess.
                                  Proud Mama of a BOY rider

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by eventchic33 View Post
                                    Wow, i hate riding in a western saddle. I feel loose as heck and that the horse is going to fall out from under me. I love my english saddle. I have Team Penned in it and even Barrel raced in it. Different tastes for different folks I guess.
                                    Western saddles for adults are made for big people.
                                    I am small, so the stiff, big western saddles keep my legs bound in there.
                                    I use my Stubben Rex for everything but roping, of course.
                                    I am training in reining in it right now.
                                    A local saddler made me a western saddle with the seat modeled after my english saddle, on a lady modified association # 96 tree and it is very comfortable, but the fenders are still too much leather and bind.

                                    Many cutting and reining saddles are made on thinner, more flexible leather and with less tooling, so they feel much softer to the rider and horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I love to ride in western saddles as well - they are like couches

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