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Dressage rider getting a Western horse for child - need help with tack please!

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  • Dressage rider getting a Western horse for child - need help with tack please!

    Im looking for a saddle and bridle that will get her through local schooling shows the next few years but want to buy something decently nice that "fits in" ok. Looking to spend about $800 on tack total. Is that reasonable?

    My daughter is 6 years old, 48" tall. Inseam 23", that puts her in a 12" saddle correct?
    Is there a certain style that I should be aware of?
    Like light vs dark tack?
    Black seat or cream seat ok?
    Looks like a 1 ear bridle still fits in?
    Circle Y saddles ok?

    I have been looking at videos of the 2018 AQHA classes, and see kind of everything in tack color. Is that true? Not trying to be frivolous, but don't want to spend money on nice-ish tack to have to re-buy later. I'm cracking up because get me talking about dressage tack and I am like an encyclopedia. I am getting a feel for bar angles, etc on western saddles. This is a whole new world for me. We found a STELLAR older mare that we are doing a PPE on this week. So excited! If my daughter really gets going we will find a trainer, etc. but lets just start at home

    Thank you all in advance!

  • #2
    Well, what are the other kids in her peer group in your area wearing? Go watch a local show or visit a barn giving lessons to that age group. Ask the trainer selling the mare fir help too...maybe they have a saddle they’ll sell you.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here, kids groups tend to sell to each other saddles, tack, clothes and even horses as kids outgrow them.

      Find the groups in your area that show where you want to show.
      Probably have several different groups.
      Junior rodeo, 4H, school groups, any of those will have facebook pages and advertise there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by theautumnleaves View Post
        Im looking for a saddle and bridle that will get her through local schooling shows the next few years but want to buy something decently nice that "fits in" ok.
        Schooling shows, of course, are going to be more laid back in terms of "fashion" so if that's all your daughter plans on doing, I wouldn't get too worried about it.

        What events will she be doing?

        Originally posted by theautumnleaves View Post
        Is there a certain style that I should be aware of?
        Like light vs dark tack?
        Black seat or cream seat ok?
        Looks like a 1 ear bridle still fits in?
        Circle Y saddles ok?
        Kind of depends. What events is she doing?

        In general for most of the showing events, lighter colored saddles are still "in". You will see some darker colored saddles but that's (I believe) a more "new" trend. I would stick with light if you want to have it for years down the road.

        One eared bridle is fine.

        Really, your seat color shouldn't matter (especially for a school show) because your booty is in the seat.
        Originally posted by theautumnleaves View Post
        I'm cracking up because get me talking about dressage tack and I am like an encyclopedia. I am getting a feel for bar angles, etc on western saddles. This is a whole new world for me.
        If you know how to properly fit a dressage saddle, you at least have a good basic knowledge of saddle fitting.

        You still want your bar angles to fit, gullet to fit, saddle not too long, etc etc.
        The only tough part with a Western saddle is it is very difficult to see what the tree is doing under all that leather. And you CANNOT make any modifications to the tree, like you can to English. So what you have, is what you have.

        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

        Comment


        • #5
          Plain brown nothing fancy should work for local level stuff and take her to the next couple levels if that's where she wants to go. Don't get all crazy with the silver or any other nonsense. Just plain, classic, functional.

          Also, the western world is forever changing fashion-wise. It's not at all like English or Dressage world where it all stays the same. Don't get hooked into that keeping up with the Joneses thing. Classic colors that complement the horse are always good. Go look at your area shows and see what is appearing. What's competitive and cutting edge for World Shows doesn't always work or go over at local. You might come off as getting ahead of yourself - like wearing a top hat in training or entry level dressage classes.

          I owned and showed a beautiful very feminine looking palomino Appy mare that had huge gold coin spots on her bum. I had a tan outfit that matched her main coloring exactly and it was a showstopper even though it was very plain. Always got compliments on how good we looked together. The classic look wins all the way.

          Hope your mare passes PPE!
          "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
          - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

          Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by theautumnleaves View Post
            Im looking for a saddle and bridle that will get her through local schooling shows the next few years but want to buy something decently nice that "fits in" ok. Looking to spend about $800 on tack total. Is that reasonable?

            My daughter is 6 years old, 48" tall. Inseam 23", that puts her in a 12" saddle correct?
            Is there a certain style that I should be aware of?
            Like light vs dark tack?
            Black seat or cream seat ok?
            Looks like a 1 ear bridle still fits in?
            Circle Y saddles ok?

            I have been looking at videos of the 2018 AQHA classes, and see kind of everything in tack color. Is that true? Not trying to be frivolous, but don't want to spend money on nice-ish tack to have to re-buy later. I'm cracking up because get me talking about dressage tack and I am like an encyclopedia. I am getting a feel for bar angles, etc on western saddles. This is a whole new world for me. We found a STELLAR older mare that we are doing a PPE on this week. So excited! If my daughter really gets going we will find a trainer, etc. but lets just start at home

            Thank you all in advance!
            You need to stretch your budget to get a decent saddle. You'll struggle to find one at a total budget of $800.

            Western pleasure/horsemanship - you usually see a lot of silver depending on what level you are showing. Even at schooling shows you will see silver.

            Speed/roping events - anything goes fashion wise as long as it not outlawed by the rule book. You can get a copy online.

            Reining - a bit plainer than WP, but they still got a bit of silver here and there.

            Cutting and ranch riding - workmanlike, no bling.

            Ranch is really really exploding all over the country. No bling, and you can really do fun things with hats, shirts and chinks since it's more casual. And you don't really need chinks. You allow the horse to move in a much more natural gait although they still want the horse soft and responsive. It's always the biggest division at the shows I attend.
            "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

            Comment


            • #7
              You might look at the website for Corriente saddles. There are lots of blingy barrel saddles for kids on there - not my thing - but our son had a great experience with a 13-inch ranch/roper style Corriente. We bought the short fenders and the longer fenders, so when he grew taller, he still fit in the saddle. Ours was a relatively plain halfbreed rough out saddle that would have worked fine in almost any show class and it was great for long days working cattle on a friend's ranch as well. Fit the horse well, too.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hit the shows to check out the current styles for your area - usually someone will have a saddle for sale or knows of a kid that just out grew one and needs to sell the old to pick up a new one. Used show tack is really going to be your best bang for the buck.

                Have you made buddies at the local western tack store? The ladies tend to have all the going ons with the local barns and can track down some great deals.

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