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Heavy @$$ saddle help.

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  • Heavy @$$ saddle help.

    Im starting my young horse with the help of a trainer. He recommended that we start with a western saddle, though I primarily ride hunters and dressage.

    My question- How do I gracefully heave a 50 lb saddle up on to a 16hh 2yo? Is there an easier way? Are y’all just that much stronger than me? Halp!

  • #2
    I switched from dressage to western and yes, there is a technique, for sure, like bucking hay. Only time and experience will help you there. It would take me forever because once I got it up there, it was in the wrong position and trying to fix it from the ground took super-human effort. And then as time wore on, it got easier. Maybe I got stronger, but I think my swing got better.

    It is very hard to saddle them in cross ties though, not enough room to get a full swing.

    Comment


    • #3
      What I do is grab it by the front part of the skirt and by the cantle, get a good swing and throw it up and on. I try to maintain control so it doesn't thump down on his back. The saddle I used to have was so heavy it required doing the clean and jerk to get it up on his back. It scared my young horse so much, I immediately went and traded it in on a much lighter saddle.

      Comment


      • #4
        There’s a definite technique, best to practice on a willing victim first, before trying the youngster. It’s not hard to do, but does need a few attempts.

        My guy is 16.3, I put my saddle on a 15 hander the other day...it was so easy!
        "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

        "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, there's a technique, not sure if I can describe it but I'll try. You're going to hold the front with your left hand, with your palm against the underside of the pommel, right hand on the cantle. Then face to the back or slightly away and....sorta swing it up and over. Let momentum help you a little bit. If you do it in rhythm, it won't thump on their back and is really quite easy.

          You might practice on a not-flighty horse until you get the hang of the swing.....or go ahead and practice on your colt and get her more broke (win, win!)

          Also, there's a reason we have short horses.

          Comment


          • #6
            I learned this a couple of years ago from a guy whose primary vocation is colt starting and it really does make heaving that saddle up there easier and smoother. Now I'm trying to figure out how to describe it.

            Hook your right stirrup over the horn. Reach over the seat with your right hand and grab the seat jockey on the right side of the saddle right below where the cantle ends. With your left hand, grab the skirt on the left side of the saddle right below the base of the swell.

            When you pick the saddle up, don't hold it upright, like it was sitting on the saddle rack, but hold it in front of you, with the underside of the saddle kind of angled facing away from you. If you're tall enough, you can just set the saddle up on the horse's back rather than swinging it up there. I'm short, so I usually end up letting my right hand slide up the cantle as I settle it on.

            This is probably an entirely incomprehensible explanation. It's entirely possible that it has to be demonstrated in person or via video before it makes any sense. But maybe you can visualize it.
            "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
            that's even remotely true."

            Homer Simpson

            Comment


            • #7
              Myself and the other short girl riding hunters never ever swing a western saddle onto our hunters on the occasion we put one on them. We have one hand holding under the pommel and one holding under the cantle both slightly to the left of midline. We are standing directly to the left of the horse facing the horse Saddle in-line with the horse exactly like we want to put it on the horse. We then lift it up almost like a clean in the gym and sit it gently and controlled on the horse. We can get it on the 16.3hh giants this way and even if they move adjust to them and not hurt our backs or theirs. And we developed this method independently and do it exactly the same. It works great

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sandsarita View Post
                Myself and the other short girl riding hunters never ever swing a western saddle onto our hunters on the occasion we put one on them. We have one hand holding under the pommel and one holding under the cantle both slightly to the left of midline. We are standing directly to the left of the horse facing the horse Saddle in-line with the horse exactly like we want to put it on the horse. We then lift it up almost like a clean in the gym and sit it gently and controlled on the horse. We can get it on the 16.3hh giants this way and even if they move adjust to them and not hurt our backs or theirs. And we developed this method independently and do it exactly the same. It works great
                4'11" here, that ^ is how I do it, if I got that visual right.
                Except I grab saddle where I can heft it up there from the left skirt front and back, being too short to reach any other way and balance it as it goes up until over the horse.
                Works for me.

                Then, starting colts, I used my Stubben Rex for that and to ride them until they were broke.

                No reason to have to use a western saddle.
                If you are comfortable with another kind, use that.
                If you start the horse right and control the environment as much as you can, there should not be any acting up at all until the horse is fine ridden in any one saddle.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                  4'11" here, that ^ is how I do it, if I got that visual right.
                  Except I grab saddle where I can heft it up there from the left skirt front and back, being too short to reach any other way and balance it as it goes up until over the horse.
                  Works for me.

                  Then, starting colts, I used my Stubben Rex for that and to ride them until they were broke.

                  No reason to have to use a western saddle.
                  If you are comfortable with another kind, use that.
                  If you start the horse right and control the environment as much as you can, there should not be any acting up at all until the horse is fine ridden in any one saddle.
                  I rarely use the western one. Maybe a few times a year if that personally

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sandsarita View Post

                    I rarely use the western one. Maybe a few times a year if that personally
                    Me too, any more am using my Stubben Roxane, not because he is tall, just 14.3 h, but is just lighter and easier to put up there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There ARE western saddles that weigh less than 50#s!! My old Tex Tan with wooden tree, only weighs in at 35 pounds.

                      Another idea is to saddle horse from his right hand side! I have done this for years, SO MUCH easier!. Hook the left stirrup on the horn, swing saddle up and on. Nothing to catch underneath, so you need less swing height to clear his back and blanket. You are already on his right side to straighten cinch, then walk around to girth up. I think horse getting tacked from the right is helpful too, letting horse get used to people doing things from that side. Blanketing from the right with sheets etc is also easier without surcingles flying around! We also saddle English saddles from the right side, nothing to get caught under after swinging saddle up and on horse back. Straighten the hanging girth, then walk around to girth up.

                      I agree that starting with western saddle is easier, spreads out the load better and then horse thinks any other saddle weighs nothing!! Ha ha

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        NoSuchPerson is this similar to you technique?

                        https://youtu.be/msaapnSjQjo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                          Another idea is to saddle horse from his right hand side! I have done this for years, SO MUCH easier!.
                          Totally agree, it’s a lot easier.

                          "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                          "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My Circle Y saddle weighs 25 lbs. My Abetta weighs 17. And yes, with a little practice, you can sling a western saddle up and over & then let it gently fall on the back instead of lifting it up and positioning it. Good video on YouTube:

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgaSY1wxoH0

                            But mostly...use a lighter western saddle. My heaviest weighs 30 lbs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leather View Post
                              NoSuchPerson is this similar to you technique?

                              https://youtu.be/msaapnSjQjo
                              The specifics are somewhat different, but I think the underlying principle is the same - that you don't have to heave the whole saddle up above the horse's back. You come at it from the side and kind of roll it up over the top, smooth and quiet.
                              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                              that's even remotely true."

                              Homer Simpson

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                You don't need a heavy saddle. I know my ranch saddle weighs about a million pounds and I have a really hard time getting it onto my 15 hand horse. I haven't even tried to put it on my over 16 hand guy. I have a "trainer" saddle that is pretty light weight. it's not so light I can heft it on with one hand like the manly men can but I can swing it up there using the technique that's been described by a couple other shorties. I have my left hand under the gullet, kind of on the side but under and my right hand has the rear skirt (I think - picturing it in my head... cantle or skirt). Anyhow I kind of swing it near my hip to give me enough "umph" to get it up there. I do not slam it on the back, I set it there. That's the hard part, setting it there and not slamming it.

                                An older saddle will be perfect for a young horse because then you can let the flaps drop on his sides and when you untack him you can kind of just shove it off the wrong side and let it fall to the ground and do the same on the other to help with desensitizing... (and not have to worry about scratching it up)....

                                Good luck!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think I will hang a pulley from a beam and hang the saddle there, lead the horse underneath and ease the saddle down on his back.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    First off, what kind of saddle are you using that weights 50lb!?!?! My heaviest weights about 35lb.
                                    As far as technique on any western saddle. Stand on the left side holding the saddle with your left hand on the front and right hand on the back...face towards the back of your horse and use the swinging of your body towards the horse while lifting the saddle up to leverage the saddle high enough it ends up over his back, then gently set it down. Putting the right Stirrup over the horn can help keep the extras out of the way!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sandsarita View Post
                                      Myself and the other short girl riding hunters never ever swing a western saddle onto our hunters on the occasion we put one on them. We have one hand holding under the pommel and one holding under the cantle both slightly to the left of midline. We are standing directly to the left of the horse facing the horse Saddle in-line with the horse exactly like we want to put it on the horse. We then lift it up almost like a clean in the gym and sit it gently and controlled on the horse. We can get it on the 16.3hh giants this way and even if they move adjust to them and not hurt our backs or theirs. And we developed this method independently and do it exactly the same. It works great
                                      I do the clean and jerk, too. I am 5'1" and put my 1980s equitation saddle on my 16.1 hand KWPN hunter.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by TheHunterKid90 View Post
                                        First off, what kind of saddle are you using that weights 50lb!?!?! My heaviest weights about 35lb.
                                        As far as technique on any western saddle. Stand on the left side holding the saddle with your left hand on the front and right hand on the back...face towards the back of your horse and use the swinging of your body towards the horse while lifting the saddle up to leverage the saddle high enough it ends up over his back, then gently set it down. Putting the right Stirrup over the horn can help keep the extras out of the way!
                                        Hmmm, when I have to use a bucket to brush a horse's back, I really don't have a chance in china to get a saddle held by the front and back in the middle "high enough it ends up over it's back", by a foot at least, swing or not.
                                        Balancing the saddle high up there by the left front and back corner the skirts barely gets it up on the blanket on my 15.1 hands gelding.

                                        Comment

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