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Western saddles are the debbil!!

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  • Western saddles are the debbil!!

    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.


    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!!

  • #2
    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!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


    • #3
      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.


      • #4
        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.
        "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
        -George Morris


        • Original Poster

          It's easy! Just slide right over and down, taking the saddle with you


          • #6
            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!
            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


            • #7
              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
              To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.


              • #8
                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.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                  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. that works really well...I know from experience.


                  • #10
                    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.
                    R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
                    36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever


                    • #11
                      I bought my first western saddle a couple years ago. Figured I might as well since I keep buying western horses.

                      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.

                      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.

                      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.
                      You jump in the saddle,
                      Hold onto the bridle!
                      Jump in the line!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aerial View Post
                        be sure to hook your bra on the horn as your sliding down. that works really well...I know from experience.

                        Been there, done that. I've also torn a few shirts that way.
                        "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                        -George Morris


                        • #13
                          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!


                          • #14
                            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.
                            "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                            Phoenix Animal Rescue


                            • #15
                              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.
                              It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                              • #16
                                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).


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  www.cobjockey.com - Eventing the Welsh Cob


                                  • #18
                                    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.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      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!!


                                      • #20
                                        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).
                                        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                        Spay and neuter. Please.