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I dismounted without pain!!!

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  • I dismounted without pain!!!

    I've been riding my semi retired gelding western a bit recently. We did the hunters before, and now he's 19 and had surgery so we're just playing around now.

    I've finally learned how to tack up western by myself. I also finally have gotten to the point where I can mount from the ground on the first try!! But today was a big step--I dismounted without getting the horn to my stomach! Woo!

    Charlie neck reins pretty well, but we don't have a great whoa in the sidepull yet. For now, we're just walk trot hacking and doing trails. We cantered once and had a little trouble stopping, lol!

    Eventually we are gonna try beginner cow sorting so any western tips would be great. I'm having trouble sitting the trot with such long stirrups. SO tells me to "hump" the saddle with the motion, but I cant seem to do it.

    Any tips would be very welcome!!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

  • #2
    Do your feet feel like they are in good position riding western? Can you stand straight up and get a handwidth between saddle and crotch?

    Long stirrups is relative, in Western riding. You don't want to be fishing around for your stirrups while seated. Should still be able to get heels down, just that knees are not so bent as in most English riding.

    Getting horse going slower at the trot, WILL improve the comfort. He is older, should have a "throttle" on his trot that you can use, then move down to slower or up to faster trots, when he is asked for them.

    I would be working on my slowing down and halts, to get horse VERY crisp, before considering cattle work. You are going to not enjoy blowing on by where he needs to stop and turn, to keep control of the cattle.

    I never use a sidepull, can't offer advice with it. I do use a bit, horse is light in it, extremely turnable, whoas when asked, so that is my experience. We got the light feel and turning learned before going into work that needed some handiness on his feet. That is your "power steering".

    Whoa is EXTREMELY important to me, so that is something we work on hard, he is NEVER allowed to bull on thru it! Voice cue to PREPARE to halt, can be real helpful, he sets himself up, so stopping is easier. Kind of like downshifting in a manual transmission car! Don't overuse the cue words without actually stopping a few times.


    • #3
      What Goodhors said, especially, work in the arena and on the trail on light response whether sidepull or bosal or bit of any kind. Once they figure out they can bull through with you, it's not fun. So meanwhile, work on the steering a lot, too, if you burn out the brakes you want to at least be able to direct the forward motion (or circle to a slowdown/stop).

      Nothing wrong with posting the trot in a western saddle. And don't be afraid to shorten your stirrups a tinch. If you want to work on sitting the trot, the basic seat in western is rock back so the rear pockets of your wranglers are touching the cantle and keep hips and pelvis loose.


      • #4
        I mount *and* dismount at a mounting block- best thing for the horse's back, saddle wear and my knees.
        Appy Trails,
        Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
        member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


        • #5
          I tried cow sorting a few times this year and it was a blast! Neck reining definitely helps, but having a horse that moves off the leg is even better. A good turn on the haunches, turn on the fore, sidepass, and whoa will get you far with cow sorting. Here's some pics of the first time I did it with my gelding:

          Southern Cross Guest Ranch
          An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia