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Falling off of a Western saddle worse than English fall?

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  • #41
    Until last weekend I would have said I have come out of both and it didn't really make a difference. However, last weekend I was trying a horse and rode in a cutting saddle. The horse stumbled and went to her knees, and floundered trying to keep from going all the way down. I hit my pubic bone on that horn, and I can't believe how wrecked I am. I pulled muscles in my butt, and severely bruised my pubic bone and thigh. I am gobsmacked with how much damage I did without coming off or even coming down on the horn. Although I don't think anything is broken as I am able to walk and move, I will need to give some thought to riding in a saddle with a horn again.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses


    • #42
      Cutting and barrel racing saddles have pretty aggressive horns!

      I like a lowboy saddle horn.
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


      • #43
        im an english rider that occasionally rides gymkhana. i had a horse in training go bronc a few months back and managed to land my shin on the saddle horn while coming off. swelled up the size of a baseball for days


        • #44
          I was in an english saddle when my horse fell. I lurched forward, but then bounced out of the stirrups to the side and did my best to roll away as she rolled on her side toward me. We were both completely fine and I rode home. Another time, she stopped so quickly that I came off, did a summersault on one side of her neck, and landed on my feet next to her, holding the reins (that was strange!). Maybe in a western saddle I wouldn't have come off on that one (?). At any rate, my exits from english saddles have been easy. I did come off a western saddle without any problems, but that was one of my first few rides.


          • #45
            Originally posted by RuBee View Post
            I was in an english saddle when my horse fell. I lurched forward, but then bounced out of the stirrups to the side and did my best to roll away as she rolled on her side toward me.
            I managed to get my foot jammed all the way through an english stirrup when my horse slipped and crashed on her side. Thank goodness for my helmet and for soft muddy ground. And for a sensible lesson horse who stayed down whilst I yanked my foot back through the stirrup iron (I had on tall boots, so it wasn't due to lack of proper footwear).

            I've also gotten bruised from a stirrup bar on a dressage saddle just from sitting a BIG spook. So even the English saddles can dent you.

            I have yet to get unloaded in a Western saddle, but I have caught my bra on the horn.

            Funnily enough, I discussed this very subject with the horse masseuse today. She's of the opinion that while it's easier to ride out a bucking session in a Western saddle, you definitely get more bruised in the process!


            • #46
              I recently had a horse go over with me. I usually ride in an English saddle, but I was western on this one. Between the bulky stirrup and the high back of the saddle, I got caught up and wound up breaking my leg. The saddle was obviously not the only factor in the accident, but I feel as though I would have fallen clear had I been in my usual AP saddle (and my quick-release stirrups probably would have saved my leg).


              • #47
                I had a fall (and the horse too) in a western saddle on a horse I was trying for sale. The horse went down pretty fast on a slippery corner of the ring (umm, yes I WAS kicking it forward thru the corner since it kept wanting to stop at the gate there. I did not know there was wet clay underneath. Down we went and I was unable to kick out of the stirrups fast enough,so leg-stirrup and horse crunch. Broke my left leg above the ankle in two places.
                After the little birds and stars cleared my head, the trainer shopping with me and I agreed that wasn't a great way to finish the school on that horse, so the owner boosted me back on from the right side and I cantered around that corner a couple times and stopped to gingerly slide off onto my good leg.
                We negotiated a price for the horse then headed off to emergency to verify I was right about my leg.. tight laced paddock boot kept everything in place very well.

                Stuff happens, having more or less saddle surrounding you, doesn't matter that much,imo just depends if you have the time and the wits to get clear when you want to.


                • #48
                  So, maybe the snap front Western shirts are for safety - quick release if hung up on saddle horn? And, maybe the giant belt buckle acts as protective armour against the saddle horn?

                  I guess "safety" breakaway bras are needed, no?

                  A young lady w/ an extensive Western (barrel racing) background did tell me that she would never ride in a loose / not tucked in shirt, because she witnessed somebody almost get hung by a shirt caught on the saddle horn.
                  Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                  • #49
                    I almost got hung by my vest off the horn, way off by myself in the mountains. Muddy boots, slipped in the stirrup when I was getting on and bloop, the vest went right over the horn. I just barely had my toes on the ground and managed to kick a rock where I could stand on it just enough. Dang $8 walmart vest wouldn't give an ounce; my horse was awfully good about it. I was just getting ready to undo the cinch on my saddle to slide it over when I got that rock in order.

                    That saddle had a big old doinky horn; I've sold it since. I really don't like those straight up horns, nice little lowboy is just fine.
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by ldaziens View Post
                      And, maybe the giant belt buckle acts as protective armour against the saddle horn?
                      Um, no. Can contribute to bruising in certain circumstances. And more fatal injuries if your horse lands on you, as in the case of the late Malcom Baldridge (Sec of Commerce in the Reagan years and also a foxhunter and roper).


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                        Um, no. Can contribute to bruising in certain circumstances. And more fatal injuries if your horse lands on you, as in the case of the late Malcom Baldridge (Sec of Commerce in the Reagan years and also a foxhunter and roper).
                        Pretty sure it was a joke


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                          Um, no. Can contribute to bruising in certain circumstances. And more fatal injuries if your horse lands on you, as in the case of the late Malcom Baldridge (Sec of Commerce in the Reagan years and also a foxhunter and roper).
                          Beverly, I just read the LA Times story on his death That was AWFUL.

                          I was 1/2 joking & 1/2 wondering about the buckles, and the Malcolm Baldridge story answered that question for me:

                          Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                          • #53
                            I always seem to rip my pants when i fall out of a western saddle. Hmph.


                            • #54
                              I feel like I can feel what is going on with the horse more when I’m riding English than western and therefore better able to anticipate what is coming next -my legs just naturally cling to the horse more when it starts to go down lol .i rode English as a child though and I think it might have something to do with that -I ride my husbands green mare a lot and I always wonder which saddle will be less likely to see my unplanned exit but as of yet I ride English - just no replacing that feel of the horse under me instead of unforgiving leather


                              • #55
                                Zombie thread from 2013.....

                                But I'll add anyway:

                                (1) The ground feels the same, whether you fell out of an English or Western saddle.

                                (2) You are going to have serious damage done to your body if you have a horse fall on you, whether the horse is wearing an English or Western saddle.

                                (3) I would rather have bruising on my thigh from a swell or saddle horn (that kept me in the saddle) rather than a bruised body from flying out of an English saddle and hitting the ground. IMO
                                It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


                                • #56
                                  I see I need to update my post from 2013. I've now managed to be seriously injured (defined by me as requiring a hospital visit and recovery time off) three times: once bareback, once from an English saddle, and once from a western saddle. And each was from a different horse/mule. So the only common factor here is me.
                                  "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                                  that's even remotely true."

                                  Homer Simpson


                                  • #57
                                    Zombie thread but a good one!

                                    I've been hurt the two times I've come off in a western saddle by the dang saddle. Geez there's so much crap to scrape on or get hung up with. And then you've got to deal with the pain from hitting the dirt. I've been dumped, probably three times, in an English saddle and it was quick and clean. Now you're in the saddle and now you're on the ground.

                                    And I can stick better in an English saddle, I think because I'm not only feeling the horse more but, I'm riding better - balanced better. Not a fan of clunky western saddles, especially when lifting the wretched thing up onto my 17h boy.


                                    • #58
                                      So twoish weeks ago my hot as a $2 pistol normally babysitter mare was having a moment, and I'd had enough of the pounding and figured I'd bail. She's only 15 hh in shoes on a good day and it was nice soft ground. I would have been fine if my right foot hadn't got caught up, and as I went over her right shoulder the hung up foot torqued, my boot slid mostly off, and instead of rolling I skidded. Flat ugly, painful, and my ankle still hurts cause I keep stepping in gopher holes. Blah on giant western stirrups, and I am so glad I wear redbacks. Although if I'm being honest its 20 years worth of English riding vs 8 months in a western saddle. My instincts are tuned in to survival in a pancake saddle.