View Full Version : Western??
21st Oct 2003, 05:52 PM
Hi I am considering taking up western riding (changing Ted into a western horse) but was just wondering what people think? Is it more comfortable for BOTH horse and rider? As although Ted has had his back checked and is in no pain and the vet says nothing is out he says Ted has a kink in his spine.
It would only be the saddle I would buy (he goes well in a plain snaffle so no need to change to a western bridle) but if I did get one I would buy a lightweight synthetic saddle.
Also how are western saddles measured? As Ted takes a 17" medium fit leather english saddle so what would he take in western saddle? Is it measured differently??
21st Oct 2003, 08:56 PM
Western saddles are measured differently. You will probably need a 15'' with semi quarterhorse bars if your horse is a medium fit (thats the angle the front is set at)....as a rule of thumb a you need at western saddle to measure 2'' shorter than an English saddle.....it WILL actually be longer than your English saddle, its just the way they measure them.
If you want a good quality synthetic I can recommend Westways Saddlery (http://www.btinternet.com/~stevepscott/) they are western specialists and the synthetic they market is far better than the ones you see in certain catalogues....(naming no names) They will give you advice about saddle fitting, and will come out to fit (for travelling expenses) if required.....Wendy and Steve Scott are the proprietors.
Western saddles have a larger bearing surface on the horses back and so pressure points are reduced. Most horses are very comfortable in them and I certainly enjoy riding in my western saddle and find it very comfortable and easy to sit in.
21st Oct 2003, 09:11 PM
My 14hh bay mare is very, very narrow and has always had back problems from her days as a pacer. We believe she had an accident and screwed up her back and haunches.
Anyway, since changing to a western saddle and style of riding 1 year ago, the difference has been phenomenal. She's gone from being a head-in-the-air, pacing, bucking, bolting, nappy, stroppy little mule to a fantastic, well-schooled little pony who's happy to try anything for you. So far, we've competed successfully in all Western events, in ridden and in-hand showing EXTREMELY successfully (many wins and never unplaced), in dressage, and we got top marks for the obstacles at Le Trec. She's happy to work in a Western or English frame under Western tack - she's a darling, very easy to work with and much more cooperative now.
Also, don't feel you need a 'Western bridle'. Your English bridle will serve the purpose - simply remove the noseband and purchase some split reins, and voila, a Western bridle. Although Bella goes both one-handed in a curb and two-handed in her snaffle, I just attatch the bit to my normal English bridle.
Many people make the mistake of thinking - right, Western - and stick a curb on their horses, and then don't enjoy ''Western'' because the poll pressure on their horse just becomes too much
19th Dec 2003, 01:46 PM
I think that western saddles are much more comfortable. You will have to sit in a few saddles to determine which is most comfortable to you, and then try it out on your horse.
20th Dec 2003, 08:00 PM
You can get a lovely western bridle and have a snaffle, all western horses are started in snaffles, you dont have to have a reining bit. But western is great. I think you will love it.
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