Why No Horn? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-23-2013, 12:58 PM
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BC, if you're not punching cattle you NEED no horn.
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-23-2013, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the insight!

The only thing is, trail saddles have a horn and most trail riders I know don't punch cows or rope or do other ranch things. No one seems to bat an eye that there are horns on those saddles. That is why I found it confusing.

Not getting it in the gut makes good sense. I also like the "oh s***" handle.
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-23-2013, 11:09 PM
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I just grab my horse's mane if I need an oh s*** handle. Plus I've been working on hanging on with my legs now that I have a horse that has a barrel.
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-23-2013, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cpr saves View Post
Thanks for the insight!

The only thing is, trail saddles have a horn and most trail riders I know don't punch cows or rope or do other ranch things. No one seems to bat an eye that there are horns on those saddles. That is why I found it confusing.

Not getting it in the gut makes good sense. I also like the "oh s***" handle.
There are horns on most trail saddles for two reasons. First, a lot of times, people on the trail may have to move a tree branch or pony another horse. Having a horn makes both of those activities easier. Also, people associate horns with western saddles, so it's become kind of a "looks" thing.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-23-2013, 11:19 PM
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I use the horn as a convenient handle to pick the saddle up. Most horns aren't strong enough for much ranch use anyways. I sometimes use it to hold the bridle and halter while I'm carrying tack out.

On one occasion, hopefully never to be repeated, when Mia was too panicked to stop for two hours straight & squirting diarrhea out the back end, I pulled her head to one side, put a couple of loops of rein around the horn, and bailed before she could get straightened out and bolt. That obviously is one of the possible uses that no saddle maker intended the horn be used for.

None of which is a good reason for a horn on an endurance saddle. When I use an English saddle, I don't miss the horn much, but sometimes wonder who stole the front end off of my saddle...

... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-23-2013, 11:20 PM
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Bsms, why freaked your horse out that badly?
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post #17 of 28 Old 05-24-2013, 12:29 AM
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That's what a monkey grip is for...and with the grip, no chance of gouging yourself in the gut over rough terrain.
Monkey grip? Is that the same thing as a night latch????

No horn on my saddle. I'm just not comfortable with one in front of me.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-24-2013, 01:02 AM
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Bsms, why freaked your horse out that badly?
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Long story. I had bought her as a horse "perfect for a beginner". Some months after that incident, the trainer I hired concluded she had never been broken to ride. So it was a double-whammy: like any new rider, I was inconsistent with my cues, while she didn't understand what any of the cues meant. She had tried her best, but that day a series of little things - cars backfiring, kids yelling, two-stroke engines, etc - all just completely overwhelmed her. I could get her stopped, but the moment she felt my right leg move to dismount, she'd bolt in terror.

Once I was on the ground, she came to me and just shivered. She ended up going without riding for 8 months while I worked on MY riding, and then I hired a trainer to spend months working with her on HOW to be ridden.

She still has some fears, but 18 months after her formal training started, I'm riding her sometimes off property in an English saddle. I don't remember her last bolt anymore, and we're slowly working out her fears. We've now had 5 years together, and I think I will eventually have an uncommonly good, willing and spirited horse.

From last night's ride in an Aussie saddle...still heavy on the front end, but calming and SLOWLY getting better balance. That applies to both of us! :




... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)

Last edited by bsms; 05-24-2013 at 01:04 AM.
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-24-2013, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cpr saves View Post
The only thing is, trail saddles have a horn and most trail riders I know don't punch cows or rope or do other ranch things. No one seems to bat an eye that there are horns on those saddles.
Certainly not all trail saddles have horns. Mine doesn't (though it is labeled an "endurance" saddle), nor do any of the 3 my riding buddy uses. Thinking of other people we ride with, I'd say about half have horns, and most of those people have ranch work somewhere in the background.
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-24-2013, 05:32 AM
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I do like having one saddle that has a horn, for random fun stuff like dragging something, like in an extreme cowboy race, or just for training your horse to tolerate dragging something scary... I tried to do that ONE time in a dressage saddle, and OUCH, my gloved hand is not tough enough to wrap rope around to drag a log with!
99% of the time I have no use for a horn though.
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