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    07-26-2011, 06:06 PM
Question Balance

Maybe this is a dumb question, I don't know. Does a person have to have better balance in an english saddle or dressage saddle vs. a western saddle? Just curious.
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    07-26-2011, 09:10 PM
Oh, I think most people will admit that it's a bit harder to come out of a western saddle than a jump saddle. So, maybe in a comparison of the same sort of riding, such as just cantering in an arena, the western saddle might not require as much balance. But if you are talking about reining manuavers and cutting actions, a lot of balance is needed to stay in even a western saddle.

What is your experience on this?
    07-26-2011, 09:44 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Oh, I think most people will admit that it's a bit harder to come out of a western saddle than a jump saddle. So, maybe in a comparison of the same sort of riding, such as just cantering in an arena, the western saddle might not require as much balance. But if you are talking about reining manuavers and cutting actions, a lot of balance is needed to stay in even a western saddle.
I was going to basically say the same thing...if you want to do anything more than just 'stay on', balance is key regardless of the discipline/saddle.
    07-26-2011, 09:56 PM
Yup - a good rider with a strong, independent seat, should be equally balanced no matter what style of saddle. The western may be easier to stay in if you run into a sticky situation, but that's not necessarily always a good thing!
    07-27-2011, 12:44 AM
I was just curious, really. I've been riding Dancer in a western saddle and have been nervous to learn to canter on him. When he's spooked and cantered off I stayed on just fine so it must be a mental block for me. I had a lesson yesterday on a horse that had less gas then Dancer does. I was riding in an english saddle and I guess I pressed him on too much at the trot and he cantered a stride. I wasn't afraid so my instructor said I should try to get him to do it on purpose. I first did it in 2 point and then did it sitting. We probably did 10 strides and I didn't feel off balance or like I was going to die. I was talking to my mom about this and she just thought it was crazy that I decided to do this in an english saddle opposed to my western.
    07-27-2011, 02:15 AM
Some people feel more secure in the two point or half seat because they have a strong knee on the horse and the shorter stirrup makes them feel more weight into the stirrup irons. Perhaps this is why you liked the canter in the English saddle. Also, the horse makes a big difference. Mac, my lease horse, has the easiest canter in the world to ride. I can canter him all day with great confidence, but my friend's horse, JOker, was hard to canter and I always had some fear when cantering him. Even had a good hard fall from him at the canter when he spooked big time.
    07-27-2011, 03:41 PM
I've never ridden in a western but im told theyre easy to balance in though if ur horse starts broncing you'll probs get a horn in ur stomach...
Ouch.... :o
    07-28-2011, 03:44 PM
I have never hit the horn even on a horse that bucked ..I guess it depend on how big your horn is...they have different size horns for roping and and than trail riding from what I seen..I just got a roping saddle and its horn sticks way up there...I do like how you sit in a English saddle....I am planning on getting a aussie saddle sometime soon, because I like how its got a mix of both and I thought it was pretty comfy when I rode on one long time can get them with or with out horns too not sure which to get I kind of like a horn gives you something to grab if your horse decides to be crazy lol
    07-31-2011, 12:25 PM
Re the horn vs no horn - if the only reason you want the horn is to grab it if horsey is being silly, why not get (or make) a monkey strap? Amazing things, I have one that I will probably put on my jumping saddle when I get around to finding one that fits Monty.

Re the english saddle vs western - I have ridden in both. I found the English saddles much easier to ride in but that may be because I've been riding in them for 10 years as opposed to one or two rides in the Western. I did like the Western though, very comfy, I just find it easier to find my balance in the more familiar English saddles.

I love my dressage saddle, very secure, but I have been bucked out of it! I've only come off three times in the whole time I've had the saddle, though, and that helps. One of those falls was stupid - I went one way, the horse went the other - and something I hadn't done in months. One was potentially serious but I came out ok (Monty went bronco). And the third WAS serious, I came off from a gallop onto hard ground. Minor head injury, hairline fracture at the head of my right humerus. I came out VERY light. If not for my helmet, I think I probably would have died, or at least had serious head injuries. I didn't even have any scrapes or bruises. But it could have been so much worse. I've only cantered three times since, and I haven't jumped... kicking myself up the butt tomorrow after work and I WILL ride, and canter, and I will jump. Even if it's a tiny crossrail, I will jump.
    07-31-2011, 02:40 PM
You have to have a lot more balance in and english saddle vs. a western saddle. 1) there is no horn to hold on to. 2) western saddles are deeper

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