Jumping in western? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping in western?

Butterscotch likes to jump.
Butterscotch hates to be ridden English.
Butterscotch likes to be ridden Western.
Butterscotch took me over a jump in Western once.

I was wondering if anyone else supports jumping in a western saddle, and if so, got any tips? If there's not a whole lot of negativity toward the idea, I'm gonna set out to buy a back strap for my saddle when I go cinch hunting. He really can't stand the English style. He's a butthole toward everyone in English, but the moment you lean back and sit as if it were a Western saddle, he relaxes and does what you want. That's why I'm wondering about this.

I am planning to try putting a gel pad under the English saddle to see if it helps relieve the problem - it could just be the contact while sitting forward. At the same time, I don't yet know. If he doesn't wanna be an English horse, I'm fine with that, I won't force it. But he likes jumping. I know he does.

If he turns out to be anti-English despite my efforts, I do plan to possibly set out and look for a cheap horse (probably 10 years or older) to do jumping on. I don't like high jumps, so no worries. That same horse will be doubling as my boyfriend's trail horse (if he learns to stop being a prick and learns to be gentler with horses; he was taught the rough route when a horse misbehaves).

Big City

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post #2 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 03:20 PM
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The main down side of jumping in a western saddle is the tendency to get impaled on the horn. LOL trust me been there done that, it hurts.

I would check the fit of your English saddle, it could be the reason he's acting up.
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post #3 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 03:22 PM
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If would be okay if just about every Western saddle that is ridden and NOT used to chase and tie up cattle has that HORN that can jab you in the stomach over a jump.
I do NOT recommend them for jumping. Jumping should be done:
--bareback
--english all-purpose, or close-contact
--McClellan (the pommel has no horn and is the same height as the cantle)
--High School dressage saddle
--Austrailian stock saddle
--Mountain stock saddle--hard to explain but it resembles a western but has no horn
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post #4 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 03:22 PM
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I wouldn't jump western, that horn can be dangerous if something happens and you land wrong. If he doesn't like english do bareback. Start with trot poles and move up as you get more comfortable with his movement. And it is great for building balance
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post #5 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 03:27 PM
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I've rode over teeny cross rails both western and english. Western just isn't practical for so many reasons.

I'd check your saddle fit. That could be what makes him grumpy.

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #6 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 03:32 PM
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I have seen more than one lady hook her bra on the horn when jumping in a western saddle. These were little jumps too , like a log on the trail, I used to work at a riding stable & took out groups. I'd say once a week some lady would leave the trails bra-less!
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post #7 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 03:37 PM
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If the horse won't go in an english saddle, you have no business trying to jump, lol. Either something is wrong with your seat, the saddle, your leg, or the horse's back - problems that could be exacerbated by putting extra stress and excitement on the horse by teaching it to jump. You could ride in an english saddle with western reins though. Just my 2 cents.


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post #8 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 04:14 PM
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I've heard horror stories of saddle horns going through thighs and stomachs and such. I have jumped in a Western saddle, but it's usually on trail.

Perhaps she doesn't like the English saddle because of incorrect fit or rider position?
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post #9 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 04:21 PM
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Old thread, same subject:

Jumping with a western saddle.

The jumping style in the 1800s was to sit back and have a straight back. It limited how high the horses could jump, which is why everyone switched over around 1900. But if it were me, I'd try to find a jump saddle that fit the horse.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #10 of 60 Old 04-26-2012, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, a lot of replies in just the time at work...

It's not just my saddle, and I'm by far not the only person to have tried working him. Several riders have attempted it, and everyone likes him, but everyone keeps saying the same thing as me - he acts up and veers off in funny directions. I think I'll look into hornless saddle, because I have heard of gutting yourself and I really rather not do that (even if mine is small and has to ever gut me... including when a horse rolled over on me).

Three of us witness him - me being the rider, and two horse-raised women (one being a trainer of students, the other a horse trainer) - I sat in as perfect of a position as I could get. The second time I had ever used the saddle, I asked others to check if it looks like it fit him good enough, because I didn't want it riding his withers since they are a tad high, but not to the point that he needs a gel pad. He's fine standing still, but the moment you ask him to move forward, it's all over. He's done everything with me at just a walk. I don't blame him one bit (some of it really was my fault). But, with the three of us as witnesses, I went from sitting the prettiest position I could conjure to relaxing into a western position, and he went from "I hate this" to "omfgyesthankyou" and did everything I wanted him to do without veering or walking into the wall.

The trainer who I ride with (Hillari) grew up western, and used to jump western all the time. I could use her eyes and knowledge to keep watch of me, and if it doesn't sound like a horrible idea, I'll look into a hornless saddle. And don't worry folks, my current saddle isn't much heavier than a large English saddle, and I don't plan on moving up the weight scale much. I'm also thinking of getting a custom saddle for us, which might even help.

Big City

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