"Proper" Way to Ride in a Western Saddle - Page 5
 
 

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"Proper" Way to Ride in a Western Saddle

This is a discussion on "Proper" Way to Ride in a Western Saddle within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        04-26-2013, 12:20 PM
      #41
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    When I want Mia to relax on a trail, my feet go forward. I'm not bracing in the stirrups, just relaxing and letting my hips move with her back. If I want her to go fast, I let my lower leg hang down vertical from the knee, lean forward and transfer most of my weight to my thighs. With my rump barely touching the saddle, she understands it as "Go faster". If I want her to make a tight turn, I settle deep, bring my heel under my hip and get out of the way of her shoulders. She's awkward enough without me asking her for a sharp turn with my legs forward! On average, my heels are further back than I like because that is how my saddle is built, and I see no value in fighting with my saddle.

    One of the things that drew me to western riding was that most people I ran in to were happy to ride their horses, and happy to let you ride yours without any lectures. I think most do what I do now - look to see if your horse is relaxed and moving cheerfully forward. If so, then how you ride is your business.

    The B&W photo I posted earlier is THE western style of riding from around the 1860s thru the 1950s or 60s. If you ever watch an old western, ignore the stars sometimes and watch the wranglers riding in the background, or some of the character parts. There were a number of bit players who grew up on ranches in the 20s, 30, and 40s who can be seen riding. They are usually easy to spot, because they are moving relaxed on a relaxed horse, even when going quickly off trail.

    You can ride like that old cowboy photo and not sore your horse or even annoy your horse. You can also ride in a 'dressage' position in such a way as to make your horse hate you. Or not. My horses got a lot happier when I realized (thanks, Littauer) that riding wasn't about position, but about balance and moving with your horse for whatever it is you need at that moment. Some positions work better for some purposes, so adapt what you are doing in the saddle for what you want your horse to do under the saddle.
    So good to hear that I don't have to worry about perfection and there can be flexibility. I was very worried that if I couldn't ride perect, that I couldn't ride my horses at all. I'm an older rider, who didn't ride when I was younger and overweight too. I also have green/becoming less green horses who have never had anyone else ride them. My body may never line up perfectly no matter what I do. However, I am more confident by having some of those points pointed out to me because I have learned how to feel my horse better and really understand the whole mechanics stuff. It's still a little wierd because I think I'm sitting perfectly straight upright....but I am still riding with my legs in a slight chair position. However, I am ok with it because I am balanced and deep in my seat and my horse is moving nicely.
         
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        04-26-2013, 03:36 PM
      #42
    Banned
    I will have to get a video this weekend and see what y'all think.
         
        04-26-2013, 06:44 PM
      #43
    Green Broke
    I wanna come ride with you BSMS, I'll bring some tarantula and we can argue about hippies or something.
    QHriderKE, gunslinger and DimSum like this.
         
        04-26-2013, 07:47 PM
      #44
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oldhorselady    
    So good to hear that I don't have to worry about perfection and there can be flexibility. I was very worried that if I couldn't ride perect, that I couldn't ride my horses at all. I'm an older rider, who didn't ride when I was younger and overweight too. I also have green/becoming less green horses who have never had anyone else ride them. My body may never line up perfectly no matter what I do. However, I am more confident by having some of those points pointed out to me because I have learned how to feel my horse better and really understand the whole mechanics stuff. It's still a little wierd because I think I'm sitting perfectly straight upright....but I am still riding with my legs in a slight chair position. However, I am ok with it because I am balanced and deep in my seat and my horse is moving nicely.
    We, (my wife and I) ride most weekends simply for the joy it brings.

    What's important to us is the joy of the ride and being on the trail together. So, we know we're doing it wrong, but we don't care. Ignorance is bliss. We do it for the simplicity of it and could care less about a flying lead change.

    We got horse snobbed a few weeks ago on the trail. My wife asked this lady and her husband to ride with us.....I already knew they really didn't want to ride with us, and told my wife that. The other lady that we ride with every weekend said "oh no...I don't know which horse to bring" she has four from a peanut roller to a quick racking horse. She and I both knew what was going to happen...and it did....

    They told us to meet them at a certain location and then they showed up about 45 minutes late.....with a certain local horse trainer.....rode with us for less than half a mile...told us our horses were riding us.....offered to give us lessons.....

    The funny thing is, they can't ride with anyone anymore because who ever they're riding with has a horse that makes there's act up.

    My reply was something to the effect of "we rode 20 weekends last year and almost 500 miles, how many did you ride?

    We won't ask them to ride with us again....We enjoy our horses, to bad they can't enjoy theirs. I don't intend to take my trail riding and turn it into something that's going to take the fun out of it.

    It's not rocket surgery.
    nvr2many and 6gun Kid like this.
         
        04-26-2013, 08:13 PM
      #45
    Green Broke
    Thats pretty much why I don't ride "with" anyone, sure get the gang together, meet up at X ridign out at Y, you 45 minutes late you will see some empty trailers in parking lot, or you wont, maybe see someone else that's late, but I saddle up and go, we happen to be going same pace that's great, if not ? That's ok too, I'll see you at lunch. Never understood the need to be attached at the hip to the group, and everyone has to stay together, lets wait on so and so gotta wait for thsi that and the other.. Umm no thanks, gets me wound up, gets my horse wound up,,, I'm just out to have fun, so come on lets ride, take off or follow behind, don't matter to me.
         
        04-26-2013, 08:44 PM
      #46
    Green Broke
    Same here Joe....I guess the wife and I ride enough that we can keep up if we want to.......I've got to admit, a peanut roller does frustrate my walking mare....she'll slow down if I ask her to, but she sure doesn't like it much.

    For some, there's never good enough....I was a lot like that in my younger years.....

    I raised field trial/gun dog beagles for almost 30 years....started out with grade dogs....wound up with high dollar stuff and placed one second at the AKC nationals.....It got pretty serious...people get mad...cheat...do things you wouldn't expect....I guess that's what happens in most things when it gets to serious. That's one of the main reasons I won't take horse riding to seriously.....safe, sane horses...they don't have to be perfect and neither do I. When I'm not having fun and enjoying it anymore then I'll do something else...
    bsms and nvr2many like this.
         
        04-26-2013, 10:05 PM
      #47
    Trained
    I don't care how other people ride and I won't say a word unless they ask or a horrible accident is about to happen or happening and I can save someone from an injury(even ask my husband! LOL!) I think that is the polite thing to do. Unfortunately Gunslinger, the folks you rode with recently felt the need to push their ideas onto you and your wife rather than just enjoying the ride. But if asked I will give my unprofessional advice and opinion.
    I do strive to improve my position and way of handling my horses because I like bettering myself and helping my horses get better. Some of it is show related but some of it not. I like a horse that feels effortless under saddle in the show pen, branding pen or outside. But I am not one to shove it down someones throat if they ride with me and I hope I would receive the same respect.(unless it was a work situation of course)
         
        04-26-2013, 10:32 PM
      #48
    Started
    Gunslinger and Joe....I will come ride with you anytime!!

    I can't say I've had any bad experiences being snubbed for my riding thank goodness. Actually, maybe it's because when I ride my percheron, they are so in awe of her that they don't even see me...lol.

    Anyhoo.....I'm riding my pinto a lot more now. She just turned four and I just want to be sure that I experience a good canter with her so I know if she would canter without me asking, I could do ok and that she would be ok from being already experienced with cantering under saddle. So, I feel I need to be riding as correctly as possible in order for her to learn the ropes.

    When I took lessons, I wasn't in it to look like any type of show rider. I doubt I will ever look like that no matter how much training I pay for. I'm good with that, just want to ride the best I can to build my confidence and help my horse move and not have her be a 'green' horse forever.
    bsms, nvr2many and Dustbunny like this.
         
        04-26-2013, 10:44 PM
      #49
    Started
    I am enjoying what the Guys have to say here. And I agree.
    nvr2many likes this.
         
        04-27-2013, 01:00 PM
      #50
    Green Broke
    @ oldhorselady......... I think you need to come up to Oregon and we can ride our big blacks together,
    Your's may make mine look tiny, lol.
         

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