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Why's there so much difference?

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        11-03-2009, 11:45 AM
      #11
    Started
    Quote:
    Yes you should feel very balanced in a western saddle but I think that the OP is saying that she feel really comfortable in an english saddle and find that where she used to feel comfortable in a western saddle she is ultra comfortable (if that makes sense ) ...
    Precisely... I've always been comfy in a western saddle because that's what I've 'always' ridden in... but after riding in an english saddle for so long, when I rode my mare, I was so comfortable and so balanced...
         
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        11-03-2009, 11:53 AM
      #12
    Weanling
    I do understand what she is saying, I had 6 months off cause my horse was back home, then free leased a horse for two months who only had an english saddle. When I finally got in a western saddle on the free lease horse, it felt *really* weird... and I didn't feel like I had any idea of what he was doing next like I did in the english saddle... so I do know what she means. :) However, I didn't relate that to balance so much has feeling the horses movement a lot more intensely...

    I think english does help your balance though, just to answer the original question. I think it doesn't "set you up" in the right position as much as a western saddle does, so you have to find your balance a lot more.. just like riding bareback. The stirrups are a lot more flexible and you only really have a little cushion to sit on in a way haha, so yeah, definitely need to be balanced.

    I just won't want to say I am 100% right in agreeing with that because I "found my balance" while riding western and bareback, so when I got in an english saddle I had little to no problem adjusting...
         
        11-03-2009, 12:41 PM
      #13
    Started
    ^i totally agree that in a western saddle it is easier to stay in the "right place" (many people still are off) BUT in and english saddle you have to work a lot harder to keep your position.
         
        11-03-2009, 10:03 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    Right. That's what I said... or meant to if I didn't... hahaha I wrote that 10 mins after I woke up.
         
        11-03-2009, 10:33 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Mmmm, I really don't think balance is the right word. I spent most of my young life riding Western and bareback, and while learning to ride English was definitely HARD, it wasn't the balance that was the issue.

    For example, I thought English was harder because in Western, I had learned to rely on the comfort of my saddle and not really have to do much more then sit in it on trail rides. With English, I felt I had to work harder and couldn't relax as easy.

    However, I have a friend who's always ridden English on trails and she rides virtually the same way I do when I ride lazy in my Western. I think it really depends on what you're used to. So few of us spend equal time doing both styles, it's easy to say one is harder or one is easier.

    I don't think riding English helped my balance at all. It DID however make my leg stronger because I didn't have the option of riding "lazy", I had to work harder to ride properly. But that's only in comparison to the comfort level I had attained from riding Western so long.
         
        11-04-2009, 07:36 AM
      #16
    Foal
    I have owned English, Western, and Australian saddles, and here's what I've discovered...
    I was trained originally and for years in only English and English saddles, and when I first learned the "proper way" to sit the English saddle (30 years ago now), this is what I learned and use consistently across the board.--- Forcing your heels down does help to sit your butt deeper into the saddle, sitting up straight does focus your balance more accurately, and when you've finally developed the technique consistently, you have learned to balance properly on your Horse.
    Then when you get into any other saddle (western, etc..) you have an easier time remaining "in balance" with your riding technique. That's at least the 1st of a few points I have come to understand about the way I "sit"
         
        11-04-2009, 10:02 PM
      #17
    Foal
    I've ridden English and Western pretty sporadically over the years. I wouldn't say English saddles require more balance than Western, but Western saddles simply allow you to be lazier. It takes discipline not to fall into bad habits, because that sort of thing can make a difference, even if it feels fine.
    On the other hand, I feel like it's often easier to relax in Western saddles, which isn't a bad thing at all. It can increase your suppleness I think.

    For me, I wish I could ride both as often as I wanted...or either, for that matter. ;)
         
        11-05-2009, 10:41 AM
      #18
    Weanling
    I find this thread funny because I recently had an experience going to a Western/English + Gymkhana show in October, whereas before I was used to only going to English Shows.

    I think it has something to do with being self-taught, not saying that being self taught is bad but being self taught you don't neccesarily learn the "correct" way of doing things. Case in point, 99.9% of Gymkhana people ride western, and I've never seen more kids and adults alike that were soooo unbalanced and relying heavily on the horn to stay in their saddle. If they had taken Western lessons they would have learn to have given up that dependence on the horn a long time ago.

    Same thing happens with self taught english people, they rely heavily on things like the Pommel (which isn't much to hang onto in the first place). Once people take formal lessons bad habits like that tend to go away.

    Now if you are self-taught and you are taking the initiative to do things correctly, that's a different story and kudos to you for having the gumption.
         
        11-05-2009, 11:47 AM
      #19
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by whit144man    
    I've ridden English and Western pretty sporadically over the years. I wouldn't say English saddles require more balance than Western, but Western saddles simply allow you to be lazier. It takes discipline not to fall into bad habits, because that sort of thing can make a difference, even if it feels fine.
    On the other hand, I feel like it's often easier to relax in Western saddles, which isn't a bad thing at all. It can increase your suppleness I think.

    For me, I wish I could ride both as often as I wanted...or either, for that matter. ;)
    agree
         
        11-05-2009, 03:54 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    I think it takes more leg strength, or maybe just different muscles in english. I rode english the past few years and when I started riding in a western saddle this summer I felt really weird because I didn't have to tense my legs so much to keep them steady. Then when I got into an english saddle again I felt floppier than normal. Not sure if its true, but I think that you do get a bit stronger in an english saddle.
         

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