western saddle?? help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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western saddle?? help!

Hi there,

I am looking at buying my first horse, I live in the Uk. Unfortunately I cannot afford a Quarter Horse, as much as I would like one! However, I am looking to buy a Connemara. There may be a really obvious aswer to this question but I will ask anyway, can a Connemara carry a western saddle (not synthetic) for long periods of time? I am wanting to eventually do endurance, not competitavely, and basically do alot of hacking.

Also, is it possible to change from using a western saddle to and english saddle once he is trained? I enjoy riding in both saddles, but keeping the bit the same, as well as always neck reining eventually??

Any help would be grately appreciated!
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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Howdy Roma, welcome to the forum. I am not terribly familiar with the Connemara breed but you should be able to find a western saddle to fit one. I just looked up and it says that they range from 13hh to over 15hh. It is a pretty common thing to find quarter horses in that size range as well. Just make sure that the saddle fits the horse's back and it should have no problem carrying it for as long as you want to ride. Yes, any trained horse should be able to switch between the western and english saddle with no problems, though at first, there may be some skittishness just because they feel so different to the horse.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 10:28 PM
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I've seen Connemara in local barns used for trail riding (with western saddle on). They had no problems.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 11:03 PM
Green Broke
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Western saddles are pretty versatile, as long as you find one that fits properly (as you would do with any type of saddle). Connemaras are a breed of pony, however like any breed they can be ridden either english or western.
Also, you could always try an australian saddle. They are built to fit like an english with the girth instead of western cinch, only they come with a horn & several tie rings, which are great for long rides/endurance.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 11:08 PM
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I just had this chat with my instructor a few days ago. Here was her theory.

A 1000 pound horse has to carry a 10 pound english saddle or a 30 pound western.

This loosely equates to:

A 100 pound person has to carry a 1 pound back pack vs a 3 pound back pack.

The difference seems alot to us because we are smaller than a horse but the difference between 1 and 3 pounds is so small...it wouldnt really make a difference.

Make sure your saddle fits, dont skimp on the pad and enjoy yourself! Both disciplines are fun!
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-29-2010, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for all the advice! Im sure there will be plenty more questions in the future!
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-29-2010, 10:20 AM
Green Broke
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As long as the saddle fits the horse, you can use a western saddle on any breed. Connemaras do tend to have short backs, at least the ones I have seen, so you may have a tough time finding a western saddle that isn't too long. You want the front concho to sit behind the shoulder blade and the back edge of the skirts should not completely cover the flanks.

All of my horses carry western or English saddles. They really don't seem to care either way.

It's funny how expensive QH's are in other countries. Here, in Arkansas, you can buy a young untrained registered 2yr old for $150-300 right now... I wonder if the European dealers have figured out to buy a load of horses from the US cheap and ship them over...
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-29-2010, 01:26 PM
Green Broke
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Yeah it's really weird that Qh's are so expensive there when they're a dime a dozen (so to speak) here in north america. In Alberta, where i'm from practically everyone with horses has atleast one in their herd.
Also, i ride both my horses western & i've found that the synthetic saddles that aren't made of leather tend to fit a wider range of horses as they're more flexible and fit nicely on ponies or big horses. They're also really light weight & comfortable.
I had a welsh pony mare a couple of months ago & this type of saddle fit her really well.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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