I want to learn to ride in English, but dont know where to start.
I will start with a little background...I have been riding in western for nearly 13 years. I have plenty of horse experience, and have taught horsemanship, riding lesson and have done some training. I am a confident and quiet rider and am very comfortable in my western saddles, and have never really considered riding English. However, for Christmas I was given a very beautiful older English saddle. And I can honestly say that I have no idea what it is. It didn't come with a cinch or pad, and now I am just itching to try it, or any English saddle for that matter.
So my question is what kind of saddle is best for learning in and is best for pleasure riding.
As long as it fits your horse, any English saddle is great to learn in. It helps having a grab strap though if you have trouble keeping your seat in the saddle. Feels a lot different than a western saddle.
Hi, Farley ... Before going out and buying another English saddle, sign up for some English riding lessons with a good coach on well trained lesson horses.
When you are sure you want to continue with riding English, get help from an experienced saddle fitter (or someone with a lot of saddle fitting knowledge) to find a saddle that fits both your horse and you. If the fit is wrong for your horse, you will end causing him physical and behavioural problems. If the fit and balance is wrong for you, it will affect your balance and position - which will, of course, affect your horse's balance.
English saddles usually do not come with a girth or pad. Some don't even come with stirrups or leathers. Even used saddles are often sold without all the other pieces.
Ok thanks. I didn't think I would need lessons, but it would help alot I suppose.
I sat in one or two once several years ago, I do remember it being pretty hard to sit in.
Lessons would be a safe way for you to try it out and see how you like it. Plus who better to teach you than an English riding instructor who has experience with all sorts of riding levels from beginners to rusty to intermediate to adults.
... do you think lessons are absolutely nessesary though?? I mean if I find the right saddle and such?
You could teach yourself, some people have. But it's definitely worth looking into lessons. Even watching lessons helps a lot
The saddle fits though, right?
well I have been looking, but I am not sure what is an all purpose saddle, and I am not sure what to look for when it comes to fitting a saddle to my gelding... but I have a very close friend who is dedicated to help find and fit a saddle for us.
I guess I just need to do more research... cause if I could I would take lessons but I just don't see it in my current budget.
Here's kind of a 411 on English saddle fit help. Saddle Fitting - 9 Step Guideline for Optimal Fit
All purpose is kind of a general saddle. It's alright for doing general riding in, but if you find yourself interested in one in particular, I recommend getting a saddle for that set discipline.
As for pad, that depends on the saddle. There's pads that are designed for certain saddles like for instance Dressage saddles tend to be longer, so the pad is larger than say.. an all purpose pad.
Just make sure it fits your horse, AND you. I hope the videos help. If not, then you can take pictures from all sides of the saddle sitting bare on your horse's back from the front, side, back, wither view. Then girthed up.
Girth types vary on the saddle's billet lengths, the style, and your horse.
I'm not an expert, just giving you kind of the general gist of things.
If you have any questions, definitely speak up!
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