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Nmgirl 11-25-2012 10:04 AM

new to english riding.. questions..
 
Well i haven't switched yet but i am really interested. here are a few things about me i'm 22 years old and 200 lbs. i've rode western forever and honestly never saw an english saddle on a horse sept on here and saw them on the wall at tack stores ( from a western community alot of ranches etc ) Well i got out of riding for 6-7 years and my fiance ended up buying us some horses! ive been messing around with western saddles again but i cant find one that fits my 10 year old OTTB she has high withers and the saddles EVEN WITH THE SADDLE PADS rubs her hair off and is quite painful as i can see.

1. I use a 16 inch western saddle. are the sizes from western to english different?

2. What kind of saddle for trail riding or pleasure riding should i use? i see alot of different types of saddles on the internet...

3. Are english saddles easier to fit on high withered horses?

4. whats the difference between western and english riding?

i know i may sound stupid asking these but i want whats best for my thoroughbred. and i think the english riding looks so neat to try. i also like the thought of being closer to your horse and not in 50 + lbs of tack lol

Speed Racer 11-25-2012 10:22 AM

Riding English is much more than buying tack and slapping it on the horse.

Instead of changing tack and paying to learn a whole different riding style, why not hire a saddle fitter? It'll be much less expensive and time consuming to find a Western saddle that will fit your TB.

Many TBs are ridden Western, so there's really no reason to change unless you're serious about learning to properly ride English disciplines.

FaithCat 11-25-2012 10:55 AM

To answer question no.1

Usually, you add 2 to your western size to get your english size. You'd most likely be an 18.

bsms 11-25-2012 11:22 AM

1. I use a 16 inch western saddle. Are the sizes from western to english different?

Yes. A 16" western is roughly the equivalent of an 18 inch English.

2. What kind of saddle for trail riding or pleasure riding should I use? I see alot of different types of saddles on the internet...

For a western rider thinking of going to the Dark Side, I'd recommend an Australian saddle. Feels like an English saddle, but it has some advantages on the trail.

3. Are english saddles easier to fit on high withered horses?

No. Some fit, some don't, just like in western saddles.

4. Whats the difference between western and english riding?

Lots and little. As much as you want. True English riding is very different. You can stick an English saddle on a western horse and ride the horse western using an English saddle, and mostly get away with it. If you want to take full advantage of English tack, you would need to study English riding.

If you need a saddle to fit your horse, and are happy with riding western, you could try this program:

Steele Saddle Tree LLC - Fit To The Horse

If you want a taste of English while riding more western, these folks might be able to help you fit your horse:

Australian Saddles - the Down Under Collection of Aussie Saddles for Trail, Ranch, and Endurance riding

KaiKamm93 11-25-2012 04:34 PM

#4 What's different about english & western riding?

Basically, everything. I know that's pointing out the obvious, but really. There are sooo many different genres of English disciplines, so to basically say 'I'm riding english now, give me advice on everything' would require an entire novel of answers. =P

For example.... stirrup lengths. Dressage & english trail riders typically wear their stirrups at a longer length (some Dressage riders have even LONGER stirrups then Western), while jumpers & equitation riders use much much shorter stirrup lengths.

Even equitation among the "subgenres" of English riding are very different. Dressage riders ride with the long leg, have their elbows at their sides with their hands apart, and ride with all the motion being absorbed in their seat. Jumpers ride with knees very bent, their elbows a bit in front with their hands together, and tend to rise out of the saddle in a "half seat" during canter/gallop to make it easier to ride. And don't even get me started on trail riders!! Depending on their horse, how active they ride, and the terrains they go through, their equipment/riding styles/theories vary GREATLY.

So if you want to try out the english stuff and really RIDE ENGLISH to the full english experience, don't just slap an english saddle on and see how it goes. Anyone can do that. You should take advice from an english rider/trainer.

emeraldstar642 11-27-2012 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1771443)
Riding English is much more than buying tack and slapping it on the horse.

Instead of changing tack and paying to learn a whole different riding style, why not hire a saddle fitter? It'll be much less expensive and time consuming to find a Western saddle that will fit your TB.

Many TBs are ridden Western, so there's really no reason to change unless you're serious about learning to properly ride English disciplines.

I totally agree with this. If the primary reason you want to switch to English is to find a better saddle fit, it's a whole lot cheaper to just hire a really good saddle fitter and get a well-fitting Western saddle than it is to switch over entirely. Even if you're looking at getting an English saddle, you'll probably have to get a fitter anyways because of your horse's withers. Not all English saddles have high withers... it's the same as Western; it depends on the particular saddle.

Unless, of course, you want to switch over for other reasons and are genuinely interested in learning English. In that case I definitely suggest you get proper riding lessons, because English riding is very different from Western in a number of different ways. Keep in mind, however, that if your horses are not trained English it will take a little bit more that just putting an English saddle on them to be able to do everything in that discipline (For example, if you are planning on jumping.)


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