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Britt 03-29-2009 12:08 AM

Starting English... well, not 'starting' but...
I rode my three year old earlier with his western saddle for a bit... In his western saddle, I feel comfortable, but tend to get off balance every now and then...

After a while I changed and decided to ride him with my english saddle... I've NEVER ridden him with my english saddle... I've only ridden in it a handful of times (literally) and have never done anything faster than a trot while riding in it.

I only ride him in the english saddle for about an hour, but we (I was riding with my cousins... they were all riding western) went through a trail and some other stuff... Within fifteen minutes of me getting on my boy with the english saddle, I was trotting and cantering him... (note, once again... I've NEVER cantered in the english saddle). However, it felt as though it was a little easier for me to stay in the english saddle when he was cantering. Yes, I got thrown forwards when he stopped suddenly, and I 'overrode' him a bit (I kept leaning forwards some), but he did perfect and it was so comfortable... for some reason, I felt more secure in the english saddle than I did in my western saddle, even though I lost my balance more than a few times.

I think I'm going to start riding him in the english saddle... it was just amazing at the difference and how much more secure I felt... and I have only ridden english a few times...

Loosewolf 03-29-2009 01:20 AM

Hey Britt...
That's Interesting, as I have had ONLY English saddles for many years now.I have a Stubben, and it's at least 25 years old now. Recently, I bought a Western saddle, for primarily trail and uneven ground work. It had been recommended to me to buy a Western by quite a few people, as they all make the claim that the Western is Inherently safer. So far, the juries still out on that one.I have had a few minor problems on the western, that I really can't say it was any great decider IF I was staying on my horse, or not. The only thing I can say is I am so used to my English saddle, it's permanently formed to the exact shape of my butt..feels safer anyway..
Could it be psychological? or maybe just anatomical...

I suppose I'll wait until the jury gets back from lunch....

wanderlust 03-29-2009 09:02 AM

I ride almost exclusively English, but occassionally my friends want to go out on trail and we go Western. I feel less secure in the western saddle. And I always raise the stirrups to the length I am used to on an English saddle.

Walkamile 03-29-2009 11:18 AM

Britt, I think I know what you're saying. T was ridden in western gear, but one day I asked permission to ride her in english tack. My god what a difference! She is a very sensitive and responsive horse and I barely needed to use much leg all to get response. In the western saddle, I felt (just me I'm sure) further away from her, does that make sense?

Any way, for many years I rode in my english saddle on the trail and always felt very secure. If you ride centered I don't buy the whole western saddle will keep you in to seat thing anyways. My god look at the eventers and fox hunting riders, hell bent for election over ever imaginable thing and they're still in the saddle!

I even use to run barrels (just for exercise for something different for T) in my english saddle, no problems. The girls at the barn (they were big into both Maine barrel racing and national) use to laugh at me but all in good fun.

Have fun Britt, and it does give you something to work on and with your horse so that's always a good thing.

(sorry I got so wordy! :oops:)

Britt 03-29-2009 12:06 PM


I really dunno what it was... When I ride with the english saddle on my mare, I get off balance a LOT and can't seem to stay on... but iwth my boy... well, like I said earlier, it was just a 'WOW' thing... so secure, so... comfortable. I dunno...

I mean, I like riding western, but I also like riding bareback and, on occassion, I enjoy playing around english, though I can't do much... (lol). The difference in the way I could... I dunno, I guess I could just feel his movements easier... was so cool.

In the western saddle, my boy's canter throws me forwards (he may not do a running walk or rack, but he definately has a roacking chair canter)... but in the english saddle I could feel his movements and it seemed like I could 'go with him' easier.

Loosewolf 03-29-2009 12:18 PM

Any chance that the two saddles do not fit both horses? From your last post, thats the thing that stood out to me...
Works great on one, feels bad on other. Maybe?
I would be odd for 1 saddle to be an exact fit for two different horses

Anyway Britt, go online and look at English riding, dressage, may pick up a few things you might be able to use...

I'd like to put my English leathers/stirrups on my Western saddle, however, I think it would look entirely too strange....Might just as well go buy (saddle #3?) an Australian saddle if I were going to do that much modification...


Britt 03-29-2009 12:31 PM

I dunno... my mares western saddle fits both her and my gelding the same... the only reason I don't ue it on my gelding it because it's a little too long for him (he has a shorter back than my mare does).

My gelding's western saddle... I'll have to look. It was given to me by my friend a few months ago because it fit my boy, but didn't fit any of my friends horses... now that he's grown some more, it may not fit anymore.

The english saddle, though, on my mare... my younger cousins can walk, trot, canter, gallop... virtually anything... I think my main problem with me riding her in it is that she bucks and I tense up when I'm in anything besides her western saddle with her... because I can rider her bucks out in the western saddle, but probably couldn't in the english saddle.

back in the crosby again 04-07-2009 03:06 PM

I can count on one hand how many times I have been in a western saddle, but I always felt like I did not have as much connection or communication with the horse. Balance is never a problem for me in the saddle, but get me on the ground and that is another story.

TroubledTB 06-27-2009 01:45 PM

My friend swore she would never ride english when she was younger. She was a begining rider and assumed that there was no way to stay on a horse without something to hold onto. I started giving her some instruction recently as she wanted some more formal approached to riding and after a few lessons, on a whim she decided to try my saddle. All she says now is how she couldn't believe how much her body just clunked into place. Her heels line up with her hip and shoulder and she suddenly realized where her lack of balance was stemming from. I have nothing against a western saddle, I just can't feel the horse and I tend to drop my stirrups so I can wrap my leg around them. They are just to bulky and make me spread my legs to wide. I dunno, I think they are great for kids who feel safer with a handle, and if you ride well it doesn't matter the saddle, but I like to have more contact with my horse.

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