English or western?
Arg! Can't decide what type of saddle I want.
Currently I've been using the BO's saddles, been riding in a leather dressage saddle...but I think it's about time for me to consider buying a saddle of my own.
But I don't know which type to get.
Only reason why I ride in the English dressage is because that's the only saddle at the stables that actually fits my horse (all the others are too big).
He originally was a western horse...used purely as a trail horse. I like both western and english saddles as long as they are comfortable for me...but I can't choose which one. I can't get both at the moment...because I don't have the money, and I can't get a real expensive one.
Which would you choose and why?
Here's some information on my horse, Sonny, to see fi you owned him what saddle you'd use:
Sonny has a nice smooth trot, and a strong canter. Neck reins a bit, but still needs to work on it a little bit. Has a nice extended trot (I've only seen him do it while lunding). He sidesteps, backs-up, turns on haunches, and turns on the forehand. He listens really well, but can spook easily if with a noise that he's not used to (but he has gotten alot better).
Thanks in advance!!
Also what brand/make would you suggest getting? I've heard some people say that Wintecs aren't good saddles...don't know if that's true or not, but what have you all heard?
I think your horse sounds more like a english horse. A western horse is supposed to be collected, smooth, and relaxing. Especially if you are going to show western pleasure. Your horse must look like a "pleasure" to ride and it wont if its spooking at every little thing that comes its way. Or if its gaits are too extended and bumpy. You say he has an extended trot. Remember, you cant post in western, and it wont look very pleasurable to be bouncing all over the place. But the fact that he neck reins a bit is good. And that he was used for a trail horse.
But i would try both out, see what you and your horse likes better. What feels more comfortable to you. But as for me, i think he would excel in the english show ring. But thats just my opinion. :mrgreen:
But of course you can use certain training methods to help your horse collect itself better for western, but it wont look natural for him, and it may look awkward to the judges. :wink:
And as saddles go, Wintecs are completely fine. I have heard that rumor myself, but i own one and they are great. But for showing, they arent very um..."Flashy" as some other brands are, so if you do a lot of showing, you might want to consider a different brand of saddle.
Honestly because he is spooky I'd use a Western saddle and because he's already been started in one and neck reining I'd continue it all the way, not to mention there is more substance to a western saddle. Since he already collects I would pounce on this and continue to work with it. If you are going to use him as a pleasure horse, all and all, I think western saddles come with much more comfort on a lower price level. If you are going to show, you may be looking at a bit more than you'd pay for an acceptable English saddle.
I ride both as well, one horse I do H/J and another hose I do Western Pleasure and the horse I actually own is starting on Western trail riding as a hack pony. To me, the horse seems like he'd do well in western. What is the breed? Also, since he does have the strong canter, he could possibly be used for team penning and even barrel racing if he is fast enough and balanced, if not just for fun around the barn more or less a competition.
My Western has a naturally long trot and a strong wide canter and all I had to do was rein in that power and get him collected and now he is a gorgeous western horse and float across the arena.
I'd say English just because that's my favorite =)
So, therefor, what's your favorite?? As BarnGurl and Abby both described, your horse could be suited to either discipline depending on which way to want to take him.
In my experience with buying used saddles, I've found English Saddles to be cheaper than Western, of similar quality. Although, Abby says the opposite, so maybe I don't have enough experience with buying Western yet!
One pro of English is the saddles are about half the weight! I can barely drag a Western saddle across the barn while my English is easy on one arm.
Wintec...I personally don't like them, but I've heard others that do. There have been a lot of topics on this forum about them; try a search!
As for western I meant for comfort and just plugging around the barn/trails as for show its pretty much dead opposite as you said. Western WAY MORE EXPENSIVE FOR SHOW than an English saddle of similar quality. Why? Conchos, Bling, Plates, Tooling and much much more. English saddles are much cheaper on the aesthetics level so you get a higher quality product for the same price because there is less work put in on the leathers "pretty-tooling". However, western show saddles stink for comfort, completely. You buy a mildly cheap western saddle and a mildly cheap English saddle and you will swear by your horses left hoof that the English saddle is a piece of leather over a metal plate. :| I've boughten 200 dollar English saddles, and 200 dollar Western saddles. The Western was much more cushy for the tushy.
All and all whichever your bum prefers, go with that discipline. Try to find sites with trial period saddles or try out used saddles at a tack shop. Avoid Wintec westerns, as for the English, I've never tried one.
I was a barn manager for a dude ranch operation where 95% of the saddles we used were Wintecs.. they're extremely light and easy to manage. However, they do get very hot, and if you ride during the summer (like many of us do!) it feels like you've wet yourself after a while.
I didn't mind the feel of them, they were fairly comfortable, but ONLY if they fit the horse, otherwise they felt very awkward.
They're very easy to clean; you just spray them with a hose and that's that... perfect for those who hate cleaning tack (*ahem*me!*ahem*)
I used to ride Western for a few years. I switched to English & I find the English saddle to actually be more comfortable...but that's just me, LOL! :P Just make sure the saddle fits you & the horse!
I found this description of western interesting..most things here I've observed to be quite the opposite =P Also, western riding isn't limited to western pleasure. And most western stuff I know about is usually done at a gallop.
Actually, to me this horse sounds more like a western horse, but I would definitely suggest just trying things out and deciding what you find more comfortable.
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