Western saddle on English horse?
I know that may be a stupid question to ask, but... :D If I use Western saddle on say dressage horse will it still move round? I'm just curious if the western saddle (being very different) will restrict the movement of the back.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'move round', but I do know that if you have a well fitting western saddle, your horse should have absolutely no problem with rounding himself out. DO NOT just clunk any old western saddle on him though, it WILL constrict his movement =] make sure it's sized right, give him some time to get used to the saddle (after all, it covers a larger portion of his back and tightens differently) and there shouldn't be much of a difference. My friends nad I do serpentines, 10 meter circles, elevated canters, and all of that jazz in our western tack ^_^ and really, if you think about it, western saddles HAVE to allow a horse to flex. Look at a barrel, pole, cutting, or reining horse and you'll see that they have to bend their whole bodies to perform. Thats not exactly the same as being 'rounded', but as long as you keep him/her off of their forehand, theres no problem at all. Its just a matter of getting them (AND YOU!) used to the different tack.
I work my english horses in a western saddle offten. I get the same movements out of them as with the english sadle.
Thank you, folks!
Saddle is a saddle :)
lol, I remember when I was taking lessons back in my Elementary School Days - and I asked my Coach the same question, and she said "It's not like your horse is going to look around towards its back and say "Oh %@$#!, I have a western saddle on my back!""
LOL - your question brought back that memory! Halarious.
The western saddle spreads the weight of the rider over the back of the horse,
whereas the cut of an English saddle has a much smaller foot print. The horse's spine is its most sensitive area of its body - after its mouth..
The sensitivity available to the rider using an English saddle , as compared with a roping saddle, is much greater. If you use a thick blanket under a broad, heavy working type western saddle then the trasfer of aids/cues is 'muffled'. But of course, the horse will feel less of any inappropriate movement by a novice rider.
The easiest way to express the difference is that of a brush to be used for
painting a picture a la Anglais and the broad brush to be used for painting a wall with paint a la Western. But a western roper might not agree with what I have said
The horn of the western saddle, if fitted, gets in the way of jumping.
Many English long distance riders use a lighweight endurance saddle - some even without a fixed tree- to help soften the impact of their weight on the horse's back over an extended period.
Any English trained horse can be ridden under a Western saddle, but the sensitivety of communication between horse and rider is reduced.
Modern English saddles are light with a plastic tree, traditional ENglish saddles had a metal tree which made them much heavier.
For me, it is the cut of the saddle and the tendency to ride the horse 'collected' on a short rein which marks the difference between western and english riding.
I used to ride the same horse in both styles - according to my mood and what I was tending to do on the day. But then we did not ride 'on the bit', as they tend to do nowadays, and the horses were native cob or cob crosses with short necks rather than the modern warmblood/ thorobred crosses which tend to have long necks.
I found that an intelligent horse will pick up and adjust to its owner's style
of riding whatever saddle or style the owner/rider chooses to use on the day.
In some ways, the reduced PSI of a western saddle encourages rounding.
Thank you, Barry! Great post as always!
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