English on the trail? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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English on the trail?

Who does it? What type of English? What difficulty of trail.

I started English as a kid. Sometimes I miss it, especially the freedom of stirrup movement and lack of horn. I really like my western, but I sort of feel like I'm suck in the position I get on in, without the freedom to get out of the saddle. I've been debating a dressage saddle, but I'm not sure if its even a feasible option. I ride lots of green horses and handfuls, but this saddle would probably be for Pickles. I would need to install strings and saddle bags on long rides. Maybe I'm crazy for even considering....
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 11:16 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central Oregon, USA
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I do on occassion, like last night. We only have 1 western saddle that fits both horses, and my english saddle fits both. The rare times DH wants to ride with me he gets the roper and I plod along in my english saddle.
Right now it works fine because when DH rides with me the rides are very short. For longer rides, I would consider getting some extra d's added to my english saddle, and maybe some sheep fleece covers for the stirrups and/or seat.
Our property is on a pretty steep hill, so I ride up and down that hill in the english saddle regularly, and as long as i have a breast collar on Cruiser it works fine. Think of all the endurance riders, lots of them are in english saddles and they do some tough trails!
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 11:39 AM
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I've always ridden trails English. They make cantle bags and such for riding in English tack, and I believe the majority of endurance riders ride English.

Western riders are extremely rare in England and Ireland and those folks ride some rugged terrain, all in English tack.

I've done some extreme riding in my AP saddles, and I used to have a saddleseat saddle that I would sometimes use. Went up and down a lot of steep hills in that saddle. It's all about balance, not how much leather you have between you and the ground.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Would you go ap, or dressage?
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 11:45 AM
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I'm not a fan of dressage saddles, as I find them too restricting. I prefer AP as they have a deeper seat than close contact saddles, but not so deep that I can't move or get out of them if I need to.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Have you considered Australian saddles?

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
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I rode trail for 20 years in a dressage saddle and loved it. : ) Poor old thing had the nerve to not fit my current horses so now I use a plantation...and I love it also.

It's all about personal preference.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 12:26 PM
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I ride English on trails if I'm riding my mare - we have an AP saddle. If I'm riding someone else's horse I will go with whatever they usually wear, most often with the ones I ride that is western. I find that my butt gets sore from a western saddle if I haven't ridden in one regularly and since I don't even have a western that fits my mare, that's most of the time.

My boyfriend, who is a beginner rider, prefers to ride English, whether on a trail or elsewhere. He's the first guy I've ever met who rode in a western saddle a couple times, commented that my English looked more comfortable and hasn't gone back since trying it. It makes me a little nervous sometimes when we canter on a trail (for him, not me) because there isn't that extra saddle to hold onto. But then, he's fallen off in a western saddle but never an English, so maybe I shouldn't be concerned.
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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I've always ridden English and so never even thought about it. I use AP saddles and can buy things to attach to them to carry whatever I need
If I can hunt and ride cross country over all sorts of ground and obstacles in an English saddle I don't think its a problem on a trail
Total beginners go off on Trekking (trail riding) holidays in the UK in English saddles and seem to cope alright
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Have you considered Australian saddles?
Yes. I have a long history with them. I had one of my worst wrecks coming off one that was too narrow for the horse. Then I bought one I loved, but it was an odd fit for a gelding I had but sold, so I had to sell it.
then I bought another one and it didn't fit at all, so I sold it. Then I bought the highest end Kimberly they make and had it custom adjusted for my mare. The flocking compressed in 6 months and the quality was crap. rings pulling out, leather panels not meeting with gaps exposing the tree.

I'm a little put out by the last one. I would love to have one, but I wouldn't consider anything but a high-end brand at this point, and those are 2000+
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