Can somebody answer this... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-21-2009, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: MA
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Can somebody answer this...

So I just got Emma and she is trained English & Western. Right now I am riding her English... that is how they had her at the barn I got her from and the free tack I got from friends :) I have always liked western (I feel safer in the saddles) but there are very few places to take western lessons in my area. There is a trail ride farm in the area that does one hour rides in the woods and is SO FUN! So here is my question: After looking around here I see people talking about western pleasure, horsemanship, trail, equitation and showmanship, etc. I know about reining, barrels and cutting but what is the difference between all these other things? I would like to find a trainer to give me and Emma lessons but what do I ask for? I always thought Western was Western but now I'm not so sure :)

Also I am going to buy a Western saddle... any tips? She is 13.1 hands and has a short back so I am worried about the saddle skirt being to long. How long is to long? I found one I like Red White Blue Synthetic Western Saddle 12-18- Western Horse Saddles - Saddle Online
and I am going to measue her tomorrow (I measure from the withers towards her tail to see if the skirt size fits, right?) If English & Western saddles are measured the same I need a 17" seat (are they?)

Any help for a newbie horse owner would be great! Thanks

Last edited by EmmaChai; 02-21-2009 at 08:25 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-21-2009, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: USA
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If you take a 17" in English, then you would need a 15" Seat in Western.

The average Skirt length on a 15" Seat Western Saddle is 25", some may be as short as 24" when looking at a Synthetic Cordura. The length is not as critical on the Cordura Saddles as it is flexible

Western Saddles are not like English, if a Western Saddle is made outside of the US, 99% of the time it is Junk. The Saddle you mentioned is Imported!

If 170.00 is you price range, then I would suggest you look for a used American Made Saddle.

What size Gullet does Emma use? Medium/30cm? If that is the size, then in Western Emma would need a Semi-QH Tree.

May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

SouthernTrails is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 02-22-2009, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
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Southern Trails gave you good advise. I would suggest a synthetic saddle on a pony size horse (or pony). They are lighter and easier for your horse to handle.

The most important part of any saddle and especially a Western one is the tree. In those cheap saddles the trees are terrible. Many times they are warped or easily broken. (I know that many people buy them and will say how wonderful they are but they are not). Look around for a Fabtron, or Longhorn, or even a Wintec. Those are decent brands (Fabtron being the best IMHO) and you should be able to find some good deals on used ones.

If you are going used, btw, be very careful of the tree. To check the tree, place the saddle on a saddle pad pommel down - cantle up. Push down on the cantle and if there is any movement (seen especially in the seat) then walk away from it. Next, place the saddle on it's side (one side on the pad and one side up). Push down on the side and look/feel for "give" - there should be none.

Good luck going Western! I switched ~20 years ago and I'm loving it.

Oh, and since she has a short back, try to find a saddle with a round skirt - and 15" - 15 1/2" seat is the correct size coming from a 17" English

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

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post #4 of 6 Old 02-22-2009, 10:18 PM
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Concerning your question on different types of pleasure classes: western pleasure is judged on the horse and on the rail, western horsemanship is judged on the rider and there is usually a pattern. Trail class will have different obstacles set up, you usually get a set number of points for completing each obstacle. Equitation is actually the english version of horsemanship. Showmanship is done in hand and usually with a pattern.

I would also suggest at looking at what you want to do before you buy your saddle. Do you want to compete seriously/semi seriously or are you going to trail ride and occasionally show. If you want to get into showing then you need to look at what type of showing. Pleasure type classes, games, reining etc. You don't want to buy a saddle and then find that it is not a practical for you. Such as the one you listed- it would not be practical for showing in most classes. If you are unsure of want you want to do yet I would suggest getting a good all-around saddle.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-27-2009, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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You mentioned a good all-around saddle at the end. Could elaborate on that on little, please. I currently have a western synthetic saddle that came with my horse but it isn't all that comfy.
Thanks in advance!
FunDad is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 02-27-2009, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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If you're looking at synthetics, I personally like a Bighorn. I've used one to work on a very naughty horse and never got bounced out of it. I've also used the same saddle for trail riding when my own saddle was out for repairs and it was very comfy. I've heard Fabtrons are good saddles but have never used one as I'm normally not fond of synthetics.

Otherwise older Simcos are good, solid saddles that can be used for a multitude of things and they aren't too hard on the pocket book. I used one for team sorting, games and trail riding and I always felt secure in it. Simco Barrel, Cutting, Penning Saddles The one I used was an older version of the Lucky S. Right now I'm riding in a Crates barrel saddle that is honestly more a cross between an all arounder and a barrel saddle and I love it. They make good starter saddles for people who aren't sure what they want to do. Most saddle brands will offer a variety of all purpose saddles and a good one should be able to function to a point in most disciplines.
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