New to western! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 10-19-2009, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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New to western!

Two months ago I got a gangly, fugly (in most peoples eyes he is, but I think he is perfect), skinny TB who is 17hh. When I bought him, I didnt think he could ever do western, nope, not a chance. After someone said that he could never do western and if he did he would suck, I got the urge to try. I have ridden western before, placing 2nd and 3rd in my two gait eq. classes (though that was on a old boy with Ring Bone about 2 years ago). I have ridden western since, but more just based on having fun. But I havent ridden western for about 4+ months. I do miss it though.

So now to the important stuff.

Bear is 17hh, a TB, has only done hunters (though he is a very smart boy and picks things up really fast), but does this mean he wont make a good western horse? If you ask me, no, that doesnt mean he wont make a good western horse. I know a lot of TBs who are good western horses and I do know WP horses that are 17ish hands. What is your opinion on this?

Also, how do I get started? Should I start with just free lunging Bear with the western on him? I wouldnt change bits for a while so he doesnt get super confused. I would just ride him in a loose ring snaffle until he got used to it. I would be showing him two handed until he got used to the whole "neck reining" thing. We would only be doing schooling shows until fair next summer.

I guess I just was advice! I will have a trainer coming out once a week (hopefully) that has shown western like mad and racks up the blues. I might be able to ride a really nice WP horse every once and a while too.

Sorry for the super long post everyone! If I get some good replies I might post a video on Bear and I in our dressage tack attempting dressage! (:

You can never take a Thoroughbred away from a horse crazy girl.
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-19-2009, 07:26 PM
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I think he would be a good WP horse.
I think it depends on what you want to do. He would be good at something like pole bending but not at barrel racing. Barrels is best on a QH who is bred for short bursts of speed. And one who is shorter bodied so they can turn faster. Your TB is more of the go fast for a long time sort of bred


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post #3 of 22 Old 10-19-2009, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Vidaloco! The only gaming I would do with him is Cal Stakes, maybe a bit of pole bending, but he is a train, so that might be a problem. (size 80" balnket). I might do some very, very basic reining with him, as he has nice stops and such. But mainly WP and WE.

I have pretty much convinced myself to post the video now, so I will post that soon. (:

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post #4 of 22 Old 10-19-2009, 07:45 PM
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The switch from an English to a Western saddle...weight wise, should not be a problem. Its the lack of leg contact (since western fenders take up you calf) that might throw him for a loop. Also, you leg and seat position might be a little odd...western stirrups are supposed to be much lower than English ones, and western seat is much more relaxed.

Having said that, he should do absolutely fine. I have a TB a year and a half off the track, and in that year he was never ridden, its just been these past few months that I've put a saddle on him. Other than issues with the gate and with a bit (he wasn't the biggest fan of putting it in his mouth, and I used a simple D-ring) he took to it really well.

I also use a combination of one and two handed reining... I hold my reins in one hand. but depending on the way I want to turn increase the tension on either rein (its a hand movement thing...you do it with twp fingers). This also is helping him learn neck reining.
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-19-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply sam! As I have said, I have done western before, but I just love your explaination of the difference of the saddles and positioning! I will post a video when get in from free lunging him with the western on (:

You can never take a Thoroughbred away from a horse crazy girl.
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-21-2009, 01:34 AM
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Yep, any horse can do western and most do well . It may take him some time getting used to the larger tack and the cues that are more spread out. I won't say they aren't as subtle, they just take up a larger area because of the tack. Most times, it doesn't take much time to teach them to neck rein and the best place to start is in a standard snaffle. Good luck and I can't wait for some vids and pix.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-22-2009, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some pictures of our ride today. Remember this is Bears first ever western ride, and I have never really been a western rider (only doing it for fun every once and a while; now I am taking it much more seriously). The last picture is from a few days ago (10/19/09 I think). That was his first time with a western saddle on.

Here are some pictures everyone! Please be nice (: I am totally okay with a light critique, just some touch ups and such. I know what I need to work on for the most part... Sit straight, heels down, eyes up. I feel like the stirrups were a bit long, but maybe im wrong, what do you guys think? Also feel free to post anything that you think I should work on with him for future rides. I am hoping I will be able to show in the bit im riding him in (the snaffle with no shanks, dont know the western term for a dee ring) and I will be able to show two handed, but we will see... "/

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Picture 164.jpg

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post #8 of 22 Old 10-22-2009, 02:45 AM
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Wow, what a leggy horse. LOL. I think your stirrups are around the right length but it is hard to judge just from a few pix. One thing that you might try is to relax your seat a bit and let your thighs slide back a bit more. That would straighten out your knees a touch and in turn, make the stirrup fit better and enable you to drop your heel. It does look to me like you are sitting a little forward but that may just be my eyes. He looks like such a sweet old guy and will look much better with a little bit of weight. Looks pretty good.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-22-2009, 02:47 AM
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Someone said that horse was fugly?? All I see is a handsome, happy guys who is content as can be :)

"Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world."
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-22-2009, 02:54 AM
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He looks great in a western saddle !
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