New to Western
 
 

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New to Western

This is a discussion on New to Western within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        05-22-2014, 11:15 PM
      #1
    Foal
    New to Western

    Hi there, I have been riding English for about 15 years and love it. Recently, I have been hired on at a Western facility, working with kids. This will mostly just include trail rides, although there will be arena work as well, to ensure the kids are comfortable on the horse before heading out in the trails.

    I am assuming the horses are trained quite well, as they are all ridden by kids, but while riding, I will still wear my helmet. While on the ground, I would like to wear a cowboy hat.

    I have a couple questions: first, what style/color cowboy hat is in style, or would be most suited for this situation? I will be out rain or shine, is one style of hat better in the rain than another?

    Also, I do not have a huge budget for cowboy boots. I have small, but wide feet. Is there a certain brand that I should be looking for? What color boots are in style?

    Thanks in advance!
         
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        05-22-2014, 11:41 PM
      #2
    Showing
    Howdy and welcome to the western world .

    Is it very windy where you are? If not, then I'd really suggest a palm leaf hat. They stand up to rainy conditions a ton better than a regular straw hat and they are not as hot a felt hat. You don't need to steam them to shape them and they can look very snazzy, depending on the style that you get.

    If it is windy, I'd go with a felt as they stay on better (coming from someone who rides in the windy plains in Texas ). Color and particular style only really matter if you are showing. Whenever I'm shopping for a new hat, I go to a western wear store and just try hats on until I find one that fits well and I like the look of. If you aren't sure how you should shape it, you can normally just go to the hat counter where they have a steam machine and let the guy/gal shape it for you.

    No matter what you get or how you have it shaped, you will likely feel like you look goofy until you get used to it LOL. I've been wearing cowboy hats most of my life and I still feel a little goofy-looking when I get a new one.

    As for boots, I have basically the same problem as you. My feet aren't terribly small (I wear a 8.5 or a 9, US sizes) but they are really super wide. The only pair of boots I've ever bought that were wide enough right off the shelf are my steel toe Justin Gypsy work boots...but they have a thick enough sole that they aren't safe to ride in.

    For riding, I like my Ariat Quickdraws. They only come in B width, but the square toes make them fit a little wider than the regular round toes. Basically, what I do when I get a new pair is soak them in hot, almost boiling, water for 15-20 minutes until they are really soft and saturated and then I wear them until they dry. After they are dry, I oil the heck out of them and that gets them broke in and comfortable. My newest pair was about $150. Not sure where that fits in your budget or even if it does.

    Justins tend to go a bit cheaper but they never seem to last me as long. Also, my feet are really particular about the insoles in my shoes. Most shoes make my feet hurt within just a few minutes but both my Ariats and my Gypsys have a good enough insole that they are comfortable to walk around in all day. However, when I was younger and my parents bought my boots, I used to wear Justin Ropers because they were cheap to replace when I outgrew them or wore them out. They had insoles in them like concrete. It was more comfortable to walk around barefoot on the rocks than to walk in them LOL.
    bsms, Fort fireman and boots like this.
         
        05-22-2014, 11:44 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    I would personally stay away from what is now called the "Gus." It used to be called the "Montanan." It's been over done and mostly by older fellows that liked that movie about trailing cattle from Texas to MT.

    The flat hats formerly only worn by buckaroos in the Great Basin country are popular. They do provide good sun protection.

    Anything made from palm leaf provides good sun protection, too. I do like hats from Sunbody hats, but others are truly good, too. Although I have straws, I tend to wear felts even in the summer because I ride where it is pretty windy. A good fitting felt tends to stay on much better than even a good fitting straw.

    There are bullrider styles and cutter styles. And many, many others.

    Most are based on function, so you may want to look at what horsemen and ranchers in the area wear most. That ought to give you a good idea of what works in that part of the world.

    Have fun!
         
        05-22-2014, 11:47 PM
      #4
    Showing
    For boots, I LOVE my Ariat FatBabys. I mean LOVE. I wear them literally everywhere (except work, because they are my barn boots too ). I think we paid $90 for them. I love the roominess in the toe box and how comfortable they are. I got the ones with the Mossy Oak camo shaft and everyone loves how cute they are.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        05-23-2014, 04:25 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
    For boots, I LOVE my Ariat FatBabys.
    In my opinion, I will NEVER ride a horse with the Ariat Fatbabys. Most of them have a tread on the sole which is too grippy to safely slide out of the stirrup if you get into a wreck.



    I do have a pair, and they are indeed super comfortable, but I would not feel safe riding in them because of the tread. And actually the pair that I own (they are at least 10 years old) don't even have a dip for the heel, so nothing would stop your foot from sliding through the stirrup either in that particular style.

    I also personally don't like the short shaft for riding either, because the edge can get caught under your stirrup fender.

    Safety first.

    I didn't do it on purpose, but somehow I have 6 pairs of boots and they are all Ariat boots. Apparently that's what my feet like! I love the ProBaby boots (with a smooth bottom) because they are very comfortable.
    tinyliny and horseluvr2524 like this.
         
        05-23-2014, 05:52 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    I have ridden western forever and fat babies are not appropriate riding boots in my opinon. The sole is to large and will not slid out of a stirrup safely. I own some and wear them as everyday boots. I perfer to ride in western style Justin boot. The one thing with western boots is to find what is comfortable for you. I have a pair of Jflex Justins and have ridden in them almost daily for a few years.
         
        05-23-2014, 07:18 PM
      #7
    Yearling
    First off i'm a guy so my opinions may vary a tad fro the others. I know nothing about the Ariat fat babies but I love my ariat quick draws. Very good boot that are my everyday boot and I have had them for going on three years. I just mink oil them about once every other month and good to go.
    HATS. That's a tough decision because it is such a personall thing. Even the same styles of hats will take on their own character and little distinct differences. I wear a sunbody palm leaf hat in warm weather. I used to wear shantung or bangora but got tired of replacing them after every summer. The palm leaf holds up a ton better and easier to clean, shape, maintain and if it creases no big deal. Wet it and reshae it.
    This is what I wear . It is that Buckaroo style Boots was talking about.

    Espanola with Curved Brim
    I did change the hat band out.
    In the winter I wear a felt hat but I'm getting ready to replace it after about 12 years of wear.
    I personally don't like alot of side roll in my hat. It kind of defeats the purpose of a 4 inch brim. IMHO
    If it is windy in your area and you are worried about loosing your hat , get a stampede string.
         
        05-23-2014, 07:25 PM
      #8
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    H. However, when I was younger and my parents bought my boots, I used to wear Justin Ropers because they were cheap to replace when I outgrew them or wore them out. They had insoles in them like concrete. It was more comfortable to walk around barefoot on the rocks than to walk in them LOL.

    I used to love my ropers with the leather soles. Once you got them broke in the felt like walking in mocassins. I just got tired of replacing the soles. They wore out QUICK!
         
        05-23-2014, 07:41 PM
      #9
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    
    In my opinion, I will NEVER ride a horse with the Ariat Fatbabys. Most of them have a tread on the sole which is too grippy to safely slide out of the stirrup if you get into a wreck.



    I do have a pair, and they are indeed super comfortable, but I would not feel safe riding in them because of the tread. And actually the pair that I own (they are at least 10 years old) don't even have a dip for the heel, so nothing would stop your foot from sliding through the stirrup either in that particular style.

    I also personally don't like the short shaft for riding either, because the edge can get caught under your stirrup fender.

    Safety first.

    I didn't do it on purpose, but somehow I have 6 pairs of boots and they are all Ariat boots. Apparently that's what my feet like! I love the ProBaby boots (with a smooth bottom) because they are very comfortable.
    Interesting. My FatBabys have a fairly flat sole with a 3/4" heel. No tread to speak of. Also, even in my Aussie saddle (with 2" English-style leathers, not fenders) with English stirrup irons, I haven't had my shaft catch. I actually find my FatBabys more comfortable to ride in than my Ariat Tombstones and almost wish I hadn't spent the $270 on my Tombstones, but gotten a couple pairs of FatBabys instead.

    These are the ones I have, without the steel toe:http://www.ariat.com/FB_CWGRL_STEELTOE_W_FOO.html?dwvar_FB__CWGRL__STEE LTOE__W__FOO_color=TOASTED_AUBURN#start=1
    Posted via Mobile Device
    horseluvr2524 likes this.
         
        05-23-2014, 07:57 PM
      #10
    Trained
    This is my everyday working/riding boot around the ranch:


    Double H DH058B - Women's - 8 Inch Packer - Briar

    Good ankle support if you need it and I can walk in them all day long.




    Cavenders 15X Gaut Palm Leaf Cowboy Hat | Cavender's

    I second the Palm Leaf hats, it's always windy in OK but it also gets hotter than Billy B Dammed and the humidity makes for awful sweat stains on felt. A good stampede string will help keep the hat in place. Also, I buy mine about 1/3" smaller than I wear, they get wet and stretch.
         

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