Thinking of Switching English to Western...Tips? Advice? Anything Appreciated!!

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Thinking of Switching English to Western...Tips? Advice? Anything Appreciated!!

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    02-06-2009, 12:27 PM
Question Thinking of Switching English to Western...Tips? Advice? Anything Appreciated!!

I am thinking about changing Sambo from an English pleasure horse to Western pleasure...I think his gait quality would be a bit better for Western, e.g. His flat canter and not-so-smooth trot.

I'd need a NARROW saddle, perhaps a "Gaited Horse" saddle...but I've seen them in catalogs for over $1,000!! How wide is the gullet for that type? I've got a Wintec all-purpose English saddle with the easy-change gullet system, and he's on the yellow narrow gullet with a half pad and a seat riser because he's got such high withers.

I hope to be joining a local 4H club, so I was thinking maybe someone would have a saddle that was too narrow for their QH's and would be willing to sell/give it to me.

I've got a Horse Illustrated article on teaching to neck rein, and I've still got alot of work to do before he's even in show condition.

Any ideas? Suggestions? Anything would be greatly appreciated!!
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    02-07-2009, 03:39 AM
Is a semi-qh bar saddle still to wide for him? That's what I ride my little guy in. He's not extremely high withered, but higher than normal. If you know somebody who has one that you could try out I would do that first....And I know they are all supposed to be standard size but some just fit different than others. I have 2 saddles and the one fits more like a qh bar than semi-qh, but it measures out as a semi. It's going to take some trial-and-error but you'll get there. And a western show saddle can really go for anywhere between $500 and $4500. It really just depends on what you want. Good luck with your search!
    02-07-2009, 02:35 PM
I've only tried one Western saddle on him, and it was, I think, QH bars. I used, like, four different saddle pads, and I felt like I had no seat control. The saddle still didn't fit. I was thinking about taking my saddle into the tack shop near here and seeing if they 1. Have a narrow enough saddle that would fit him and 2. If the owner would be willing to trade my used English saddle for maybe a good used western. I'm going to look on eBay for some other supplies today.

By the way, where in Oregon are you? I'm near Medford.
    02-07-2009, 05:30 PM
That is a good idea taking your current saddle to the tack shop to compare measurements. One thing about going from english to western, I don't think you will feel like you have the seat control that you did before because the western saddle is just bulkier and covers more area and makes it harder to feel your horse until you get used to it. What breed is Sambo, a TB?
    02-07-2009, 07:30 PM
Thanks! My Mom just got hammered by someone on another forum, and she answered with sarcasm (It was quite funny, actually), and I was reading the whole time, with the hair on the back of my neck standing up like a dog's hackles. It's quite a relief to hear some positive response.

I agree about the seat feel thing. Yes, Sam is a Thoroughbred, which is kinda silly because I've heard of more Tb's in the English ring than I've heard of in Western. We'll be taking my saddle into the tack shop on Monday.

Thanks Again!
    02-07-2009, 07:42 PM
I wish you good luck in your search and would love to see some pix of him in his new western saddle, he is a beauty.
    02-09-2009, 01:28 AM
I am up near Corvallis. Anyway, be careful what you look at on eBay. I got burned really bad there. I bought what I THOUGHT was a nice western saddle with tack and it turned out to be really cheaply made. Go for name brand there if that's what you want to do. I would just look around though. See if there are any tack sales or auctions in your area. You can probably pick something up there as well. As for riding with 4 pads-I tried riding with 2 once and I will never do it again. It doesn't really help at all (in my opinion anyway). It actually made my saddle slide around more. Hope you find what you're looking for!!!
    02-09-2009, 05:10 PM
The Term Gaited Saddle is widely misused by some Saddle Manufactures, a lot are intended for the wider Tennessee Walkers and are very similar to a FQH 7" Gullet, just with flaired bars, way too wide for your Horse.

You can order a Gaited Tree with a 6.25" Gullet from many manufactures, great shoulder relief and narrow, similar to the narrow Wintec. Of course there are easy to measure templates to be sure, I did know of a similar situation that needed a 6" gullet.

I might suggest a close contact Reining Saddle, it would be about the most natural feeling when leaving the English Saddles and still trying to keep as much feel as possible witha Western Saddle.
    02-10-2009, 02:15 PM
We found a nice synthetic saddle at the tack shop, it fit me and felt very comfortable, unlike the Wintec western I tried on Sam...this one should fit, too. I need to take a tracing of his withers, though, just to make sure. It was $595, but we found one, same brand, size, everything, for $200 used. The seller of the used one said she'd try to hold the saddle until we could look at it next monday....cross your fingers, 'cause I have $200!!!
    02-21-2009, 07:11 PM
Well, got the saddle last works!! And he looks great in it. Here's some pics. One is on my Avatar. The saddle is a Big Horn, #102, and it fits good, may need a wither relief pad, too. I got a really nice NEW headstall and reins, Mom said he looks spiffy!


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