Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Not all Western horses here in the US are like that Barry. I've had some that did have good breaks...and some that had practically no breaks. As far as the sliding stop, the only time that any of the one's I've had has come to a sliding stop was this last time I came off after my gelding got spooked and took off. And not all western horses neck rein. My little TWH mare is 17, and has been learning to neck rein. On the other hand my TWH gelding is 10, and does very well at neck reining. I do generally ride with one hand, but with my mare, the other hand is needed from time to time to slightly enforce the neck reining. But before these guys, I had never owned (or ridden) a horse that would neck rein. Also, with the leg pressure, my mare has no response to it other than picking up the pace. The gelding will respond. As far as being laid back, I've had some horses that were, and some that weren't. My gelding is anything but laid back when in a crowd, but if by himself he's very laid back. I can't just let him go about his business because I take him on a lot of organized trail rides where most people want to walk and enjoy the scenery. Both of my guys hold a high headset but that's not because I jack them up with a lever bit, it's because they're naturally that way. My mare, I ride with very limited contact...while my gelding is limited contact when alone, or light to heavy contact when in a group.
The Morgans I have had contact with were generally calm. Unfortunately I have only seen a couple of Thorobreds that were very calm (but then again I haven't had much contact with them). From what I personally have seen, in my very limited amount of contact, they are mostly used for fox hunting, jumping, dressage, and racing. This is by no means saying that they cannot or are not used for western. The Saddle Breds that I have had also carried a naturally high headset while being ridden Western. And those I did ride in a snaffle bit.
WalkerH: I'm very glad that your instructor has had experience training and teaching western. Have you thought about having her go with you to look at the horse? It would be a good idea to have trained set of eyes and ears with you, not to mention someone who could tell you if the horse fits what you're looking for, and how your interaction is with the horse. She would be good to have somebody there that is being led by their experience, instead of being led by their heart.
I wish you the very best of luck in your search!!!!!
Honary "HFA" member...That's right, I'm admitting it!
BTW....That's NOT rain on your windshield!!!!