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Hi everyone, I'm going to be trying an endurance saddle on my horse and I just wanted to know how different it is to ride in one. I've never ridden in a saddle without a horn (so yes this is western) so I'm just not sure if it's going to be that much different. And is mounting much different?

Thanks.
 

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Speaking only from a mounting perspective, I don't use the horn at all. I like grabbing a handful of mane and reins, standing a little aft of where most do, and pulling on the mane. My goal is to make mounting a rear to front movement where my leg just happens to get tossed over the saddle as I move FORWARD on my horse. My free hand stays mostly free, although my forearm sometimes hits the far side of the saddle. This seems to minimize pulling the saddle sideways.

I like having a horn but that is mostly a personal preference. I don't rope.
 

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I prefer endurance saddles to traditional western saddles now - it isn't that much different, but as someone who never really utilizes the horn in a western saddle, the change was easy.

I went from a Big Horn western saddle to a Big Horn endurance saddle. You still can grab onto the saddle to mount, there is just no longer a horn for your left hand to grab.

However, as someone that would break out and train green horses for others, I vastly prefer to not have a horn. Once you get a horn to your belly hard enough, you will swear them away for good. I personally have never went to grab the horn when things go wrong - if I'm focusing on holding onto the horn, how would I be able to regain control of the horse and help educate it through the situation?

One thing I would add to my saddle if I had the disposable funds is a set of bucking rolls for that added security when I am on an opinionated horse. I think I still prefer my deep-seated, knee-rolled dressage saddle over the endurance saddle for daily use, but I still reach for my endurance saddle over my western saddle for trail rides.
 

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I have 3 saddles I alternate between (dressage, a treeless English saddle and a western endurance) on a pretty much daily basis. I’m perfectly happy not to have the use of a saddle horn, mounting is in my opinion much easier without one. I use a mounting block by my tack shed if I’m just setting off, but if I end up having to dismount on trail or something, I anchor my left hand on the breastcollar on the opposite side of the horse. It doesn’t really make much difference for me, and I prefer not having a horn anyway (easier to duck under low branches that way).
 

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...if I'm focusing on holding onto the horn, how would I be able to regain control of the horse and help educate it through the situation?...
Speaking for myself, most of my riding is done with one hand on the reins. That usually stays true when things are getting tense.
 

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I once owned a Bighorn cordura endurance saddle and it was like riding on a fence rail. Very narrow and straight. No comfortable pocket for me to sit in. I found it super uncomfortable.

So from THAT perspective, I am no longer intrigued with endurance saddles. But the horn, or lack of horn, was never really an issue for me. I do like a horn to hold my horn bags in front of the saddle. :cool: But if I ended up with a hornless saddle someday, I'm sure I would find a convenient way to attach it.

For mounting I grab mane, not the horn. I do like to brace myself against the horn going down a steep hill. But I'm sure I would do the same thing on the pommel if I didn't have a horn.

So I dunno........just make sure the seat is comfortable for you I guess? I've been told they aren't for leisurely trail rides (like I do) and more for people who two-point. So maybe that's my problem with them. I tend to sit.
 

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Speaking for myself, most of my riding is done with one hand on the reins. That usually stays true when things are getting tense.
Most babies don't know how to neck-rein from day one :wink: Totally depends on what horses you ride on the daily I guess, and what your priorities are!

My gelding that can neck-rein is pretty hot on the trails, and the corrections that one hand would not be able to rein him back in. He benefits from lateral movement when anxious, and though he can move laterally with one hand, if he is focusing on blast-off, one hand won't do it.

My newly-broke mare is ridden on trails commonly one handed, but as soon as she needs more support, a second hand goes to the reins. Baby moments don't need the clouding of me riding with one hand, when two can clearly tell them the message I am trying to pass on.

I guess this comes down to what horses OP is riding, and how she prefers to work through naughty or anxious moments!
 

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...My gelding that can neck-rein is pretty hot on the trails, and the corrections that one hand would not be able to rein him back in. He benefits from lateral movement when anxious, and though he can move laterally with one hand, if he is focusing on blast-off, one hand won't do it...

...I guess this comes down to what horses OP is riding, and how she prefers to work through naughty or anxious moments!
I'd match Mia against 99% of horses for "hotness" on a trail, and I found it best to work issues with one hand. Bandit has more spook / outspokenness on the trail than most trail horses, and it is easier to get a good response from him riding with one hand on the reins. He had been used for informal relay races common near the Navajo Nation and was not / is not someone you ride around with draped reins.

I prefer neck reining. Mia didn't know what it was when I got her. She learned, and once she learned, she performed better with a neck rein than with direct reining. Bandit has also come to accept it as the primary way I ask him to do something.

It isn't about "babies" or "hotness". It is about how they are taught. Two reins or One, a rein merely gives a "cue" - a request to perform a trained response. I've been on a horse whose nose was at my knee while he ran full gallop straight ahead in a fear bolt. For a horse who might bolt, I prefer a curb bit, one hand and neck reining. Others can and do choose other options, and that is fine.

BTW - Mia was a confirmed bolter. Hard core. We did multiple fear-bolts on a single ride. What eventually taught her to stop bolting was a Billy Allen curb bit and one hand on the reins. And she was a HOT horse. Even after she gave up bolting, her startle reaction was a violent spin, usually 360 degrees. Sometimes more. That was how I grew to like a horn. Those violent spins were brutal enough WITH a horn to help.
 
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