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New to Western
  • I have always English, but I am currently riding a friend's horses and they are all Western.  Her tack is also all Western.  Can anyone offer advise?  I'm slowly getting use to the looser rein and have been trying to focus on leg aids.  In addition I have another friend who is starting to ride with me.  She is also an English rider.  How can I help her become accustom to the differences.  I could also use some tips on tightening a Western girth.  Neither of us can ever seem to get it tight enough.  LOL and if that weren't enough.  Some exercises would also be helpful.  Thanks ever so much.

  • Hi!  Welcome!

    I ride English - all my life.  I've never enjoyed western saddles but ONE DAY something happened that changed my LIFE! [':D']  My son's horse was acting up with a guest riding him.  My son is 6'2" with LOOONG legs.  The stirrups were adjusted to him.  BUT with the horse acting up I was about ready to learn him some manners!  Anyway, I jumped on, put my feet in the stirrups and went "aaaaahhhhh!"  THAT was more like it!  All the times (not that many) I'd ridden in Western tack I had the stirrups WAY TOO SHORT.  I firmly believe you'll enjoy the ride more if you adjust them so that your legs are nearly straight.  You have to lose the old mindset of "stirrups to the bottom of your ankles".  MAYBE THAT'S NOT CORRECT, but I encourage you to try them long-ish and see if it doesn't help.  It's so hard to explain to western people about English saddles.  I've heard "when you go up (down) a hill, what do you hang on to??"   Generally they don't get hanging on to the horse with your legs and IF NEED BE grab a handful of mane but that's more for security over a fence on an iffy horse or up a steep hill...   I hope you have fun!

    The cinching you just have to practice. [':)']
  • depending on your height, you may want to have your stirrups shorter so you can kick, spur, rub, the horse in the right spot. i had a horse that i dont think  was feeling my spurs on him because my legs were to low