Or can point me in the direction of a good non-confusing website please?
Ds has been having lessons for a while and is doing fine considering but quite often puts his legs up in front of the saddle as if he is uncomfortable (saddle is an oldish Wintec). I've got him comfy pants/half chaps etc so I don't think it is his clothes (should mention for those who don't know that ds is non-verbal in case you are wondering why I don't just ask him!). Anyway, instructor and I were trying to work out what the problem is and thought maybe the buckles of the stirrup leathers are digging into him and I said "shame we haven't got a western saddle ha ha". Instructor said "actually I have" and dug out this cobwebby item that hasn't seen the light of day for quite some time! It's a nice saddle though, could do with a clean but it's all sound and the pony went happily in it. Ds took to it like a duck to water, was very relaxed and didn't stop laughing and smiling for the whole time he was riding, so it looks like western is the way to go . Now the problem is I know nothing at all about western tack and I don't think his instructor knows much more than me, so I'm not convinced we had the thing on properly. The cinch seemed very loose and there was only one. I'm sure on all the westerns they have another cinch at the back, and there are rings where it looks as if one should go. Do you have to have two or does it depend on the saddle? (I don't think we will be roping any steers but you never know ).
Apparently, you don't have to have two, but it helps to stabilise things - the cinch isn't as tight as english saddles. I can ask the bloke on our yard who does western tomorrow if theres anything specific you'd like to know.
Thanks! I'm not sure really. It just didn't look like there was much holding it on, the cinch seemed very loose (although the saddle stayed on okay for a little walk and trot). The only 'western' I've ever seen is on films when they chuck the saddle on and then heave up the cinch in a manly way . I'm sure we really need a big stripy blanket as well, no really we do, absolutely essential, and fab cowboy boots for me, oh yes...
Horse Boy use western saddles - maybe drop Gillian Naysmith a line for tips?
Ds1 doen't like using reins or stirrups when riding . He's just started RDA with school and I had a message come home asking me to explain to him that the RDA horses don't go very fast and he's not allowed to keep trying to make them go faster
I think the back cinch is optional, the main one is a complicated knot thing, bit like a tie and you sort of pull up on the loops to tighten it. If you think it's just the buckles, why not get some wintec webbers, the ones that fasten at the end. Is he little? I think I have a child's pair lurking in the tackroom, if I can find them you are welcome to them.
Muddiboots I hadn't heard of the Wintec Webbers so I had to google them. Very interesting, could well be the answer! Thank you for your kind offer but ds is nearly 14 and almost as tall as me I'm only 5'2" so that's not saying much so no, he isn't little .
Jimjams Your ds sounds like mine, it's taken years to get him to keep his feet in the stirrups and we are still working on the reins.He will now pick them up but has a habit of dropping them whenever he feels like it. We have got him some rein-bows which have helped a lot and he is better now he has consented to wear gloves too.
CMOTDibbler I did think we needed a blanket but didn't want to be too bossy. I will see if I can find one to 'donate' out of the goodness of my heart . I think I would quite like a quarter horse actually but ds is going to have to make do with a New Forest pony for now!
Have now watched the video. Wow! think I'm going to have to watch that a few times.
I use these bridging reins due to my non functioning arm, and the RDA group at the stables have a couple of sets too - either used for those with one sides weakness, no grip or who drop the reins as just hooking a hand through gives quite a lot of control without having to actually touch the reins.
DS has webbers, and I think they are a lot more comfy.
SaintlyJimJams - your ds would like our RDA Lots of trotting for everyone who is stable, and I watched a lovely non verbal lad having his first canter on Saturday to much happy flappiness
Quick update, we have it all sussed now . I was doing a quick bit of shopping in ALDI and had a glance through the various piles of things you never realised you needed until that moment, as you do, and there was a little book called 'horse riding' for the bargain price of £3.99. Picked it up for a flick through and there is a whole section with step-by-step photos on western riding, tacking up etc! Needless to say it was in my trolley before you could say 'Latigo' (yes I have picked up all the jargon ). Can recommend if you are looking for a little pressie for some young horsey person. It's this one. It seems to cover a bit of everything and is very clearly set out.