Here's a question

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I think we may have touched on this subject before but we have new folks now and they may like to get in on the fun.

What is your riding experience? Have you ridden since childhood? Maybe you always loved horses but didn't get into riding until adulthood. Did you ride as a child, give it up along the way and then get back into it? Have you always ridden and are now taking up a new discipline? Maybe you don't ride but have horses none the less? Join in the conversation. We want to hear from everyone.

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

I rode as a kid, went off to college and then got back into it when the kids started lessons. Didn't realize I missed it till they started. I did 4-h and Pony Club. Jumped pony hunters (sm pony jumpinf 2'6') Kids ended up riding western, now DD has switched to jumping with DS' barrel racer. When she goes off to school, the horse is mine!

South Hamilton, MA

I rode at a stable when I was in elementary & Jr. High. bought a horse (Morgan/welsh cross) when I was 30 as we had a place to keep him. Added a shetland when the girls were old enough & when we moved to MA a Dartmore pony. We did know him in CT but were moving when his rider outgrew him. When my horse died bought a 3/4 quarter horse for replacement. I never rode him. He wasn't a great success as a mount, but the kids could crawl all over him & he didn't mind. He was sold to an adult when girls went to college; but shetland & Dartmore lived out their lives with us. The childhood stable was run by a retired calveryman & we rode in pairs (trot hooh!) very funny. However they were very meticulus about which horse was ridden by which kid. Annoying when a favorite mount was retired to the beginners & we would be told we couldn't ride that horse any more.

Fuquay-Varina, NC(Zone 7a)

I always had a bad case of the horse crazies. Nagged my parents into weekly riding lessons (hunt seat) when I was 9. After maybe 4 years, my parents discovered that I could work for lessons and riding and that was pretty much the end of formal lessons. I took lessons on and off, but I've never had the luxury of riding any kind of school master horse. I've ridden green and just about green horses for eons now. I am currently sans equine despite the fact that Pagan pants has been trying to lure me to play ponies with her since spring break

Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

I started to ride when I was about 7 years old...my family raised quarter horses and my father had no respect for any other breed. I always wanted to learn to ride English because that was all we rode. My first horse was Dolly and she was 1/2 Welsh Pony and 1/2 Quarter Horse..she was a dappled buckskin...I thought she was beautiful! she lived to be 38 years old. I had a couple of lessons from someone who had a parade horse.

Kingman, AZ(Zone 7a)

Here is my 2 cents..
I rode as a kid, local stables and different places that had horses. Was active in FFA in high school and rode as much as I could, field trips and friends horses. When my parents would go back to Texas my uncle had horses, I lived at his ranch.
I moved to Arizona and rode friends horses. Then I bought my first one Quarter/paint (Miss Jest'r) when my last child graduated. Took her to a trainer that taught me the gentle method and practically took me under his wing. While at his ranch, I rode all his horses he was training, morgans to appys, paints and quarters and Tenn Walkers. What ever he had to train, what ever the discipline, what ever the issue, I rode. Taught me alot about different horses and different disciplines.

I moved on to own a rescue horse, my Gracie a pali. Gracie team pens, and is chute horse at the ropings. She does Gymkana's, taught her that as well. She is a bomb proof horse that Billy can climb all over. (actually all my horses, Billy can crawl on wont have one that he cant)

Bred my first horse Miss Jest'r to a 2rd gen Reminic (Top reining horse) and got Thund'r. I have raised Thund'r from the day he was born, and now is under the saddle. Next year he will start reining.

Got a BLM mustang from my son for valentines day a few years ago. Chyanne is small but can turn a barrel fast enough, not so happy with the steers, but working on her to turn her into a heeling horse.

Never had a plug and play horse, every horse I have owned has had issues that I had to remove and fine tune. Thats the beauty of it all.

I can rope, round up cattle and do most ranch chores from the back of my horse. Yes I can brand and castrate as well.
I can do barrels, poles, and any gymkana event they throw my way.
I can ride in county fairs in competitions, walk,jog and western pleasure and equitation.
I am active in the 4-H as an adult horse leader, and the horse show at the county fair.
Horses for me,are not a hobbie, they are a way of life.

Does that make me a better equine person than most.....

Nope, that just makes me a Cowgirl. It is now how many horses I own, or what I can do on horseback, it is what is in my heart.

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

I was 10 when IrisMA bought me the shetland. I jumped the Dartmoor in pony hunter. I rode the Morgan/Welsh and the QH cross.

Kingman, AZ(Zone 7a)

I just have to ask jumper2...
How do you hold on in them saddles? They look like there is nothing to them. My western saddles, weight 35 pds, (Barrel) and about 50 pds(my roping saddle) the english saddles look like they way next to nothing. I have a Big Butt, (Not ashamed to admit it) but I am thinking that my butt would not fit in one.. I do have the utmost respect for English riders, just wondering how you do all them jumping without holding on to a horn...

South Hamilton, MA

Your leg grip holds you on to the saddle. Jumping with a horn is dangerous because if you are thrown forward onto it, you could have it smash into you intestines causing a rupture. If you see pictures of jumping, the rider is leaning forward to have the weight over the horse's shoulders. English saddles usually grow up to an 18" seat. a larger one could be custom made. Jumping does take very good balance.

Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

Looking back, I must have scared the dickens out of my parents as I jumped everything I could find (and we all rode Western) although I often used a bare back pad so I guess it wasn't overly dangerous.
I used to try to post too...a western horse, thinks you are asking it to canter, which they often did.

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

Your legs get very good at holding you on. Posting is just rythum with the horse. An english trot pushes you up. I love the english saddles because they are a lot lighter. For me, the western ones have too much leather between the horse and rder. I have ridden in both. Manes make good balance checks while jumping. Sometimes I've just grabbed a hunk to keep from jabbing the horse's mouth.

Fuquay-Varina, NC(Zone 7a)

I'm not a fan of riding in a western saddle because:

1. I don't like hefting around a saddle that heavy
2. it feels like I'm sitting on a concrete block
3. I can't feel the horse
4. every western saddle I've ever been in squeaks
5. it is NOT easy to adjust stirrup length
6. did i mention it was heavy?

Kingman, AZ(Zone 7a)

Lol me to melvatoo its funny...
iris, I see your point about jumping with a horn, that would hurt. Most of the riding I do, I need to horn to hold on to keep from spinning off while making quick turns..
jumper, I love to ride bareback, and do alot when I just dont feel like lifting the saddle... Those are my lazy days.

Fuquay-Varina, NC(Zone 7a)

I suppose if I were on a cutting horse, I'd want a saddle horn too! Somehow, I just don't think a bucking strap would work the same

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

I can see the point of the horn on a cutting horse. Most of the time I feel like it's in my way.
I agree with your list, gaiadiscple.

Fuquay-Varina, NC(Zone 7a)

Apparently Wintec is having a clearance sale on their old models if anyone is looking for a new saddle.

I love my wintec for the following reasons
Wintec loves:
1. you can hose it off
2. you don't have to clean it
3. you don't have to spaz out if it is going to rain
4. interchangable gullets means that you can fit it to any horse
5. don't have to worry about mold
6. and don't forget that you don't have to clean it!!!!

the Isabelle dressage model loves
1. it's like sitting in a couch
2. removable thigh blocks
3. really does put you in the correct dressage position
4. the online shop I bought mine from never bothered to charge me for it even after I had to send the stirrup leathers back.

and you don't have to clean it!

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

Sounds great!
Cajun, how did you get into horses?

South Hamilton, MA

Each type of saddles fits the job you and your horse are doing. After all, if you are working cattle you need something to aid in help you in the work. English is more a 'pleasure' saddle although if you watch something like the royal Canadian mounted ride (they tour) you see that they are doing a different type of job.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I've been around horses pretty much my whole life off and on. Started riding after Kindergarden because my morning teacher in Kindegarden (special ed-I'm hearing impaired) wouldn't allow us to talk, just sign. My mom refused to learn to sign because she knew I could talk. So she and another woman paired up and rewarded me with a horseback ride everyday I said a word. A love affair started.

It doesn't help that horses are literally in my blood. My father and grandma, uncles and aunts on that side of the family used to raise and break horses. To this day they still ride and both my sisters and I are horse freaks.

I've only ridden when I was able to afford it or when someone was nice enough to let me ride their horse.

I haven't ridden since I lost my job almost a year ago. I have another job now but the pay's not worth mentioning and my truck is wanting to fall apart on me. lol. But I am still surrounded by my neighbors' horses so for now I can only enjoy them on the ground.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

I always loved horses, wanted one all my life. The best I could do as a kid was a huge collection of Breyer model horses. I got to take riding lessons when I was in high school, the school I attended had a riding club, and weekly we would take a van out to a stable with schooling horses. At 29 I finally was able to afford a horse of my own. I had been taking lessons at a small boarding stable that had a couple of boarders that allowed their horses be allowed for lessons for a discount on board fees. The owner/trainer there got in a beautiful seal bay gelding for another client to see. I fell in love with him instantly, and Stanley became mine, before the other woman ever saw him.

He was a big 16.3 hand thoroughbred, 5 years old at the time, and only a few months off the track, not your typical first horse, but I couldn't have asked for more. We did some jumping, he was great with my kids. I had Stanley before my kids were born, but when the kids did come to the barn, they could walk under him, and he was bopped on the nose with many a bottle, and he did lots of rides for the kids and their friends growing up.

When he was 11 he came in from turn out limping, he had broken the short pastern bone in his back leg. I didn't know until afterward, that the vet had told my friend he doubted that Stan would even walk again. Two surgeries, 3 months in a cast, and almost a year of rehab, and he was back under saddle. No more jumping, which was a struggle, because if there was a jump in the arena, he would head for it, if given the opportunity. But he went on to learn dressage, and we even went to a few schooling shows.

I had to have him euthanised at 26, when the arthritis got so bad in his back legs, he couldn't support his own weight. He is buried on a hill, under an apple tree, next to his "girlfriend" Belle, at the farm he was retired to.

I still miss him so much. I know I will never have another horse, I couldn't afford one in this economy. I had him for 21 years. He was my dream horse.

Deb

Kingman, AZ(Zone 7a)

LOL gaiadisciple liked your list....
1. I don't like hefting around a saddle that heavy( Yep more so after a few beers or roping all day)
2. it feels like I'm sitting on a concrete block ( they make comfy saddle pads for the buckets that are gel filled, not that I would buy one, but who knows)
3. I can't feel the horse ( You are correct, but bareback is a pleasure I enjoy)
4. every western saddle I've ever been in squeaks (oh yep they do, even a well oiled one. I oil mine in the winter they squeak by summer)
5. it is NOT easy to adjust stirrup length ( I only ever adjust the stirrups when someone else uses my saddles, but there are marks so when it is time to put them back, I know right where they go)
6. did i mention it was heavy? ( did I mention the shots of whiskey you have to take when you miss a steer roping?)

2. you don't have to clean it (LOL once a year when I am stuck in the house cause of the cold rain or snow)
3. you don't have to spaz out if it is going to rain (I rode so much in the rain, I look at it as a way to clean my saddle)

LOL could not resist...And I must admit, you do have some valid points... Did I mention I had a few beers and a few shots at the roping tonight??

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

Momcat, sounds like you had a wonderful horse. Hopefully you can have another someday or get to share with someone.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

The old saying "I rode before I could walk" is valid for me. My Mom and Dad had a small farm that included about 70 head of cattle. The same horses that pulled the plow also cut and roped. And did it all equally well. They were also the horses I rode. My Mom tells me I rode unassisted from the time I was 10 months old. Just sat there and held on like a monkey on a border collie at the rodeo. All my good childhood memories (before my Dad passed) are with him and the horses. Any good memories of my childhood after he passed are with the horses. In fact, they pretty much became my life from that point on until I got married. I was still able to keep a horse or 2 a few years after I got married but being in the ministry we moved a bit and it was too hard to take care of the horses and do it right so I gave them up for about 20 years but they never left my mind or my heart. When we moved here a guy in the church found out I rode and asked me to show a mare for him. It was my intro into the easy gaited world and I'll never go back to W/T/C. I got Shaq after we had been here for a year or so and the rest, as they say, is history.

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

I've had the chance to ride a walker. I can see where the comfort comes in, definitly an adjustment from w/t/c. My lay off was also 20 yrs.

Victoria, TX(Zone 9b)

Been riding for about, um, (thinking.. thinking... grad school in 02, SC in 03)
Since 2003. So about 6 years.

Took some lessons, rode friend's horses in SC for about a year and a half. Among them, a TWH (gaited), TWH/Draft cross, and an Appaloosa lesson horse or two.

Lost job, moved to TX, no "lesson horses" closeby, so I bought one...

Then I got Chewie, TB. Rode him, well, tried to. For about 3 years. Got Romeo almost three years ago, as a trail horse & confidence booster. Chewie moved onto a pasture home (mostly, little to no riding), and I got Ransom in exchange.

Now, Romeo (QH) and Ransom (AppQH) are teaching me how to ride hunters, dressage, and a little western cow-horse goofing off.



(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Still waiting, Gaia!

I will try to make this a short and simple read.

My first equine was a Pinto pony at the age of 12. In my latter teen's, I worked with Saddlebred's at a farm near by and loved the excitement that Saddlebred's had to offer.. who would not enjoy riding a horse that is five gaited? One day a young female bought in a Zealous Arabian and my heart went to the floor and my tongue went wagging over the look's and personality of an Arabian.

Winding up the clock of time. I have owned/showed/bred/trained quite a few horse's of all breed's and discipline in my day's but no other breed can quite compare. The Arabian stand's for the most versatile breed known to man in my eye's and they are my passion.

Rachel

I

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