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Thread: Starting out western for a young horse

  1. #1
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    Default Starting out western for a young horse

    I've been thinking about western riding for sometime, I've never done it before so I know its something I need to learn too. But my rising 3 year old filly will be backed probably early next year and I'm in 2 mind whether to start her English or western. I would eventually like to do both with her, which would be best to start with, or does it not matter?

    With regards to western saddles, my filly is a Welsh Cob so is already pretty wide will she be difficult to fit, especially as she will change shape and fill out more over time?

  2. #2
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    i wrote a thread recently with regards to a western saddle... i have a young lad who will be 3 this yr & i have become obsessed with western. i spoke to a western saddler who strongly suggested going treeless until he at least fully matures, as westerns are very unforgiving if they are the wrong fit. much more so than english saddles - & as he will still be growing for a few yrs, its reall not recommended that he has a western saddle bought for him, as it will not fit more than it does fit!

    so i have put a lot of effort into researching treeless western saddles! nope - i wouldnt quit it! & i found the brand new saddle by Freemax. it really looks like a normal western, its lovely to look at in fact. starting at around 750. its called the freemax western, but the company is Acavallo. www.acavallo.com i think. you will find info on there. also google western saddler, & you will find a bit of info on her website about it - she is just getting the stock in. the important info, the retailers will be able to tell you (the acavallo website isnt too detailed), but its literally just coming out in the uk, after a roaring success in the usa & europe, so there arent any actually for sale yet - they're arriving in a few weeks!

    hope that helps a bit - after much consideration, even though i desperately wanted a 'real' western saddle, its just not going to be practical. barefoot do a nice western range too, but they dont look like the genuine article like the freemax does.

    as for starting western, there's no reason you cant do both, or do one & train another later.

    mine wont be 'english' at all - i'm 'doing' parelli, which is pretty much western style. doesnt mean that if i happen to change my mind in the future he cant be taught it then, but i doubt i will.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Tazanne thats really helpful, I really feel Bijou is going to be my 'western/LDR' horse, she's very people orientated and so wants to please I would like to think she will enjoy that style. We are also in the early stages of Parelli. Off to look at Freemax Saddles

  4. #4
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    oooooooooh are you now? always keen to 'meet' other Parelli bods! just out of interest, i asusme your location means the newcastle right up north, not newcastle under lyme? just being hopeful i guess! not many people i know round here, especially parelli ones! the parelli getseasiey & easier the more you do btw - wish someone had told me that when i was totally baffled at the start!

    so have you had a look at the freemax westerns yet? what do you think? obviously it might not be for everyone, & im dubious about buying something thats so new, it hasnt been reviewed by 'real' people, but i am really, REALLY keen on it! the western saddler says on her main page that it does look and ride like a treed saddle. she is trialling it on her own horse before selling, & she has a meeting with the acavallo people to discuss pads etc before promising them to anyone, but so far she likes it i think. ive found her to be incredibly helpful, she wrote me a long, detailed reply when i asked about western saddles generally.

  5. #5
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    Really like those saddles, I would never have guessed they were treeless, I quite like the other treeless they have too. I wasn't quite looking to go down the treeless route again but I'm willing to give these a go if they are good. Will you keep me posted on western saddle progress so I know where to look to buy? I won't be till later on in the year so no rush.

    Yes its the Newcastle in the North East I'm afraid! (very few Parelli bods up here too) I got into it when I bought my 2 Welsh Cobs as the breeder is a level 4/5 and I was amazed at the connection she had with her horses through Parelli training, she told me how it had helped her with one particularly difficult horse when all else had failed and she felt like giving up and now its her way of training. If I hadn't have seen it for myself I don't think I would have attempted Parelli but as corny as it sounds the trust and respect she had with her horses was amazing especially when I was watching her train her youngster and I thought that's what I want to do but I'm a long long way off!

  6. #6
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    Butting in here(Another Parelli person) Those Western saddles don't look at all treeless do they but I reckon its easier to get a western to look conventional than an english,I have a Bob Marshal for Malaga and that looks like a conventional western.
    I'd love to see a review too,tried to see if there was one on The Alternative Horse but it has altered so I'll have to do a search

  7. #7
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    I've never heard of Bob Marshall saddles, I googled them but I can't find anything in the UK?

  8. #8
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    bob marshalls are american. they are apparently 'the' best treeless saddles you can buy. they can also be quite reasonably priced. but the shipping would be a sod!

    the tammy key that you can customise colours, material, matching crystals etc is to die for! but pricey - and to ship.

    you can occasionally get them on ebay - ive seen a few on there. but it'd be lucky to find one to fit you. i think when you order from them, they take all your measurements, & make it to fit just you.

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