Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Adventure!

One of the ladies at the new barn used to be a western trainer, specializing in pleasure and reining. I've been teasing about Izzy under western tack, and she took me up on it. So adorable!

We started out with another bareback/bitless ride in the indoor, in which we primarily worked on mounting. Izzy does NOT like that part, I think because it's so different from what she's used to. She was getting a little better (and I was getting better at not surprising her), so we rode around the indoor.

That's when Terry came in and I mentioned how adorable Izzy looked with her western sidepull on. She said she had a saddle that would probably fit her, and off we tramped to the other barn to find it. It fit quite well, I think. I don't know a lot about fitting western saddles, but Terry said it looked good and Izzy did not object. We are going to try a different pad next time, though.

Izzy celebrates the lack of a 'real' bridle.

I just rode around the round pen both directions and did w/t/c. Haha, maybe I mean walk/jog/lope. ;-) I laughed pretty much the entire time because it all felt so weird and Izzy knew I didn't have much control so she pretty much just went where she wanted to.

I have not even sat in a western saddle since I was about 8 years old, so the whole thing felt really weird. I spend most of my time lately either bareback or in a treeless dressage saddle, both of which allow a really good 'feel' of Izzy's back. The western saddle puts me up off her a bit and the stirrup leather (fender?) even keeps my leg from laying on her side. It's very different.

Here's Izzy when we first put it on her. I was letting her wander the round pen with it on and she just looked goofy.

We should have more western adventures coming up--the footing in the indoor is not conducive to serious dressage work and I want to keep Izzy moving. Plus, Terry offered to give us lessons. How fun would that be!!

I've always been a teensy bit embarrassed that I live in Idaho (you know, serious cow country) and I don't even know how to put a western saddle on. I guess that's another thing Terry needs to teach me. ;-) I now how this silly urge to go check out western tack and other exciting goodies online, though Terry assures me she has all I've ever need (and her tackroom definitely backs up that statement).

Still, I am in dire need of new paddock boots. Perhaps I'll get a western version this time around. Next thing you know, we'll be doing... um... something western.

Actually, I have a dressage lesson this afternoon.


  1. It's fun to try something different like that! She does look cute Western!

  2. She's not so bad under western tack. My mare will be starting out under an old cutting saddles so not much different for me. It's fun changing things up a bit, now and then.

  3. Aaaaaaaccck! No! Don't cross over to the dark side!! ;-) Sorry, my hunter/jumper princess self can be a bit difficult to control sometimes. Lol. Oldenberg Western Pleasure??

  4. Another Hunter Princess over here... shuddering in fear that it's so easy to cross over to the dark side... But seriously, Izzy looks adorable and sounds like you guys had fun! Sounds like a great way to keep her going without working too hard all winter long.

  5. Izzy looks adorable! Now you just need to practice swinging a rope and you'll be ready to hit the range. ;)

    I grew up riding Western. In fact, I've never really ridden "english style", I went straight from Western to dressage. I think western and dressage have lot more in common than dressage and hunter/jumper style riding! Other than the saddle, of course. I quite agree with you, there. Western saddles are just too much saddle.

  6. Ride'em, cowgirl!! Yeeha! It's always fun to try new things and this one's great. Any way you can enjoy riding your beautiful girl is a plus so go for it.

    And really good western training isn't too different from dressage at all. Perhaps a little less forward, but roundness and correct work on the bit are all part of it. It should be good for her to try it out.

  7. good for you trying something new, the 'dark side' haha definiately isn't for me but i play polocrosse to switch up my horse's routine and that's miles apart from dressage/eventing. she looks adorable in her western gear though!

  8. Ha! Take that pony out on a XC course and you'll never be tempted to stray ;)

    I jest, though. I did high school equestrian team with McKinna and we did plenty of stuff under western tack, including team penning and pole bending. Not that we were very good, but it was fun. McKinna knows how to neck rein and she enjoyed the change of pace.

    I say, as long as you're having fun, go for it! It'll do nothing but improve your relationship and keep you guys fit.


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