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Re: [RC] seeking childs western saddle - rides2far

I used to be known as "the pony lady" around here and loved having lots
of kids riding in the yard at all times. My experience is that there's no
worse saddle than the 12" western. The stirrups won't take up short
enough for a kid with a butt that small. Once they can reach the stirrups
the rest of it doesn't fit. (Exception might be the string bean type

Children are a different proportion than adults. An adult is "7 heads
tall" a child is anywhere from 3 heads as an infant, to about 4 & 5 heads
tall as a small child. Their legs are very short compared to their upper
body, that's why they fall on their head...they have large heads in
proportion to their body, which is the reason it's even more important
that they wear helmets.

The 12" western we had had a tree that would fit a small pony, but when
we sat it on our Appaloosa that was stock build it just rested on the
edges of the tree. That would give a tiny child possilbly highter per
square inch pressure than an adult with a saddle that fit.  Also, those
saddles tend to be made very cheaply. The rigging is often just nailed to
the tree. I've even seen a new cinch held by one rivet. :-P

When my kids were small they did pretty well on a horse riding my 14" OF
Express. The pommell is high enough to hold onto if necessary and you can
take the stirrups up like an English saddle. Make SURE you use safety
stirrups. I'd definately go with cages since sometimes kids are too light
to trigger the safety release on an English saddle.

Also, there used to be a synthetic English saddle that had a handle on
front for little kids. That might be an option.  I really didn't have a
lot of cash to buy a 2nd good saddle when my daughter started but I
thought, "How can I expect her to learn to ride well on a saddle I sure
couldn't ride on!"  So...we found her a used OF.



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