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[RC] Seeking childs western saddle - rides2far

On Sat, 12 Aug 2006 08:32:27 -0700 (PDT) Chris Paus
<chrisnstar@xxxxxxxxx> writes:
I just love my Wintec lead line saddle for little kids. I start all 
kids in it. There's a great hand grab place if they feel off kilter. 

That's the one I was trying to think of. A girl I recruited way back
when...Becky Wright (I think that was her husband's last name) moved to
Oklahoma and sent me photos years later of her little girl "Olivia?" on
one. I really liked the looks of it.  Her little girl did endurance on

If a kid comes off > an English saddle and gets hung up, the stirrup
leather will slide 
off the bar.

Check those bars. I've had them rust shut, then once I forced it open and
thought that was a good idea to leave it open, the  stirrup leather would
come off if they leaned too far forward going over a jump. (picture Boyd
falling off on Cougar Rock on the National Geographic video)

Seriously check the strength of the rigging. (look underneat the flap at
how it's attached to the tree)  I live in the Chattanooga area...saddle
making capital of the nation. We have Crates (high quality) Double R
(medium)  American (bargain) and a million little shops where individuals
from these companies have retired and are building saddles in their
workshops behind their houses.  I go to one of those guys for my repairs.
He showed me a saddle someone brought ot him that wasn't even made from
real leather. It was sold as leather, but you could tear it like
cardboard!  The MAJORITY of the people making these saddles have NEVER
seen them on a horse's back. They often live in the industrial
neighborhood near the factories. They go by a pattern and sell them. To
them, if two tacks hold that rigging on the tree, it looks good. 

They don't picture anything more than a kid being led on a
Shetland...certainly not a powerful horse that could take a deep breath
and pop those tacks.  I have pretty strong feelings about rigging since I
was in a wreck when I was 17 and the rigging on my Argentine English
saddle popped when my horse was leaving the starting gates on a brush
track.  The saddle went under the horse after about 1/2 mile and I was
dragged a little (English safety stirrups did not come loose) 
Fortunatley, the rigging gave. It was tacked to the tree.

with a western saddle, unless you have tapaderos, your 
kid is SOL.

The tapaderos on the average stock western pony saddle are sewn flat
across the front of the stirrup...unlike the old classic ones that extra
toe room. Kids who have to use those stock ones are only able to get toes
and maybe not even all the ball of their foot onto the weight bearing
part of the stirrup. They're forced to tip toe. Do them a favor and get
them some Easy Rides.
If you need to use a western saddle there's stuff you can do to improve
it. I think Darolyn took the western fenders off Ci Ci's saddle and hung
English stirrup leathers, then put on a fleece cover. The buckles on the
western saddle are usually not the sort you'd want under your leg for
longer than it would take to get led around the yard. Put something else
on there.

If the edges of the tree dig in I'd use a thick felt pad. My personal
research (put a rock on the floor under a pad and stood on it barefoot)
says a felt pad helps more than foam or wool to protect against something
with sharp edges.

Kids saddles are usually made to tie a knot in the cinch by your knee.
The Quick Cinch would fix that. (it's a girth with a billet &
buckle...billet goes up from the girth, through the ring and back down to
the buckle on girth)

Add rings to attach waterbottle holders. Kids need access to their own
water. I used to carry both our water until I got pulled and gave my
junior to someone else once. They didn't think to offer her water and she
didn't want to ask. She suffered for it.

Personally, I love kids riding bareback around on ponies. My kids never
really rode horses till they were 10 or so. But from the time they were 2
I had ancient ponies that they could put on a helmet & a bridle, climb on
from the steps and ride around the yard. If they fell it wasn't far and
the pony couldn't go fast. Horses have an awful lot of power.

On the lessons thing. My daughters had a few outside lessons and even on
their own ponies, they did much better for someone else than they did for
me. Competing with other kids erases the fear & whining instinct and they
have fun. I sent them to Pony Club camp and they had a ball.



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