Archive for August, 2011

Trail Riding Follow-up #1

A lot of trail riders like the security of the “horn”. They assume that it will be easier to stay on if their horse bucks or shies, with the horn to grab onto. This is a dangerous assumption.  The fingers of one hand will not keep you on your horse. Your balance will. However, a brief touch to the horn might help you regain your balance.  Just like a brief touch to a wall or other stationary object will help you regain your balance while standing on one foot.

Here is a link to the website of Scot Hansen who is somewhat of an expert on trail safety.

He offers for sale an item called a “night latch”. This serves the same purpose as the “grab strap” for English riders. Either one of these items allows you to grip tightly with your hand. Even though you might not stay on the horse, it will improve your odds, making either style of saddle safer.  So, bottom line, safety on the trail has nothing to do with the style of saddle.


Trail Riding

I had a discussion the other day about using an English saddle for trail riding. Some people think they are far safer in a Western saddle. I disagree. I think a competent rider should be able to ride in either. You also need to consider what the horse is used to. I wouldn’t want to put an English saddle on a Western trained horse and take him out on the trail.  Or vice versa. But I am not a Western rider. What are your thoughts about saddle choice for trail riding?