Browsing Western Saddle Preference

Equitours offers a number of adventures where western style riding predominates. Good equitation is much the same for both English or Western riding and experienced riders can quickly adapt from one style to the other.

Either way the rider needs to have shoulders and hips centered over the balls of the feet in the stirrup and the hands should be independent of the seat to avoid jerking the horse’s mouth. The classical Western saddle with the horn for roping evolved from the style used in old Spain and came to the Americas with the Conquistadores. It was acquired in the US West through contacts with Mexican and Californian vaqueros or cowboys. The technique came into wide use in the late 19th century and spread rapidly across the West with the start of the epic cattle drives coming up from Texas to reach the transcontinental railway completed in 1868. These drives also provided stock for the ranchers beginning operations in the Great Plains and Rockies. Western saddles became a vital tool of ranchers throughout the West as cattle began to replace the fast disappearing herds of buffalo. The equipment and saddles used for English and Western riding styles of riding are obviously quite different. English saddles are not built to withstand the strains of roping and tend to be lighter and to offer less security than Western saddles. In Western style riding, the horses are trained to neck rein, leaving one hand free to rope if necessary and to allow the horse to go more independently with less contact on the bit. In working cattle, many cowboys often let the horse use its own natural instincts to get the job done. Horses with any “cow sense” catch on quickly. On rides in Wyoming, Texas and Utah you will find typical Western saddles. You can participate in cattle drives pushing the cows into the high country in the spring and rounding them up again in the fall to drive them to winter pastures in lower country following the old Western tradition. Cattle drives in Arizona and Utah are classical Western rides with 4th generation ranchers offering authentic week-long cattle drives. Trail rides take you through the awe inspiring Canyon de Chelly steeped in ancient Navajo history and culture and make excursions far off the usual tourist path around dramatic Monument Valley, so loved by film makers. Both Wyoming and Utah also offer adventurous wilderness pack trips to remote areas like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The Western saddle with a horn is not widely used in most parts of the world other than in North America, but marvelous exceptions are Western rides in France where you can traverse medieval walled towns, visit old castles and taste the wine in various vineyards. The South American saddles in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay are much like the Western saddle though there is no horn because South Americans traditionally used bolas rather than lassos for cattle as well as wild game. The Gaucho saddles are heavily padded both below and above the tree and have a high cantle and pommel. The soft sheepskin cover on the seat makes it very comfortable for long days of working cattle. Australian cowboys (called stockmen or jackeroos) use a stock saddle like the Western except that again it has no horn and often it has a thigh pads (poleys) to give extra security in the saddle. You will be using this kind of saddle on trail rides in Australia. South African stock saddles are also shaped much like the Western saddle, but also without the horn. They have a high cantle and pommel rather similar to the old McClellan US cavalry saddle. You can find such saddles in Botswana and Namibia where our guests ride out to observe elephant, zebra, wildebeest, lion, cheetah and many other kinds of wild game.

 

Choose from 29 trips related to Western Saddle Preference

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Horses on Malbec trail

Castles and Caves in Malbec

The ride traverses a region of spectacular scenery considered by National Geographic to be one of the world’s last unspoiled and undiscovered earthly paradises. Experience the culture and history of the region, complete with visiting prehistoric caves, chateaux and... Read more

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Navajoland

The Navajoland trip traverses the most spectacular and interesting parts of the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. Cross three distinct portions of the Navajo Indian Reservation with several Navajo guides accompanying you throughout the journey, as well as your local... Read more

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Samurai Ride

This riding trip takes place on Kyushu island, the southwestern most of Japan’s main islands. The area is known for its active volcanoes, beaches and natural hot springs, all of which you experience on this itinerary, and the wide open spaces... Read more

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Homoki Lodge

The Homoki Lodge in Hungary offers fantastic riding opportunities in a setting celebrating the rich uniqueness of the area's culture, where equestrian traditions run deep. With options to stay in luxury yurts and ride Hungarian warmbloods through the southern... Read more

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Texas Cattle Working Clinic

Texas Cattle Working Clinic

This 3-day cattle working clinic is the perfect way to “get your feet wet”, or to improve your skill, as you learn more about the exciting sports of team sorting and team penning. Appropriate for all skill levels, and... Read more

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On the King’s Trail in Périgord

Located in the Périgord and Dordogne regions in southwest France, the 18th century country house where you are based for the week is the perfect way to get away from it all. Its central location in the picturesque hills... Read more

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Centered riding clinic

Sue Falkner-March Centered Riding Clinic

Sue is a Level IV Centered Riding Instructor who studied under Sally Swift.  She teaches riding full time with students including world class endurance riders.  She is also a Connected Riding associate instructor and for 20 years has been... Read more

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Reach Out to Horses with Anna Twinney

In Anna Twinney's "Reach Out To Horses" horse communication course you will learn the language of horses and how to speak with them. Through demonstrations, lectures and exercises you will experience how all contact with your horse, your intentions,... Read more

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Ride the Trails of Texas Hill Country

Enjoy trail riding in Texas in this beautiful part of the state. The riding center is located at the former headquarters of a century old cattle ranch in the heart of the Texas Hill Country which is justly famous... Read more

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Hill Country Instructional Program- enjoy instruction tailored to your needs

Hill Country Instructional Program

Tucked away among the oak and juniper of the lovely, rolling Hill Country of Texas is a riding center where riders can take instruction or go for trail rides in the adjacent state park. The pleasant atmosphere of the... Read more

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Pack trip in Wyoming

Wyoming Wilderness Packtrip

A pack trip in Wyoming is a unique experience as you set off into the wilderness where you will be completely self-sufficient for six days thanks to the pack horses which carry all your food and gear.  You will... Read more

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