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Michael Rowley
09-19-2005, 02:37 PM
Terrie:

let me do one now

Small horse?

terrie
09-21-2005, 02:51 PM
>>michael: Small horse?

That's my farrier working on my mare Zo's shoe...she's 15.1h...so...yes...'-}}

Terrie

Michael Rowley
09-25-2005, 04:29 PM
Terrie:

she's 15.1h

To be honest, the shoe seemed more likely to fit a thoroughbred or Arab, but the only horse I've had, a dark-brown gelding, was 1.67 m (about 16.5 hands), so I'm not much of a judge.

terrie
09-26-2005, 12:59 PM
>>michael: To be honest, the shoe seemed more likely to fit a thoroughbred or Arab, but the only horse I've had, a dark-brown gelding, was 1.67 m (about 16.5 hands), so I'm not much of a judge.


It's not so much height as breed...for example, drafts are going to take a large shoe and they range in size from ohhh...15-ish hands to 17-18 hands...

That said, while I don't know for sure what Zo's breeding is, we believe she's a TB/QH cross and I mistyped her height beofre...she actually 15 hands, not 15.1--you can see a pic of her at http://tlbtlb.com/ltlimages/


Terrie

PS...16.5 hands is not quite correct as a hand is (generally) 4inches and so the specification is 16 to 16.4 where 16.4 is really 17hands...confused yet...'-}}

Michael Rowley
09-26-2005, 02:43 PM
Terrie:

It's not so much height as breed

I was thinking in terms of horses for the saddle. Princeps (official name) or Prince (what his breeder and we called him) was a Zweibrucker, but although he had a genuine Zweibrucker dam—not terribly big, but sturdy—he had a Trakehner sire, which was an official stallion at the station of the breed. In other words, any thoroughbred blood was well diluted. Most Western horses seem to be fairly lightly built, although strong.

Zoe has a very nice head; it's a pity her eye is in the shadow: one of the criteria horses were judged in our district of Germany (and probably anywhere) is that a horse should have a 'kind eye'.

The 'hands' measurement is a bit difficult to line up with metric measurements: 4 in is almost exactly 10 cm, but it's a little more, so 167 cm is 16½ hands plus a bit. My 12 year old daughter could manage Prince initially, and I fitted too (with 184 cm).

terrie
09-27-2005, 10:40 AM
>>michael:was a Zweibrucker, but although he had a genuine Zweibrucker dam—not terribly big, but sturdy—he had a Trakehner sire,

I don't know anything about Zweibrucker breed--tried a google search but didn't come up anything all that useful...got a link or 2?--but I do know Trakehners...there are a lot of them here in the States...lovely breed...


>>Zoe has a very nice head; it's a pity her eye is in the shadow: one of the criteria horses were judged in our district of Germany (and probably anywhere) is that a horse should have a 'kind eye'.

A friend of mine took that pic...it's one of my favs...the jpg loses quite a bit detail...a kind eye is very important in my book...

>>The 'hands' measurement is a bit difficult to line up with metric measurements: 4 in is almost exactly 10 cm, but it's a little more, so 167 cm is 16½ hands plus a bit.

Ahhh...gotcha...'-}}

>> My 12 year old daughter could manage Prince initially, and I fitted too (with 184 cm).

I had the opportunity to ride a 17h horse once...lovely horse...I'm short so while getting on wasn't too difficult using a mounting block, getting off was very interesting...thought my feet would never reach the ground...'-}}

Terrie

Michael Rowley
09-27-2005, 12:53 PM
Terrie:

I had the opportunity to ride a 17h horse once

You can be forgiven for using a mounting block then, though the recommended procedure is to lower one stirrup—though you might have run out of leather before it was low enough!

Link: http://www.zweibruecken-pferd.de/. It's all in German, I'm afraid, and I fear they've practically bred out the old Zweibruecker type, which was I think meant for the army, though with a strong leaning to uses as a light draught horse. They were not unlike the American horses nearer the north-east coast—I've forgotten their name.

terrie
09-28-2005, 11:23 AM
>>michael: You can be forgiven for using a mounting block then, though the recommended procedure is to lower one stirrup—though you might have run out of leather before it was low enough!

LOL!!! I always use a mounting block...saves the horse's back, my saddle and my very short legs...'-}}

Thanks for the url...found a few pics...lovely horses...


>>I'm afraid, and I fear they've practically bred out the old Zweibruecker type, which was I think meant for the army, though with a strong leaning to uses as a light draught horse. They were not unlike the American horses nearer the north-east coast—I've forgotten their name.

Perhaps Morgans? They are a very sturdy breed...used for driving and riding...

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/morgan/

Terrie

Michael Rowley
09-28-2005, 12:25 PM
Terrie:

Perhaps Morgans?

Yes, those are the horses I meant.

terrie
09-28-2005, 01:31 PM
>>michael: Yes, those are the horses I meant.

Glad I guessed correctly...'-}}

Terrie

Franca
09-29-2005, 04:24 PM
You can be forgiven for using a mounting block then, though the recommended procedure is to lower one stirrup—though you might have run out of leather before it was low enough!I have a friend who would probably run out of leather if she were to try to get on a horse over 17 hands tall. She is tiny. Now that she is riding in a western saddle she has no option but to use a mounting block, a fence, a rock, or (horrors) a stirrup extender. Changing stirrup length on a western saddle is not a lot of fun even when you're standing on the ground. It must be even less amusing from the saddle; I haven't wanted to try it! I'm sure it can be done, but while you wrestled with your stirrup your friends might lose all patience and leave you far behind on the trail.

Michael Rowley
09-30-2005, 07:57 AM
Franca:

Changing stirrup length on a western saddle is not a lot of fun

I didn't know that: what is the difficulty? Do you have to untie knots or something?

Franca
10-03-2005, 04:32 PM
Changing stirrup length on a western saddle is not a lot of fun

I didn't know that: what is the difficulty? Do you have to untie knots or something?Michael,

It's taken me awhile to reply because I was searching for some sort of diagram I could use to help explain the process. In this instance a picture would certainly be worth the proverbial thousand words but, alas, I have only found images and diagrams of the outer side of western fenders and stirrups and none of the back side that faces the horse. So ... here is a picture of the outside accompanied by my feeble attempt to explain how western stirrup adjustment works:

http://www.aboutthehorse.com/lsaddle.jpg
NOTE: Just to confuse you, there is an error in this drawing: the part labeled "stirrup leather" is, in fact, the latigo for the front cinch. The stirrup "leathers" are part of the fender, which narrows down to straps at each end.

These instructions are for a "blevins" buckle which is supposed to make this process easier. :-p

First you must undo the hobble strap or "keeper". If you are lucky you may be able to simply loosen it to the outermost hole and work the leathers up or down through the top of the stirrup without complete removal of the keeper; otherwise you must remove it and put it somewhere that you won't lose it. This frees up the stirrup leathers: the front part below the fender that has the buckle on it, and the back part with the holes.

On the back side of the fender is a metal slider which holds the buckle in place. Slide this up and out of the way.

The buckle has two little posts (aligned vertically) on it that fit into the holes in the back part of the stirrup leather. Pull buckle out from holes and reinsert in lower holes to lengthen stirrups or higher holes to raise them.

(If you fumble while you are doing this your stirrup is likely to fall off into the dirt, whereupon you let go of the whole mess to pick it up. Then you must rewrap both the front and back pieces of leather under the top of the stirrup and try to hold it all together with one hand while you hunt for the correct holes to put the buckle into again. You haven't lived until you've had to puzzle this out for the first time.)

Once the posts are in their new holes, slide holder back down over buckle. Anything more than a very small adjustment is likely to require pushing and/or pulling on the entire fender for proper positioning of the stirrup, much as you would do with english leathers except that the western leather is much wider, stiffer, and more unruly. If the fender has a proper "twist" in it, that makes the various adjustments even more difficult, especially this last bit - reapplying the hobble strap if you can remember where you put it.

A person whose legs are shorter (relative to the fender length) will always have a tougher time making stirrup adjustments as there is more excess leather length to organize.

Phew! Hope that makes some sort of sense. [To any other western saddle owners out there - how did I do?]

Michael Rowley
10-04-2005, 07:50 AM
Franca:

there is an error in this drawing

Yes, I saw the error straight away.

The whole procedure is complicated, but possibly necessary if you are reckoning on being alone in vaste spaces, where losing one stirrup might prove fatal. I imagine that not all Western horses stand still when their riders get down or fall off.

The saddle itself is very reminiscent of a traditional German army saddle, which an old soldier was very comfortable when ridden in for long periods.

Franca
10-04-2005, 12:12 PM
Michael,

I suspect that, traditionally, altering stirrup length was not done very often. A cowboy had his own saddle(s) and, once the stirrup length was adjusted properly for him, there was no need to change it. The more mileage put on the saddle, the more comfortable it became for the cowboy as the leather molded to fit. (And no doubt the more years between changes in stirrup length, the more difficult that process would become!) Even now, unless a Western saddle is used on a lesson horse or a rental string/dude ranch horse, there is not much need to change stirrup length. English riders will change stirrup length depending on whether they are working on the flat or over jumps, doing dressage or going out on the trail. In a Western saddle you put your stirrups where they are comfortable for you and leave them there.

I don't think whether a horse runs or stands after he loses his rider has anything to do with whether the horse is ridden English or Western. It has to do with the level of respect and trust between horse and rider. Fear will also factor into it, but the greater the trust the horse has in the human, the greater the chance that that trust will outweigh his fear. For me, the ultimate training goal is for my horse to choose to be with me, both mentally and physically, rather than without me. I don't know if I will achieve that goal 100% or not, but every small step towards that level of mutual trust and respect is invaluable. So far, she has always stood right by me when I've come out of the saddle (intentionally or otherwise <g>).

The saddle diagram came from my saddle maker's Web site, so I can vouch for how comfortable it is! I can ride in it comfortably for hours and I don't feel sore the next day. I plan to use it for as long as I can lift it. ;)