Western Counterfactual

Adventures in Saddle Western Seat

Enjoy the ride.


Not many ASBs in my life right now. So, I’m looking at other breeds. Today, Quarter Horses.

Before I started riding at Stepping Stone Farm [Riding Toward Random, First Impressions], I checked out a western barn. I didn’t know anything about the barn. Someone, somewhere must have given me the name and the idea that they taught lessons. Stopped by. Wandered about. Passed judgment [New Barn Checklist]. Left my card and a message. Later, I called and left a voice message. No response from either.

What might have happened if I had started Western lessons?

Would I have taken a set of lessons, given it a fair trial, and then run screaming back to hunter/jumper, event, dressage land?

Would I have said thanks but no thanks, taken a break, and then tried again just as Falcon Hill was opening? I’ve always wondered what might have happened if I had staggered into FHF before SSF.

Let’s say I landed at the barn. Would I now own show chaps and western helmet, maybe one with Fallon Taylor styling?

Would I be jogging at minus Mach ten around a Western Pleasure ring? I can’t see it, but stranger things have happened. For example, side-saddle [The Whatever Horse].

Would I be zipping around poles or barrels? Probably not. Classes that rely on equine talent usually require a horse of one’s own.

Would I be their in-house English rider, eying an Open Jumper belt buckle from Ohio rather than a neck ribbon from St. Louis [Jumpers]? Good in theory but unlikely, given my response to jumping a Saddlebred [Theory Vs. Reality].

Most likely, I’d be doing whatever the lesson program offered.

Does the American Quarter Horse Congress have Academy classes?

Previous Counterfactual [Camp]

What were the forks in your road?

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

9 thoughts on “Western Counterfactual

  1. No fork here, started English (in all its varied incarnations), stayed English. Rode western once. Nancy (barn manager) was riding he horse Honey in the ring and I was watching. Someone came over to talk to Nancy; after sitting on Honey for a bit she dismounted and asked me to hold Honey. Then she said I could ride her. So, I decided to. Honey wasn’t very big, and Nancy isn’t that much taller than I am, so I had no trouble mounting or reaching the stirrups. Only walked and trotted, didn’t want to push it. Was an interesting experience, neck reining and all.

  2. Sorry but WP is probably the LEAST interesting thing you could possibly try in the western world. So much more to pick from that is fun, challenging and safe. Love a well bred, well broke working western horse. Great minds, reliable rides, relatively little drama in any situation. Their “Get ‘er done” attitude is always a winner for me.

  3. “Rode western once.” Rode Western at camp one summer. Didn’t stick. Nancy had some nice horses. I always wondered what she thought of all us English folk.

    “WP is probably the LEAST interesting thing …” That is my impression. OTOH back in 2012, I would have shown a stick horse if someone had handed me one.

    1. Nancy had to know she wasn’t exactly in a hotbed of Western riding.
      One time, one of the kids came out of the barn decked out in new Western kit. One of the other kids asked her why she switched from English, and she said “I already know everything about English”…I happened to be sitting on the mounting block and turned and glared at her, and she revised her statement, ”I know everything I want to know about English…”. She was always an arrogant bitch, nobody you knew. She wasn’t around very long.

      1. I once asked a lovely, middle-teenage girl why she had switched from English whatever-it-was-she-was-showing (and winning) to WP? Answer: “All I have to do is sit there. The horse knows what to do and just does it himself.” Translation: Lazy, but correct. FWIW, she won with him, too. 😉

  4. Yeah. I’ve seen/heard that theory in most disciplines. Never understood it. Have rejected it utterly. Possibly too much. Might have gotten farther if I had gotten more help and not insisted on riding every single step myself.

    1. Your help made so much difference to me. Like, except in hunter over fences – she’d jump that pattern by herself in the ring at home – I really do need to ride but not over ride.

  5. Thank you. I’m all for help from the ground. Need as much as I can get. It’s when people start riding and training on my horse that I get obstinate.

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