Rancho Riding Versus American Western

The style of riding at Rancho Las Cascadas is not quite the same as other places in the world.  Although considered a Western style, the shorter reigns and charro saddle make a notable difference for those accustomed to riding American Western.  But don’t fret!  Many consider Rancho riding much easier.

The first thing riders might notice is the short reigns.  The Mexican cowboys (charros) used horses to help with raising cattle and therefore adapted their riding style to better fit their work and the Mexican terrain.  Since they always needed a hand for their lassos, there was no need for anything longer.

The saddle is quite different as well.  Although Spanish in origin, the charros made the saddle their very own by adding a huge horn, which made it perfect for roping.  It has a much wider seat, making it much more comfortable for long days;  but riders might notice that the saddle doesn’t bend or give.  Originally the saddles were carved from wood and wrapped in leather. Now they are constructed from a plastic composite, however rigidity remains.  That is why riders must sit in all gaits.  If a rider tries to post with a charro saddle, more pressure is placed on the horse’s back, potentially causing health problems for the horse.

Riders will also notice that the stirrups are much longer than in American Western riding.  This makes it easier to stay with the horse in the saddle.  By extending the legs, riders actually relax in the seat, almost as if sitting on a couch, and support their own weight through the back of the legs (hamstrings) by pushing into the heel.

“I think it’s easier to ride with the charro saddle,” said Charlie, a frequent guest at the Rancho.  “It doesn’t seem to take as much balance and concentration as with American Western saddles.  I just sit back and relax!”

Experience charro riding at the Rancho.  Contact us today to make your reservations!

2017-08-26T19:55:40+00:00 June 7th, 2016|

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