January 6, 2021 – Ask Monty Newsletter

Question: How has Western riding changed?


I hope you’re having a wonderful day and week, I am here to ask you a few questions regarding what you know about western riding and how it’s evolved. I’m a highschool freshman and I have a school project that involves me researching the evolution of anything that I please. I of course chose western riding because of how interested I am in it after riding for about three years. I need to interview some possible experts, so who’s better to talk to than the people who have been riding western for years? If you’d be up for helping me out that would be very much appreciated. If you end up seeing this I’d you could respond ASAP that would be absolutely perfect. My project is due on the 1st of February 2021, thanks let’s get started!

What are a few things that you find to be the most prominent in western riding over the years/something that has stayed the same?

Monty’s Answer:

The only prominent feature I can think of is the Western saddle, bit and bridle. In fact not one of those has remained the same. The horses have been evolving for 50 million years and have not changed dramatically since 1939 when I began competing. If I had to choose one thing that was closest to being the same, it would be the horses.

Fortunately there is virtually nothing about Western riding that has stayed the same. I began competing in a Western saddle in 1939 and have won 11 world championships, each one involved a Western saddle. My riding, my equipment and my techniques to train the Western horse have profoundly changed over the 81 years involved. It is my belief that the only thing that has stayed anywhere near the same are the hats and the boots. Everything else has changed.


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