01-30-2010, 06:44 AM
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You are writing to an American Forum - where let us say half of the readers ride Western and half "English". Your choice of words doesn't indicate whether your are Portuguese or a native English speaker living in Portugal.
Portuguesse riding traditions are slightly different from those in Northern Europe and the gait of Lusitano horses is somewhat exagerated. Portuguese dressage follows slightly different traditions. I have ridden in Spain but never in Portugal but I believe the traditions are very similar - both having connections to the bull ring.
I see that in Iberia, the rider is taught to sit to the canter with back upright - I have watched Spainish riders gallop ie fast canter in the same seating position. To an Englishman, the Iberian way is known here as "The Classical" way. As an older Englishman I was not taught that way.
I was taught to gallop in the "forward" seat - ie I sit at the canter but I rise at the gallop and lean forwards with my weight in the stirrups and ideally focussed over the horse's centre of gravity. But as others have said maybe "galope" is to canter not to gallop.
If you are riding in a riding centre then you must listen to your instructor and ask him or her as to what is the correct position for you and your locally trained horse. We can perhaps advise you how to do it our way - but you must first learn to do it the local way - there are many systems of riding.
In America Clint Eastwood rode in his Western films in a style very similar to what I have seen in Spain. To my eye he was a very stylish rider - no doubt he still is.
Maybe you could tells us about what it is like to ride in Portugal!
How long have you been riding?
What is the breed and description of the horse?
What does the saddle look like?
How are you taught?
Where do you ride?
Do you go to the bull fight?
Have you ever heard of Snr D'Oliveira?