Brand new to english riding, have some questions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-17-2010, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Brand new to english riding, have some questions?

Ok, I've been convinced to try out my trail pro mare for size with english riding (thanks forum members!). I own very little english tack, but one of my biggest questions is, can you use hackamores when riding english? I use a little-s arabian hackamore for my well broke mare and she does great in it...a bit is another story entirely. Her teeth have been checked, no issues there, and she will take a bit, but is extremely head-tossy when riding in it. She's much calmer and more focused with her hack. So what would my alternative be? And also, if I ride with a 15.5 western saddle, about what size english saddle would I want to get? Thanks for encouraging me to go for it! I've always wanted to learn english and my mare is such a good girl, so I hope she enjoys it :^) Any beginners advice?
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-17-2010, 07:28 PM
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You can definitely ride in a hackamore for english riding. I don't know about hunters, but in eventing and show jumping I believe it's perfectly fine. However for dressage I believe you need to have a bit, preferably a loose-ring snaffle (including the dressage phase in eventing). I couldn't help you with saddle size, I would just suggest going into a local tack store and sitting in a few to figure out what size would be best for you.

It will be a large change in feel switching from a western saddle to a english saddle, but in my opinion it's a great way to really feel the horse underneath you and get a feel for how your balance is and how you ride. I absolutely love riding english. I switched from western to english after 5 years of riding WP and barrels, and I could never go back to western.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-17-2010, 08:49 PM
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As for English saddle size, depends on your height, believe it or not. Or rather , length of the femur bone of you upper leg. If that's you in the avatar photo, you are pretty lean, so I would take a ball part guess at a 16 if you are not taller than 5; 4" a 16 and a half to 5' 7" and a 17" if you are taller. I would welcome correction from English riders if I am off on this. I ride dressage, so it's a tad different.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-17-2010, 08:51 PM
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If you plan to show English, you can only show in a hackamore if it's an event based on your horse's speed, like cross country and show jumping. In most hunter classes you'll be DQed
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-17-2010, 10:31 PM
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I'm 5'6" and I ride in a 17.5" Close Contact saddle. Depending on the style. In the Pessoa XP3 I need the 'Extra' flap, and in a Prestige saddle I ride 17" With a +4 cut flap, because I'm quite long from hip to knee. So it depends a lot.
As you say, you're very new, so I'd look at getting a basic AP saddle like the new style Wintec, (Because I'm a huge advocate of this saddle for starters), because it fits most horses and offers enough support to your leg, especially considering you'll be riding in a completely different position. Another good AP saddle though is the Kieffer Munchen or the Kieffer Venezia or the Prestige GP.
Your hackamore will be fine to ride in, as another poster said already, but if you do want to get her more comfortable with having a bit in her mouth, I suggest something soft like a Nathe snaffle, or something not too bulky with a double joint in it like an elliptical snaffle, a KK, or a french link. Possibly even something with a non stainless steel mouth piece, like sweet iron or copper, to encourage her to taste the bit, rather than reject it outright.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-30-2010, 02:12 PM
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I am 5'5" and have a 17" Wintec A/P. With the hunters they require a snaffle of some sort, and they come in everything. I would start with a loose ring or a d ring.

The Wintec saddle is one of the most comfortable I have ridden in. I have used a friends Stubben for one show season whil I was showing her horse and I hated it. I have also shown in Collegiates and I still like the Wintec. The other good thing about the Wintec is they have the interchangeable gullet system. You can change the gullet when your horses back changes (my TB was growing so I went through 3 different gullets, and at $18 a piece it beat buying a new saddle when his back changed)

I would check out the KK Ulta Bits they are a little expensive but they work like a dream. They come in both the loose ring and the D ring.

Hope this helps!
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-30-2010, 10:40 PM
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i'm 160cm (about 5'3 - 5'4) and 66kgs in weight. i ride in a 17.5 inch dressage saddle and 17 inch jumping saddle and all purpose.
i once borrowed a 17.5 inch event saddle but i felt i swam in it.

i would do a half inch difference between dressage and all purpose/jumping saddles. but that's just what i do.

i find it better in a dressage saddle with a deep seat to got a bit bigger.

Elly ::: Diam ::: Ozzie
~~~Introducing Barney~~~
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-30-2010, 11:19 PM
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also bit wise, make sure the bit fits, that it's not hanging too low and that it's not too small. your horse might not like that style of bit. my friends horse won't have anything but a thin straight bar. if your horse is low in the palate then having a normal bit in your horse will hate it. try different ones. rather then going to a single join snaffle go a thin french link or a curved single joint. even try a pee wee bit.

for the saddle also, make sure there is 4 fingers between your butt and the end of the seat

Elly ::: Diam ::: Ozzie
~~~Introducing Barney~~~
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