Could you teach a western horse english? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Could you teach a western horse english?

I am currently taking english lessons. I'm starting off slow and so far I'm loving it. I feel I have more contact and love how it feels. It's different but a good different. Now I have invested in a lot of western tack and would like my horse to do both( I would ride western on trails). So is it possible to teach a horse to ride english. Right now I'm just learning to use double reins and how to relax my body and hold my arms and my trainer says I'm doing great so far and have improved.

Should I just stick to riding western with my horse and ride english with my lesson horse?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 04:17 AM
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I think its good for a horse to be able to ride both ways. Mine can ride both and changing from one to the other doesn't phase him a bit. It's a good way to challenge both you and your horse. I'd say go for it, especially if you already have the western tack but like riding english too. I love being closer to the horse. I suggest a Little Joe bareback pad with stirrups to increase your skill and balance. They are AWESOME for that! They are expensive though (for a bareback pad). Just google Little Joe bareback pad if you want to see what they're about.
I wouldn't suggest riding english on trails if you are just beginning. It's an accident waiting to happen since the english saddle has no horn and the seat isn't as deep. In english there is much more balance involved. Any ol' person can hop on a western saddle and ride around just fine but an english saddle is different. I took a bad spill yesterday going down a big hill in an english saddle. So if you ride english on a trail, please have your balance up to par.
Plus many people have trouble with the reins in english when they first start. I know I did, lol. I kept forgetting how to hold them but it's so simple now.

Good luck!
- Brie.


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post #3 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 04:54 AM
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Yes they can learn both and switch back and forth :) I think the more versatile a horse is the better life and partnership you'll both have together! Try everything!



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post #4 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 06:40 AM
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Many of the best trained horses compete in both disciplines. Look up the show career of Rugged Lark - that is the ultimate in dual discipline training.

BTW, do not use a bareback pad with stirrups. It is, perhaps, the most dangerous way to ride bareback. The stirrups give you a false sense of security but it you had to use them, the pad can too easily slip under the horse since there is no tree to secure it in place.

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Thanks for the input guys.

I do not like bareback pads. The ALWAYS seem to slide and do not feel secure. I actually feel more secure when riding plain ol bareback.
I have pretty good balance. I have been trotting,going over poles,loped once and had my balance. I think riding bareback when I FIRST started helped a lot since I didn't have a saddle.
The reins do feel different but I like it. I would defiently like to compete in english.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 02:15 PM
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It would be worth a try to teach your horse both disciplines. Most good horses don't mind the transition, however some take some getting used to. My mare for example was used for western riding, trail & gymkhana for most of her life until she was about 13, when she was bought by some individuals from an english riding stable & she absolutely hated it! Which is why they sold her a year later to me.
But the reason she didn't take to it was because there is alot more contact in english riding than their is in western & she can't stand that much pressure on her mouth. The english rider ususally wants the head tucked in nicely & sometimes use double-reins, whereas in western they're usualy trained to listen on a loose rein & neckrein.
The saddle ususally doesn't cause a problem, just the facial contact may frustrate some horses so just be careful when introducing the new style to your horse.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 02:44 PM
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I highly encourage teaching the other discipline once the primary has been down pat for a while. It isn't too hard with most horses to go from Western to English because all Western neck-reiners were started with direct-reining. You just have to add the leg pressure used for steering and make sure your horse doesn't confuse it with a cue to go faster.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well my horse doesn't seem to mind the pressure. With her I have to use some pressure or she will do what she wants. She does neck rein but I prefer to do direct rein. I need to get a english bridle but will get that over time..I will just work my horse in a snaffle...good luck to me...she doesn't like them but I will try a different bit. Does english only use broken bits? She is use to bits with shanks.
anyways, it will be different but my lesson horse is a dream to ride. I love him. He was a pain yesterday though.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidget View Post
Well my horse doesn't seem to mind the pressure. With her I have to use some pressure or she will do what she wants. She does neck rein but I prefer to do direct rein. I need to get a english bridle but will get that over time..I will just work my horse in a snaffle...good luck to me...she doesn't like them but I will try a different bit. Does english only use broken bits? She is use to bits with shanks.
Anyways, it will be different but my lesson horse is a dream to ride. I love him. He was a pain yesterday though.
If he rides in a mild bit Western, just switch him to a jointed eggbutt or D-ring and see how he goes.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile View Post
If he rides in a mild bit Western, just switch him to a jointed eggbutt or D-ring and see how he goes.

Thanks :)
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