decided to take up english

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decided to take up english

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    10-04-2010, 04:53 PM
Green Broke
decided to take up english

So in the past I have taken lessons for english and it was a lot of fun.
My instructor said I do well but I was heavy on the reins at first. Anyways,I decided I am going to purchase my first english saddle and everything that goes with it. I do have one major problem. When I post sometimes my legs swing.Would breeches help? I ride in jeans. I'm ride western. Do you guys have any recommendations for me when first starting out.

My horse isn't big. She is a stocky 14.2 horse...some of you may call her a pony but she's a horse. The thing is she has a big head but a full size dangles at the throat latch and I have to tighten it because the bit was loose and she some horses naturally chomp on bits? She does it when she is told to hold if she was bored or something. Also should I get a pony breast collar? Her western one had to have extra holes in it cause it sat too low on her. She doesn't have much for withers and I usually have to sit the pad up a little higher because without a breast collar it will begin to slooowly slide back.

Any info would be great.
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    10-04-2010, 05:21 PM
Gidget, it doesn't matter whether you ride in breeches or jeans; your legs are swinging because you're used to riding Western.

Once you learn to drop your weight into your heels and ride a balanced seat, your legs will stop being so loose and all over the place.

An English saddle doesn't sit the same way a Western one does. You may need a breast collar, but you may not. Make sure when you get a saddle for her, that you have it fitted properly.

I don't know what her chomping the bit has to do with tightening the throat latch on her bridle.

Some horses champ, but I've found it's usually because they're either excited or they need their teeth done. When was the last time you had her teeth examined?
    10-04-2010, 05:50 PM
Green Broke
No no...sorry I confused you..the throat latch is always loose but the actual head stall seems loose unless I really tigten is..but yea.
The vet said she can wait on her teeth.

So because I ride western I swing my legs?
    10-04-2010, 06:05 PM
Not so much because you ride Western, but because you haven't had to develop a deep seat and drop your weight into your heels.

A Western saddle puts you into a chair seat. In English, you need to sit up and off your pockets, and lengthen your legs down and back. Your leg should never come forward ahead of the girth.

In Western, the fenders keep your legs mostly still. In English, you have to be taught to do that since the stirrup leathers are nothing but thin pieces of leather.
    10-04-2010, 06:33 PM
Green Broke
Alright,thank you.
I know I haven't learned to put weight in my heels.I guess I better start doing that!

Thanks for helping me...My friend put her in a cob bridle and she said it fit.I think I will do that. Oh it's hard for me to mount in an english saddle. I can do it no problem in a western( I won't grab onto the horn...just hold the cantle in western and lift myself up but I tried that last night in the english and tipped it and my husband can mount in an english saddle but everytime we mount my horse in an english saddle the saddle will slid on the side.
    10-04-2010, 07:06 PM
My instructor used to tie my stirrup leathers to my girth for 10 mins each session to keep my legs still, so you can feel what muscles you have to use, then she took them off and slowly my legs stayed in the right place. In english we ride with longer stirrups but there is no harm in shortening them and gradually getting them longer. And like the above comment....take a deep seat!
Its all a learning curve but I where I am english it comes naturally really :S
Hope its a little help :S
    10-04-2010, 07:47 PM
Green Broke
Ummm,you guys ride with longer stirrups? I thought it was shorter so when do you know if the stirrups are too long.
    10-05-2010, 10:08 AM
You shouldn't ride with longer stirrups until you have a good, deep, solid seat.

Believe it or not, the shorter the stirrups, the easier it is on you if you're a beginner.

As a beginner, you need a shorter stirrup length. Your instructor should know where to put them to achieve maximum effect.

Dressage riders have longer stirrups, and the rest of us ride shorter because of our specific disciplines. There's no right or wrong on stirrup length unless you're showing competitively, as long as you have control of your seat and legs.

Your saddle's not girthed tightly enough or not placed properly if it's sliding when you attempt to mount. My saddle stays in place.

You might want to consider using a mounting block if you're having trouble mounting using an English saddle. Never grab the cantle on an English; it won't help you.

When I mount, I hold the reins and a bit of mane hair in my left hand, and my right helps me balance as I swing across the top of the saddle. Once I'm settled, my right hand goes to my right rein.
    10-05-2010, 03:34 PM
Green Broke
Thanks SR

My friend,Piaffe was at the barn last night and she told me the girth was not tight enough...I actually need a smaller girth.The barrel of her is pretty small so I just used a big bucket I had and did fine mounting that way =D I will shorten the stirrups tonight. I rode around and it's really incredidable on how much your posture changes. I forgot how it felt! I posted some but mostly did walking and just doing turns. I put contact on the bit and Gidget did well. I think I might have been a tad heavy on the reins but I will continue to work on that.

Also..I rode in a pair of tennis shoes last night. I usually ride in my boots. They are "cowboy" boots and when I rode in them last time in an english saddle it felt really funny. I'm looking to buy some paddock boots. Do you recommend any type?
    10-05-2010, 03:37 PM
I personally prefer the zip front paddock boots over the lace ups, back zip, or pull ons. But really, it's all about what you yourself find most comfortable.

I do recommend going with a decent brand and real leather, because synthetics may be cheaper but they just don't hold up very well.

I won't say anything about you riding in tennis shoes.....

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