First time = awkward :/

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First time = awkward :/

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  • How awkward was it to ride a horse for the first time
  • Is the first time awkward

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    06-06-2010, 12:33 PM
Green Broke
First time = awkward :/

Riding in an english saddle that is. I bought one yesterday and rode in it. Wow. Talk about a change. Especially in the canter. I feel sooo.... awkward. Lol. The sturrips are the biggest change. No more big ol' fenders to keep your legs in place, and english sturrips move alot more. My left one especially doesn't like me. Lol. I happy to say that I can jump in it ALOT better than I can western. Even when I lose my ****ed left sturrip. Lol. I am excited to go riding in it again today.

Any one else switch over from western to english? What were the main problems you found?

Also tips for riding english would be nice as I'm out in the dark.
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    06-06-2010, 12:57 PM
My best suggestion is to book some lessons with a qualified instructor. Not only is the english saddle more independent, you also have to learn to have proper posture - that is head, hip, and heel all in line.
    06-06-2010, 03:50 PM
I switched from western to English as well, and had a lot of the same problems until I got used to the "lack of support". I agree with JDI, a good instructor's eye will help you out quite a bit.

Barring an instructor's help, read up on the how's and why's of equitation and position. Almost all of being comfy and effective in an English saddle (and western, too, if you want to get down to the nitty gritty) is in having a solid position. I find myself making mantras to remind myself to fix my lingering bad habits. Honestly, the wow factor and the awkwardness do diminish once you get used to having less leather between you and the horse.

I also recommend lots of no-stirrup work, w/t/c, posting trot and 2-point without stirrups, and perhaps jumping w/o stirrups eventually. Not "fun" in the classical sense, but one of the better ways to force yourself to get solid legs.

Best of luck, and have fun!
    06-06-2010, 04:10 PM
I tried it once. I got one of those el cheapo english saddle packages when I was going through a stage when I wanted to teach my horse to jump. LOL, needless to say, I was more comfortable jumping bareback than I was with the saddle.
    06-06-2010, 04:18 PM
I switched halfway over. I still am focusing on western as my main style of riding but I am taking on some Jumping and dressage when there's nothing western for me to do.

Biggest thing I disliked was posting trots. I found that took a few rides for me to get the hang of. And riding one-handed. Being very active in the reining and cutting industry I always rode one-handed and it was very hard to break that habit to two hands.

I would get comfortable in all the gaits before you continue to jump. I'm not going to tell you to getan instructor beause that's what everyone is going to say and I know I learned without an instructor for the first six months when I started riding, and when I went into my trainers lesson she said I had managed to teach myself the good basics. I wasn't completely rounded, but I think if you ride enough to get comfortable in good habits on your own. Western and English riding positions aren't really that differant, the basics are the same. Heels down, sit up straight, blah blah blah.
    06-06-2010, 05:16 PM
I make the 'switch' weekly and honestly prefer western. I started english and showed huntseat for a while and decided to try western and loved it. I school my horse in an english jumping (as I age, I find more ways around fences than over) but for simple training we use an english saddle. Everything else is western.
    06-06-2010, 05:18 PM
Green Broke
I have never had an instructor in my life. I rode again today and my mare did not want to jump at all. She refused everytime. Well she did jump twice. Fell off for the first time in .... a long time. Knocked my head real hard on the jump. I'm ok. Just bruised. My ego as well. And pissed off that I couldn't stick. Lemme tell you I'm going to be doing alot of practicing. I'm more comfy in the canter today than yesterday. And the gallop is good too. Posting feels so weird. I'm going to be doing alot of that.
    06-06-2010, 06:11 PM
When I was doing western I had difficulty /not/ posting.

The idea isn't like going UPDOWNUPDOWNUPDOWN it's more so focusing on just vibing with the rhythm of the horse, and it should be a lot easier than just focusing on posting. Besides, you'll find it a LOT more comfortable over long distances.
    06-06-2010, 06:20 PM
I switched over a few months ago. Biggest change for me was posting and keeping my feet in the stirrups!! I ride bareback a LOT so I forget to put weight in the stirrups at fast gaits English; I grip on only with my thighs. That's my big problem
    06-06-2010, 08:37 PM
Green Broke
My mare has a nice slow WP like trot or a hard as hell horrible trot. I try and keep her in the slow trot. Very easy and comfy to sit. I could ride it forever.

Although I have never had lessons, I am seriously considering taking some. I just gotta see if I can afford them. I would love to take some basic english and jumping lessons.

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