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Which is harder?

This is a discussion on Which is harder? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        05-27-2010, 10:56 AM
      #11
    Started
    The Forum has discussed this matter several times to my knowledge - so do a search and look up the old threads.

    The two systems are different and were devised for differing uses of the horse - neither is easier than the other at a basic level. The horses are trained differently, the tack is different, the seating position is different and the system of aids is different.

    If you really are keen to know the answer to your question then go find a Western riding club and try for yourself. It will be good experience for you.

    But don't ask an English trained horse to do a sliding stop
    Nor a Western trained horse to go round a show jumping course
    - that is until you have had one for a few months and taught them how to do it.

    If you seek a simplistic explanation then the answer might be
    An English trained rider wears a hard hat and sits on a English saddle holding the reins in two hands and jumps fences
    A Western trained rider wears a cowboy hat, sits on a saddle with a horn and holds the reins in one hand and chases cows

    But that simplistic answer isn't really the answer to your question.
         
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        05-27-2010, 06:24 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chella    
    I think the way you first learn will be the easiest. I grew up neck reining now I am trying to direct rein and I feel like an idiot. Its like skiers trying to snowboard and vice versa. My friend rides English and for the life of her she can't balance western. Then again maybe we are less coordinated than some
    I would actually disagree with you on that point. I started off riding western and switched to english after about 5 years, and I can sincerely say I'm a far better english rider than I ever was western. I don't find one or the other harder, per say, but I feel like I learned the basics for english more quickly. Perhaps it's that I have more innate talent for english or something, I couldn't tell you.

    To answer the OP's question, though, I agree with others. You can't really say one is more difficult than the other. They're just different.
         
        05-27-2010, 06:32 PM
      #13
    Started
    If you ascribe to the "Riding is the Mere Act of Not Falling Off" mentality, both are pretty easy. If you're really striving for excellence as a rider, both are pretty difficult to truly master.

    I will tentatively say that for the bare bones beginner western is probably a bit easier to start out and Merely Not Fall Off, simply because of the extra leather.

    I rode Western (primarily, a few forays into English tack) for roughly 5 years, lessons, trail riding, and showing, and then switched to English. A good reining spin thrills me as much to watch as a good piaffe-passage tour, and I can easily imagine that both are similarly difficult to train and ride. For an experienced enough rider with a good seat and hands, it isn't so much a matter of difficulty as of simple difference.
         
        05-27-2010, 06:37 PM
      #14
    Showing
    Neither is harder IMO. I ride both disciplines, and when I want a nice relaxed ride, I choose by what the horse will be able to accomodate me better with--Western or English, not based on my preference because I don't have a preference! Lol
         
        05-27-2010, 06:40 PM
      #15
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Strange    
    I would actually disagree with you on that point. I started off riding western and switched to english after about 5 years, and I can sincerely say I'm a far better english rider than I ever was western. I don't find one or the other harder, per say, but I feel like I learned the basics for english more quickly. Perhaps it's that I have more innate talent for english or something, I couldn't tell you.

    To answer the OP's question, though, I agree with others. You can't really say one is more difficult than the other. They're just different.
    I think the point the previous poster was trying to make was that if you had an equal amount of inborn talent and preference in you of both, and started off in one discipline, it would be easier. Some people are just naturally better at one, though
         
        05-27-2010, 06:46 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    I have to say that it all depends on what you are riding. I believe that riding Hunter/Jumpers is much easier than western pleasure. THEN reining and team penning is harder than pleasure riding and possibly Eq riding. I took about 2 years of western lesssons and IMO English is way more difficult but I only learnt western pleasure and trail so I can't make much of a comparison via team penning etc. I believe both can and are very challenging disciplines.
         
        05-27-2010, 06:54 PM
      #17
    Showing
    They're both as challenging as you make them
         
        05-28-2010, 03:41 AM
      #18
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Delfina    
    I started Western and switched to English, so right now I'd tell you English is WAY harder. Now my 6yr old started with English and dang, she's up there in the perfect position, making it look sooooo easy but then she didn't spend a ton of time riding around in a Western saddle which forces your legs way farther forward than you want while riding English. She started off being placed in the proper position and having the instructor reset her position every time she lost it.
    Age has an affect also, I'm not *old* but my muscles and joints do not respond like they did 20 years ago! I wish they did but no......
    For the moment let us forget the technicalities and look at what Delfina as written as the practicalities. She has hit the on the key issues.

    Delfina came to ride Western and that is what her body and brain has got used to. Then in later life she switched to English Dressage - which is a very 'formal' way of riding. As an older person she found this transition difficult.
    Yes, because her brain had to reeducated and different muscles had to be built up.

    But her 6 yo daughter gets to be trained English as a youngster and her English seat is taught and implanted in her from the very beginning. The daughter finds it easy and she looks good from a early stage. In English dressage everything goes back to the correct seat position.

    But it will be interesting to see how she might ride Western if introduced to it in later life. My guess is she might not like riding one handed with loose reins and leaning over. Although if she is a natural rider who found horses at a young age maybe she will take to Western like a duck to water.


    Personally if I had known what I know now then I would have learned to ride in either Portugal or Spain where the traditional system has similarities to both Classical Dressage and what we call Western. But I came to riding late in life and sadly and in all honesty I have never been an elegant rider in any system. Somehow I get by, either in an English or a Western saddle.

    There is more than one system of riding and we should all experiment from time to time, whenever we get the opportunity. But no one system is better, each system is different and has been devised for a different purpose.
         
        05-28-2010, 05:38 PM
      #19
    Foal
    For me I think that english is a lot easier
         
        05-28-2010, 05:53 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Well geez, this got me thinking, I can't ride western worth poop, but I've only had one western lesson in my life... but compared to what some dressage riders can do I can't ride dressage worth a poop either! Hahaha I think theyre both super challenging, but for me english is easier, just because I've been riding in an english saddle all my life, only a western saddle a few times :)
         

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