Help! Western rider going English for a day - Page 2

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Help! Western rider going English for a day

This is a discussion on Help! Western rider going English for a day within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Holding the Reins Correctly
  • How to hold english reins

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    02-20-2010, 11:34 PM
Oh also--how do you hold the reins and turn the horse?
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    02-20-2010, 11:53 PM
The horses that I rode english, we did a combination of leg cues and using the reins for turning. As far as holding the reins, we didn't hold them with a death grip, but we didn't leave a lot of slack either. And like WannaHorse said..."Keep your fingers closed, shoulders back, sit tall, heels way down, chin up", and hands down Although, I wouldn't grip with the legs in any way. I don't know how it is with polo ponies, but with the saddlebreds that I rode, it was squeeze slightly with your legs to get them to go faster. Be sure and ask your mom's bf what the cues are for those particular horses. It won't make you look clueless in any way. Different horses have different cues. GOOD LUCK!!!!!
    02-23-2010, 10:12 PM
OKAY, after spending 2 hours cleaning up my mom's old English saddle, I rode English for a good 4 hours over the span of yesterday and today. I LOVE it! So much fun lol! I did walk, trot, and canter, as well as jumped a few foot-tall logs at a trot and canter.

I like it so much I'm having my English-riding friend come with me to the tack store to help me buy an English bridle. What kind should I get? Not a flash noseband, those are harsh right? And the ones with an X are for racing I just a typical headstall-and-cavesson deal? What kind of bit? I'll be doing just walk/trot/canter on trail rides and some ring work. Artie needs a firm bit, but not a harsh one....we'll be doing flatwork and maybe some small jumping. No big jumps, as Artie's 21. I have 2 D-rings and an O-ring from our old ex-racer. Will either work? Which one?

That same friend is going to give me a simple English lesson lol after we buy the bridle. Unfortunately it'll be after I get to ride the TB's, but I think I'll be okay with just going on horseforum critique until Sunday, when I get my "lesson" haha.

Can anyone find a picture or something of how to hold the reins? I'm kinda clueless....currently holding them, thumbs up, palms in, with the excess rein coming out the bottom of my fist and draping over his withers. Is this right?

So yesterday I took a few videos....Please critique! I think what I need to work on is not pointing my toes out to the sides, but pointing them forward. I catch myself doing this all the time Western too. It was hard to not bounce yesterday and today because the snow was that thick ice stuff that made Artie's fox trot bouncy. He lifts his front legs so high he looks like a high-stepping showhorse . BTW--Arthur doesn't trot, he's gaited, so he does a fox trot. So I can't really practice posting lol. He gets confused when I use English commands on his Western bit....I end up doing a combination of English and Western to get him to turn correctly. Ignore my sister's commentary haha. I especially like her (whispered) "He's taking a dump!" in the first video.

Here's the first. I'm really going over a foot-tall log, but it's kinda covered in snow so you can't see it that well. It's where the camera focuses a lot. He ticked it the first time (before I took the video) because he didn't pace himself but after that he learned to pace himself pretty well. He clears it with ease, even with me not knowing how to jump on his back xD. I like pausing it mid-stride over the log to see his form:) :

The other video is just going around in a circle at a walk, trot, and a little cantering:

Thanks guys!
    02-23-2010, 11:02 PM
Ok for holding the reins put your thumbs up like your holding and ice cream cone. Then ask for the horse to collect by slightly pulling back on the reins he should start to lift himself threw body and push from the behind. I think your stirrups need to be shortend too.
    02-24-2010, 01:02 PM
Here is how you hold english reins. I can't tell how you are holding them but this is the correct way :)

    02-24-2010, 01:03 PM
Oops, sorry its so big!
    02-24-2010, 05:14 PM
LOL I still can't understand the pic...but thanks haha:)
    02-24-2010, 07:54 PM
Did my post make sense?
    02-25-2010, 10:15 AM
Polo ponies are fast agile creatures. Mum's boyfriend knows that they can be quite a handful but my guess is that he is going to show you how to ride them when you get there. He is probably real pleased that he has found a female couple who knows one end of a horse from another.
If you are only going once, then what are you worried about.

Think of it as barrel racing but with moving barrels.
    02-25-2010, 10:42 AM
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
LOL I still can't understand the pic...but thanks haha:)

In English, you hold the reins so that the backside of your hand is facing out and is perpendicular to the ground. You also put your pinky finger on the outside of the rein so that the rein goes in between your ring and pinky fingers. It helps you feel the horse's mouth better. And for turning, you pull back on the side you want to turn and use your outside leg a bit farther back than the girth and LIGHTLY use your inside leg on or almost infront of the girth. English leg work is similar to western that way.

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