So last night I decided to try riding April in English. I had tried it about 2 years ago but it didnt go too well. I wasnt sure how she was going to like it since the saddle and style of riding are totally different then western pleasure. I saddled her and lunged her for about 5-10 minutes and she seemed happy with it.
I have rode english like 2 times in the last 2 years so well my legs are pretty out of shape for it :)
After I mounted I walked her around the arena and her ears were forward pretty much the entire time and she was keeping her head very level. So after some flexing I asked her to trot and I started posting and she was moving out for me!!!! Not like a show moving out but enough for me to feel it. She had her head slightly below the vertical most of the time and was happy as can be. I tried asking for a little more and she naturally wanted to lope but I was able to hold her back while push. It was pretty fun because she has some lift in her step where my other mare doesnt for english. One of the other boarders was even practicing his barrels and running past her and she only looked up a few times.
Then I decided to try cantering. She isnt perfect with her leads yet but getting tons better...anyhow I only had to kiss and add a little pressure and she went right into it with minimal head bopping. She was really listening to my hands to get her head down and was collecting for me (softening lessons paying off!!!).
The neice of the BO came out and rode and asked what was wrong with April...I was a little confused... she said "she is looking really nice and behaving".
Normally in western she will have fits here and there when I try to get her to do the "western" look. I never thought of my baby being an english horse though, not that there is anything wrong with it but to me she just seems to have the "western build" and I need *cough* more lessons in English. I know the basics and diagnols but need some fine tuning. (im only talking flat work...i don't ever plan on jumping without a trainer...but I would like to learn)
Anyhow this is long but I just had a really good day riding last night and didnt have to push through issues.
http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=13106 there are some pics from a western show I went to a few weeks ago.