My first time in an English saddle!

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My first time in an English saddle!

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    04-24-2009, 06:33 PM
Talking My first time in an English saddle!

So I had a lesson on Wednesday. The lessons are not just riding, but on horsemanship. Kelly, the teacher is pretty good. She listens to horses very well and is ery open to their communication. So I'm glad I'm learning from her.
On Wed we were getting down tacking and mounting/dismounting. We take baby steps to ensure we get it right from the beginning so we don't have to back track.
So I had Dublin.

I am pro at tacking since I've been doing it so often for when I lead. So that was no issue. Then we went into the area and were walking them around before girth checks. She taught us how to do this. Usually as a leader we have to hold the noseband and place a hand on the shoulder so the instructor can girth check and we watch the horse. It was nice to be the one to do it this time.
So there are 5 people in the class. She showed us the mounting process. Interesting, as I've never been in an english saddle before. I had no idea where to put my hand that would normally grab for the horn. It ended up in my crotch as I swung my leg over But otherwise Dubbs cooperated and I got on successfully. We then just walked around the arena.
I have to thank many people on this board right now. If not for reading all the posts I would not have had a clue about what to do. As the instructor was focusing on the next horse/rider, Dubin decided to stop, go, and turn as he pleased. He knew the routine and just walked around the arena following the horse in front. Ugh. But I did get him to stop and turn and do things my way a few times. And I did not kick once, in fact I only ever squeezed with my calves.
But the reins, I had no idea. I only ever neck reined and my gosh was this weird. I had to use both hands and actually keep contact with his mouth. So odd. It's going to take awhile for me to get used to that. I didn't want to pull on his mouth too hard, so I was trying to be as gentle as possible while still getting the point across, I hope I did good.
We then had to dismount as the class was going over the two hours allotted. This I knew how to do. I gently swung my leg over, got myself straight and slid off. Dubbs didn't even shift. He's such a good horse.

Anyhow, that's my story. Thansk for reading.
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    04-24-2009, 11:22 PM
Sounds like you are having a great time learning English!

Originally Posted by Whipple    
But the reins, I had no idea. I only ever neck reined and my gosh was this weird. I had to use both hands and actually keep contact with his mouth. So odd. It's going to take awhile for me to get used to that. I didn't want to pull on his mouth too hard, so I was trying to be as gentle as possible while still getting the point across, I hope I did good.
^^ Make sure that you are not balancing yourself on the reins. Your seat is the most important thing -- it is where your centre of balance begins. Think about sitting tall and relaxed, with your weight in your heels. Sometimes reins are called "steering devices," but really, your leg and seat should ask your horse to turn, and your hands should follow through. When you ask your horse to turn (say left) apply pressure with your left leg. Never pull him with your reins in the direction you want to go, but as he bends around your leg, give with your hand and allow for him to make the movement. Hope that makes sense. And keep up the good work!!
    04-25-2009, 09:18 AM
Definitely cool.

Don't be afraid of the constant contact with your horse's mouth. By some measures, it is actually much gentler on the horse's mouth when stopping. Since there is usually some slack in the western reins, when a rider needs to stop quickly they pull back... but it takes a little while for the slack to be taken up and by the time the message gets down to the bit and the horse's mouth, it's already being jerked quite hard. With constant contact, you can stop a well-trained horse simply by squeezing your hands more tightly closed.
    04-25-2009, 09:31 AM
Aw, that is great. Sounds nice! You'll get used to it...yeah, when I first switched, the reins were a bit tough for me to get used to. :) But in no time, I got the hang of it. You will too!
It's just different, that's all. It's mostly squeezing, & less pulling, since you have more contact & less slack.
    04-25-2009, 10:54 AM
Thanks everyone. No worries Jubilee, no balancing on the reins. But staying relaxed is a big thing. I get nervous and I really try, but I just stiffen up. I'm trying to figure someway that will make me relax, but haven't found anything yet.

This was my first official lesson, before this it was trail rides, and I've only ever learned from reading and videos. So I have to admit, I think I did good. I'll never have a teacher yell at me for heels down, It's permanently in my brain.
    04-25-2009, 04:34 PM

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