Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicagoland area, IL
#4 What's different about english & western riding?
Basically, everything. I know that's pointing out the obvious, but really. There are sooo many different genres of English disciplines, so to basically say 'I'm riding english now, give me advice on everything' would require an entire novel of answers. =P
For example.... stirrup lengths. Dressage & english trail riders typically wear their stirrups at a longer length (some Dressage riders have even LONGER stirrups then Western), while jumpers & equitation riders use much much shorter stirrup lengths.
Even equitation among the "subgenres" of English riding are very different. Dressage riders ride with the long leg, have their elbows at their sides with their hands apart, and ride with all the motion being absorbed in their seat. Jumpers ride with knees very bent, their elbows a bit in front with their hands together, and tend to rise out of the saddle in a "half seat" during canter/gallop to make it easier to ride. And don't even get me started on trail riders!! Depending on their horse, how active they ride, and the terrains they go through, their equipment/riding styles/theories vary GREATLY.
So if you want to try out the english stuff and really RIDE ENGLISH to the full english experience, don't just slap an english saddle on and see how it goes. Anyone can do that. You should take advice from an english rider/trainer.