Thinking Of Starting English? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-02-2010, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking Of Starting English?

I've been riding for around seven years, and the first I ever rode was at a Hunter/Jumper school. I rode English for about three years, and then I started looking for my own horse. Unfortunately, when you live in Rural North Carolina, not many trained, good-for-a-first-horse horses are English. I had to switch to Western (although I tried desperately to ride him English; he fought me every step of the way). Since then, I Barrel Raced up until last year, and now I've started Western Pleasure. And yes, it's satisfying, but most of my friends are English, and it's just kind of awkward when we go riding (since I had to sell my horse) and I ride their horse in an English saddle, and I look really gawky.

The point is, it's been crossing my mind a lot of either beginning English lessons or switching altogether.

What should I do?

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post #2 of 4 Old 07-02-2010, 11:19 AM
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English lessons are a good idea, but I don't think you'll have to abandon western riding altogether. I am a dressage rider of twelve years and I have recently started dabbling in western riding with fairly good results. Basically, do what feels right. Prior to learning more western riding I was trying out hunter english... and I was most certainly not a happy camper with it. (Which is another thing. As a western rider you might find that you prefer the deeper seat, longer leg, and upright position in dressage riding. Even if you feel gawky in a huntseat saddle, you might be much happier doing dressage.)
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-02-2010, 03:46 PM
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Do what makes you happy! When I started riding, I began english. I switched to western because my sister rode western and I discovered how comfy the saddles were (I was only like 7)! After several more years, I switched back to english because I was more interested in hunter jumpers. Of course, I switched back to english after my mom bought me a western horse and western tack. Hehe... oops! Conveniently, the horse I had loved english and excelled at it. Now I have a thoroughbred who's totally english (he HATES western!).

Now, back to your question (sorry, I get side tracked easily). You can try english lessons and see if you really do want to commit to english. You can always invest in an "all around" horse so that you can still do both english and western. It really depends on what you want to do. For instance, I don't see an all around horse serving you in both jumping and barrel racing, as jumpers and barrel racers have entirely different builds. I would suggest english lessons and see if you like them.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-08-2010, 06:21 AM
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Well, I don't suggest that you abandon western altogether, but I do urge you to try english out. If you like it, then you can switch between the two every now and then (say, when practising in the arena do english, then when out in the fields do western, or visa versa).

I totally love english, but the few times I have tried out western is seems nice, but not really my style. I'm an english rider by heart.

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