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Transitioning from western to english riding

This is a discussion on Transitioning from western to english riding within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        06-18-2013, 01:06 AM
      #11
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by littleerin5    
    Now here are my concerns. I have NEVER been professionally trained how to ride what so ever. Everything I know has been self taught and things I have picked up along the way of my 12 years riding. How hard is it going to be for me to transition from trail riding in a western saddle my self taught ways, to training to be a jumper in an english saddle with lessons? Shoot, I don't even know where to buy breeches or "tall boots"!

    I have contacted two stables near where I am, and both seem friendly so I will go out and check them out and make sure english is something I want to do. Do I show up in jeans and boots? Is that acceptable?

    I know the rodeo world and the western riding world is a tight knit community where everyone is friendly and it's a "are you thirsty darlin, want some tea?" kind of people, are english riders as friendly?

    I guess my biggest concern is understanding HOW DIFFERENT it will be to put my butt in a pair of breeches and on a type of saddle I've never sat in before and listen to a trainer, with a type of people I have never ridden with before. I consider myself a confident intermediate rider when it comes to what I was doing, but to english riding and wanting to get into the world of jumping, I am a COMPLETE novice! Shoot, I have half a mind to tell the stables to treat me like I've NEVER been on a horse, so I can learn professionally from the ground up!

    Am I over thinking this?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    This is going to be a huge change for you. The major difference is there is suddenly a LOT less leather between you and the horse. This may or may not be nice. It can be a little starling.. but for the most part you will find your groove :)

    Personally check to make sure your boots that you bring are ones you feel happy being in. An english stirrup feels a lot different than a western one.

    Jeans are fine, but honestly breeches are so comfortable once you get there. I recently found some jean-inspired breeches for my Western lovin' friend who is learning English with my horse :)

    You don't *need* tall boots. Paddock boots are fine, but if you show then some places prefer you have tall boots. I'll be honest.. a good pair of tall boots beats a pair of paddock boots + half chaps. My humble opinion.

    As with the world, there are going to be rude people and nice people. It depends on how you approach your lessons. Do not let anyone ever get you down. You know you are experienced.. this is just something new and quite different!

    In lessons, there are usually a lot of 'commands' that most instructors bark at you. Don't feel intimidated.. this is their teaching style. Some are more stern than others.

    They should, hopefully, have you on the lungeline at some point (hopefully more..) throughout your riding career so that you can get a feel for this new riding style without worrying about the horse.

    I'm really happy that you're trying this, though! You're very brave and I'm excited to see how things go!
         
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        06-18-2013, 01:08 AM
      #12
    Banned
    You need to be absolutely honest about not having ANY English experience, then there won't be any unnecessary pressures out on you and people will be willing to help you.

    When I came to Canada from NZ, I knew absolutely NOTHING about reining horses. I happened to get a job at a local barn/ranch and one of the trainers there was a reining trainer. I worked for the barn owner in the morning and rode with the reining trainer in the afternoons (this job ended up full time) and on my first day of working with her I had to ask her how to 'girth' the saddle up.....duh.....we laugh about it now. I am really thankful of how lucky I was to have that job fall in my lap and the switch was worth it and I'm glad I confessed my lack of western knowledge!!

    Ps. Those English saddles can be slippery
         
        06-18-2013, 01:12 AM
      #13
    Showing
    I SHOULD add... the first lesson SHOULD ALWAYS BE an evaluation.

    As in, get on the horse, they ask you to do something.. and they watch you. Then they will start to intervene a bit to direct you how to make something better...or they will stop you and break it down on what you need to work on.

    So if you have issues with the trotting of the new saddle, then the thing to do would be to put you on the lungeline. Etc.
         
        06-18-2013, 02:31 AM
      #14
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
    This is going to be a huge change for you. The major difference is there is suddenly a LOT less leather between you and the horse. This may or may not be nice. It can be a little starling.. but for the most part you will find your groove :)

    Personally check to make sure your boots that you bring are ones you feel happy being in. An english stirrup feels a lot different than a western one.

    Jeans are fine, but honestly breeches are so comfortable once you get there. I recently found some jean-inspired breeches for my Western lovin' friend who is learning English with my horse :)

    You don't *need* tall boots. Paddock boots are fine, but if you show then some places prefer you have tall boots. I'll be honest.. a good pair of tall boots beats a pair of paddock boots + half chaps. My humble opinion.

    As with the world, there are going to be rude people and nice people. It depends on how you approach your lessons. Do not let anyone ever get you down. You know you are experienced.. this is just something new and quite different!

    In lessons, there are usually a lot of 'commands' that most instructors bark at you. Don't feel intimidated.. this is their teaching style. Some are more stern than others.

    They should, hopefully, have you on the lungeline at some point (hopefully more..) throughout your riding career so that you can get a feel for this new riding style without worrying about the horse.

    I'm really happy that you're trying this, though! You're very brave and I'm excited to see how things go!


    Your response made me laugh! If I am thinking right, paddock boots are ankle high right? If it came down to me wearing breeches I would defnately get tall boots. I wear boots EVERYWHERE! I always have some type of boot on, weather its my boots I use for riding, my boots for when I'm in uniform, my dress boots... lol I am always in boots!

    I've seen videos of people on the lungeline, and at first I wondered why, and thought to myself that these cool cats must be just learning to ride. Now I see the point of the lungeline excersises!

    ----------------------------------------------------

    No worries, both the barns know my background in riding, and that I have no idea about english.

    How slippery is the seat?! Lol everyone keeps talking about slippery seats!!
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        06-18-2013, 04:10 PM
      #15
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by littleerin5    
    Your response made me laugh! If I am thinking right, paddock boots are ankle high right? If it came down to me wearing breeches I would defnately get tall boots. I wear boots EVERYWHERE! I always have some type of boot on, weather its my boots I use for riding, my boots for when I'm in uniform, my dress boots... lol I am always in boots!

    I've seen videos of people on the lungeline, and at first I wondered why, and thought to myself that these cool cats must be just learning to ride. Now I see the point of the lungeline excersises!

    ----------------------------------------------------

    No worries, both the barns know my background in riding, and that I have no idea about english.

    How slippery is the seat?! Lol everyone keeps talking about slippery seats!!
    It's not slippery unless you ride in lyrca yoga pants.. then it's like a slip n slide! Proper breeches won't have you going anywhere!

    And yes, they are typically ankle high. They're nice to walk around in but for riding.. I prefer tall boots.

    I think lungeline lessons are some of the best, to be honest. That and no stirrup!
         
        06-18-2013, 04:35 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    In both places I have lived, English riders and Western riders have been equally "friendly" for the most part. In some cases, I thought the English riders were even more friendly, less competitive and more accepting. Mainly because where I live, the English riders come from a background of lessons and proper training, whereas the Western riders are "home grown" and, half the time, have no earthly clue what they are doing. On the other hand, there was a barn in my hometown full of the snottiest, rudest group of people I have ever met, all English riders.

    I just moved from an English barn with the best group of people I have ever met. I miss them all. I am now at a Western barn with yet another awesome group of people.

    My point being, it really comes down to individual experiences and people. The "snotty English rider" is a sterotype, and the "stupid, cruel Western rider" is also a stereotype. I have seen both ends of the spectrum, and I have also seen that the majority of riders fall smackdab in the middle; just nice people who love horses. THAT is what you should expect.

    Anyway, sorry about that semi-rant. I just can't stand when people have one experience with a discipline and automatically paint everyone in that discipline with the same brush (not that you were doing that). It is all about individuals.

    Okay, I'm done.

    Oh! I also prefer paddock boots and half chaps for schooling and save the tall boots for showing. Too expensive!

    Good luck and have fun!!
    bsms, Heelsdown, onuilmar and 1 others like this.
         
        06-26-2013, 02:57 PM
      #17
    Foal
    I think the most important thing to remember no matter which "style" or discipline you choose is to have fun. So many people take riding way too seriously! It's not a matter of life and death.
    That being stated, you may find that some trainers in the English disciplines are extremely assertive to the point of being brusque. Personally, that's led to a lot of frustration for me, but it also helped me develop a healthy respect for "constructive criticism."
    It all boils down to your own personality, which type of environment you are comfortable in and what you hope to accomplish.
    Good luck!
         

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