Want to start riding english - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By kitten_Val
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-11-2011, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Soon to be South Carolina
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Want to start riding english

I want to venture into english riding.

I'll admit that I know NOTHING about it.
All I know is what size saddle in seat and tree I should look for(I just learned that).
I am a large sized rider if that makes any difference.
Any and all pointers, instructions, tricks, no-no's, or anything at all would be imensely appreciated.

Would my horse like it? He's a western horse right now, has never had any formal amount of training. I'm assuming a saddle was thrown on his back, had his bucking fit, and it was over. Would he be more inclined to like english?
I know ever horse is different in how or what they like.

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post #2 of 4 Old 10-11-2011, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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First of all, you really want to find a saddle that fits your horse. Unfortunately it's often more tough with English saddles (depending on your horse's shape). As for switching: I started my mares in western, and couple years later switched to english completely. Didn't have a problem.

Also if you you have no experience with english riding it won't hurt to take some lessons with the english instructor.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-13-2011, 08:48 AM
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I say go for it!

Most horses make the switch without batting an eye, as long as the saddle is properly fitted and adjusted. As KV said, that can be tricky, and your best bet is to have a professional saddle fitter (or someone non-pro, a friend or something, who has a lot of experience with fitting English saddles) evaluate the fit. If that isn't possible for whatever reason, do as much research on signs of good and poor fit as possible.

I switched my first horse from western to English without a problem - the biggest issue was getting him workable in a snaffle after a lifetime in an ATT, but it worked out without any drama. My current horse I bought with no history whatever, probably trained as you described and then left to stand in the pasture. Tossed the English saddle on, and haven't had any problems that any other green horse doesn't have.

If you are just fiddling around and experimenting, you can just go for it. There's a lot to be learned from this board alone to guide you. If you're looking to get into showing, or even just learn the finer points and really jump start your progress, I highly recommend taking at least a few lessons with a good instructor to help you out. If you want to jump, definitely seek some pro instruction before attempting that, for the safety of all involved. Jumping just has that extra tricky element.

Good luck, and have fun!!

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-16-2011, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tennessee
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Yes, make sure the saddle fits your horse as well. First, be ready to take more contact on the horses mouth and encourage your horse to accept the bit and bend at his poll. Also, he should be able to extend in his gaits as well as collect. You will have to learn direct reining, (two hands, thumbs on top) and remember the OUTSIDE rein is important when on any bend. Keep your shoulders up and straight, look where you want to go, don't rely on your stirrups, you will have to learn to post (rising to trot, up and forward), keep your toes up (or heels down, but many people take it the wrong way and shove their foot in the stirrup). Learn to have an independent seat (ride without stirrups or bareback). Hope this helps, good luck!!
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