Western to English discipline

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Western to English discipline

This is a discussion on Western to English discipline within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • English or western discipline?

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    04-25-2010, 08:43 PM
Western to English discipline

I have a beautiful quarter horse who has known nothing but western and this year, is working hard at becoming a cutting horse but I have ridden English in the past and would like to do it again but don't want a separate horse for it. Paul is 6 years old. Is he too old to start learning English and what should I do first if I want to have him switch back and forth between the 2 riding styles. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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    04-25-2010, 09:06 PM
Green Broke
My QH is 7, she was ridden Western her whole life and is now being switched to English. It's going very well, she actually seems much more relaxed and happy (but that could just be her response to having a better home and more training). I have no plans to switch her back and forth but that's just my preference.
    04-25-2010, 09:08 PM
When I first started riding I switched my 20 year old Arab back and forth between disciplines and she was perfectly fine with it. I suggest looking around your area for an english trainer to help get you started. It'll be a bit of a different feel and positioning for you, and you're really going to have to worry more about yourself at first, I think.
    04-25-2010, 09:10 PM
I have a friend at our barn who has ridden English for 20 years and said that she would love to give me lessons. If I enjoy it enough and Paul seems to respond well to it, I might keep him as English.
    04-25-2010, 11:02 PM
I switch between the two all the time. My horse is six and some days we work fences, some days flat, some days western, some days poles, sometimes on equitation patterns... LOL. Never a dull moment.

Go for it and have fun!

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    04-26-2010, 12:36 AM
That's a great switch to make! Hopefully you will find cross training to be a great tool for either discipline. My horse started western when he was 6 after being a strictly hunter horse, and I really see a difference in his ability to perform basic tasks. Go you!
    04-26-2010, 02:38 PM
Originally Posted by ocalagirl    
My horse started western when he was 6 after being a strictly hunter horse, and I really see a difference in his ability to perform basic tasks.
You know, there was a thread about the western lope and how horrible it was and how the horses all look crippled. I almost replied--almost--that a western lope, when done correctly, is more like a dressage collected canter than people might think. I even looked up Youtube videos of one of my friend's horses (a world champion) and compared it side-by-side to a Grand Prix level collected canter. Guess what? They shared the same cadence and length of step. Yes, the dressage horse moved differently, but if you were just looking at legs, and you took away the difference in movement, it was the EXACT same footfalls.

These days I have a whole new respect for western riding. It's hard to get a horse to do a good lope. And, yeegads, they do it on a loose rein!


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