Changing a horse (and rider!) from English to Western.
I have ridden english for the last 18 years, I live in the UK and not many people ride western so its hard to find information or knowledgable people. I have a thoroughbred mare who I have had for about 3/5 years, when I got her she was an ex race horse and was as wild as tey come constantly spooking and rearing up. With some help from a friend of mine who specialises in natural horsemanship we got her back on track and I enjoy riding out with her and schooling in our paddock a couple of times a week.
Recently though I have become more and more interested in riding western. My horse is very sensitive and to ride her I have to be very quiet with my body, give voice commands and I use my hand either side of her neck to get her to turn. I understand that these principles might be useful in converting her to a Western horse? Really I want to know how I go about it, also how do I fit a western saddle and bridle? Eventually I want to take away the bit all together and ride her in a bitless bridle, how do I implement this?
Trouble is I dont really know much about western myself apart from what I have read, I am not sure how to use my hands body and voice corr3ectly and dont want to confuse my horse. Can anyone recommend a book or website to visit?
Thanks in advance for your help,