Confused about english and western riding, mainly the reins? - Page 3
 
 

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Confused about english and western riding, mainly the reins?

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  • Horse riding instructions from a cowboy
  • Cattle and cowboys 1900s

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    10-30-2011, 10:26 PM
  #21
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
Western like a man, direct too the point, clear simple instructions without worrying about the details,,, "GROG WANT TURN"
Wow, you really don't know much about western riding, do you? It's not all about pull to stop and turn and kick to go, there is just as much subtlety in a good western horse as there is in pretty much any good english horse, we just do it on loose reins instead of contact. On a good horse, if I want them to move their shoulders over one step while keeping their head and hindquarters exactly where they are, I can do that.

In spite of the rather lax appearance a good western rider gives, they are not just along for the ride and giving blunt orders to the horse. Every movement of the rein and leg is telling the horse something, maybe so subtle as "give me a left bend in your body but maintain your straight path toward the gate".

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Western riders rely more on the horse's initiative. The rider sets the goal, and the horse figures out how to achieve it. This frees the rider up to rope, or watch the cattle, or to just think about something else while the horse feels his way across rough country. Real western riding cannot assume smooth ground.
That is a good point as well. Most western riders depend on some level of autopilot on their horses (that comes with many miles and sometimes years of good training) so that they can count cattle while riding across rough country or even let the horse herd the cow ahead toward the gate while you are scanning the herd behind you. I've been doing a lot of that second one in the last couple of days.
Scoutrider likes this.
     
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    11-01-2011, 02:34 AM
  #22
Started
I took stella out Monday shortened ride only 4 hrs but over hill country to help get her in condition for the trek. Tried to implement some of the changes on riding style mentioned in earlier posts. Using my calf to give signals did not go well. I wonder if the girth strap and fittings are getting in the way. However she responded well to the bit and voice signals, did not argue with me and a good ride was had. I continue implementing the leg signals and see what happens.
     
    11-01-2011, 01:09 PM
  #23
Trained
Especially when I ride western, I ride in equitation spurs. Equitation Ball Spur in Western Spurs at Schneider Saddlery

I start with an ask (squeeze calf), tell (bump reins and calf) and then I demand (bump spur). If that doesn't work (rarely) then I nail them with the round head of that spur HARD. I am very short, 5'2", and so have trouble communicating through all the leather on a show saddle which is also my everyday saddle. BUT a well trained horse will still read the slight pressure through that leather and go, just with a calf squeeze. I never use a crop but will nail someone's behind with the quirt part of my romal reins.
     
    11-01-2011, 02:48 PM
  #24
Trained
Gotta chime in. Your seat is correct or not regardless of the saddle. I don't know many people who do NOT start their horse on a snaffle bit today, although Western riders usually switch to some kind of a curb at some point, and English riders often just keep their horse on a snaffle throughout their career.
The Western saddle and tack have evolved from Spanish explorers and Mexican Vaqueros. You can see it with the tooling. The flowers and geometric shapes on Western tack are based on Islamic decoration, from the time when Spain was part of the Ottoman Empire. The pommel and cantle are higher bc the original Spanish Explorers in North America and their descendants kept this in their saddles. In fact, the swell on the Western saddle is a 20th century invention. The late 19th century Western saddle had a more tapered pommel, still deep, and rightly called a "Bucket Saddle."
Alt View
The horn evolved as a way to tie off cattle, hang ropes and things and generally aid in cattle ranching, which brought beef to eastern markets, which of course brought back the western American economy post Civil War. (1861-1865).
The English saddle was a simpler, lighter saddle, brought over to Colonial America (1607-1776) from, well, England and Northern Europe. It didn't require a pad, and it's derivations enabled fast travel between Colonial and post-Colonial towns, as well as jumping downed trees and the like. In the late 19th century and early to mid-20th century America, fox-hunting was a popular necessity and evolved into a popular hobby. The dress and tack for fox hunting has become the dress for Hunter/Jumpers in the show ring. A curb bit isn't necessary for jumping. Plus, you don't want to catch your horse in the mouth accidently and also pull his head down (with a curb chain can do) as you're riding over a jump. However, it's much easier to quickly change directions while cantering or galloping if you direct rein your horse.
MOST everybody in America eventually rides their horses both English and Western, depending on where they are riding. I've know a LOT of horseman who show English, but pack Western tack for a trail riding vacation--SAME horse. Full day rides do not lend themselves to an English saddle, IMHO. Plus, Western saddles have places for big saddlebags, ties for a slicker, places to clip/tie/hang extra canteens, etc.
I won't go into what are the best breeds for what, but I think we'll agree that Western-ridden horses should have a comfortable trot that you sit. (I knew an old cowboy in the 1980's, and he told me that "A cowboy wants a horse with a good walk and a good lope. Cowboys don't trot their horses.") English-ridden horses should be able to jump small to medium hurdles, and you post the working trot. (Saddle horns get in the way when you post.)
And, gaited horses...um...well...they DO make cut-back Plantation saddles...I own one, so I can ride the big, gaited horse to the left, in my Avatar. I direct rein AND neck rein him, btw.
     
    11-01-2011, 03:03 PM
  #25
Trained
Hmmm...I knew an old cowboy in the 70s, and he said the trot was the most useful gait, since it got you where you were going fast enough, but not so fast as to tire out your horse.

Guess not all old cowboys agree!

Here is a picture of a cowboy saddle from 1906:



Looks to me like an A-fork saddle with a very high cantle and much wider stirrup leathers than normally seen today.

Another example from Arizona in 1909:



I love this site for the pictures of working cowboys from the early 1900s:

Erwin E. Smith Collection Guide | Collection Guide
Corporal likes this.
     
    11-01-2011, 03:30 PM
  #26
Trained
What a fun site, bsms!! Thanks for the link!
     
    11-01-2011, 04:25 PM
  #27
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
Western like a man, direct too the point, clear simple instructions without worrying about the details,,, "GROG WANT TURN"
English like a woman, thousands of itty bitty hints and clues and nagging,
Even though I didnt say anything you shoulda known I wanted to turn, It would kinda be ok if we turned, do you think it will make by butt look fatter going to the left than right and did you see what marsha was wearing, I kinda think a 20 degree turn, but iff you loved me how come you only turned 19 and my other horse warned me about you and she said that.............................................. .
WHAT?

Western and english are pretty much the same cues. I can have my cowhorse collect with a tweak of a finger and look as though I am in the middle of a dressage test.

Wow. Are you out of touch!
     
    11-01-2011, 10:35 PM
  #28
Yearling
Always wondered why they call it an English saddle when the design actually came from central Europe and not England?
Of course there are many variations today, but still from the same basic design.
     
    11-04-2011, 01:17 PM
  #29
Trained
Ilnm, Americans call it an "English" saddle bc the Eastern colonies, where it was mostly ridden, were settled by Englishman, from Plymouth, Massechusetts and Jamestown, Virginia, then throughout the other 11 (Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.)
I just wanted to see if I could name them all.
New Hampshire's the hardest to remember. I can name all 50 states on a map with the borders. I remember the difference between Vermont and New Hampshire is that New Hampshire has a small Atlantic coastline, and Vermont is landlocked.
When you study it out, BOTH saddles originated in Europe, since the "Western" saddle had it's origins in Spain. And, of course, the "Spanish School of Riding" was based on Spanish equine blood and riding principles. You do know that the curb bit was not used until Northern Europe bred draught horses. Their size necessitated a stronger bit to control. The "S" shaped shank is a lesson in physics bc it gives the rider more leverage with less pull.
     
    11-04-2011, 11:32 PM
  #30
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
ilnm, Americans call it an "English" saddle bc the Eastern colonies, where it was mostly ridden, were settled by Englishman, from Plymouth, Massechusetts and Jamestown, Virginia, then throughout the other 11 (Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.)
I just wanted to see if I could name them all.
New Hampshire's the hardest to remember. I can name all 50 states on a map with the borders. I remember the difference between Vermont and New Hampshire is that New Hampshire has a small Atlantic coastline, and Vermont is landlocked.
When you study it out, BOTH saddles originated in Europe, since the "Western" saddle had it's origins in Spain. And, of course, the "Spanish School of Riding" was based on Spanish equine blood and riding principles. You do know that the curb bit was not used until Northern Europe bred draught horses. Their size necessitated a stronger bit to control. The "S" shaped shank is a lesson in physics bc it gives the rider more leverage with less pull.
Yes, well aware that todays "Western" saddle came from a Spanish design. At least Spain is western Europe

I've seen the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. One of the many perks of growing up in Europe. Lovely stallions and wonderful training. But even they ride "English" (they just don't call it "English"). Of course Austria is in the area where that style of saddle originated.

Most saddles from other parts of the world tended have more in common (higher pommel and cantle or some form of forward and rear support) with the Western style. Including England and the rest of Europe prior to the developement of the English saddle. Fighting from a saddle was easier with pommel and cantle that would help keep you in place and provide support.

And you're probably correct about the source of "English" (at least it's logical), since when I rode in Europe the discipline is what we used to identify what we rode (e.g. Hunter, etc...). Except for Western, which we still called Western.
     

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