English and western riding?

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English and western riding?

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  • Riding both english and western
  • Suspension in jog western

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    02-21-2013, 06:03 PM
English and western riding?

I mainly ride my gelding hunt seat, and that's what I plan on mainly doing, but I also do a little western/western pleasure. For English, I'm focusing on getting him to reach out more and keep a consistent pace, which he's doing well with, and by riding him western I don't know if that would confuse him, by making him go slower. He's been trained in both, but I just don't want him to think he needs to always go slow (western) or bigger (English.) Do horses that are ridden both ways do well in each, do they recognize the difference? Would he recognize the tack change and know what he's supposed to do? Sorry if this is confusing, it's kinda hard to explain...if you need clarification ask me!
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    02-21-2013, 06:55 PM
Nope, my all-arounders always knew the difference.

The problem is, you don't want to "shut down" the western jog or the western lope. You actually want the horse to keep suspension, but at a slower pace or shorter stride.

Think of your horse as a spring. When you slow jog, you want your horse to still feel as if he is moving forward, keeping the suspension, but his is actively collecting and pacing himself slower. The spring is tighter and shorter, but the energy is still in the spring, and the spring can still be pushed open if need be.

Then when you push your horse into the hunter trot, you are releasing the spring and asking him to lengthen his body and his stride - while still keeping his collection from before.

Typically, I'll do exercises when I'll school both western and hunter, because they help each other out. Doing the hunter trot keeps the western jog moving forward and suspended, and doing the western jog helps keep the horse collected up and using his core in the hunter. I will do figure 8s using the entire arena. I will encourage my horse to jog through the short ends, and then I will open up my horse to hunter trot through the long middle portion. My goal is to control my horse's stride without losing forward motion, suspension, or collection. And I don't change tack. My horse knows even in a western saddle to hunter trot or western jog. Being able to transition between those two speeds is extremely important in training, especially if you find yourself in a horsemanship or equitation class where they ask you to transition from sitting trot/jog to forward trot. Or if you are in a trail class and the layout of the poles asks for your horse to extend his natural stride without being obvious to the judges.
    02-21-2013, 08:12 PM
Thank you.
I actually do that, I'll get him to jog then push him out to a trot, and he does really well.
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