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post #11 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 01:55 PM
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I originally started out as a hunter rider. I've dabbled in it all and settled on eventing for now as that is what my horse seems to enjoy doing. He also likes chasing cows so we'll toss up a western saddle every now and again and go cattle penning. Whatever makes him happy makes me happy. I'll do whatever my horse is suited to.
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post #12 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:04 PM
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I wanted to do western but when I finally got my parents talked into lessons we were living in Germany, the facility I went to only taught dressage, so that was my first three years. When I moved to Virginia, the facility I went to focused on hunt, so I made the switch. I had always wanted to do western so as an adult, I made the switch yet again.

Now I focus on AQHA style hunt and western pleasure and I dabble in trail. If the money comes along I may get myself a beginner reiner because I think that would be fun....

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post #13 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:06 PM
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I grew up in NY ridding jumpers. When I moved to PA in the mid 80's, I started riding with a group who only rode Western (boy was I out of place on a 16.1 TBx and riding breeches). I eventually made the change over to Western and the "cowboy" in me came out. I rode both for some years but sold all my English tack ~10 years ago and haven't had a postage stamp saddle since.

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post #14 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:10 PM
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I ride english because in Ireland thats all that is offered i rode western once when an american girl brought her western barrel horse and tack to our yard i used to ride the pony and she thought me very very basic western! I love it and whaen i go to Kentucky next year i cant wait ti try it properly!

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post #15 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:35 PM
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I ride western. I always have. I have honestly never met anyone in real life that rides english so it was kindof a no brainer for me. I grew up in the whole ranch, rodeo, and horse show scene. My Dad trained and showed AQHA for the first part of my life and he focused mainly on roping, WP, reining, and working cow horse. Plus, we had cattle and did a lot of ranch rodeos. I actually bought one of those el cheapo english saddle packages quite a few years back because I was going through a stage where I wanted to ride a jumper. I thought it was really uncomfortable, maybe because it didn't fit me well or maybe because I didn't have anyone teach me how to properly ride in it, IDK. Besides, now that I am training horses, a western saddle just gives me so much more security on a horse that is a little goosy or broncy.
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post #16 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by draftrider View Post
I ride Western. I don't show, I just have Western tack. Nobody around here rides English. I have an English saddle that came with a rescue horse from the cities, and it sits in the tack room. I sat in it once. I was like... oh hell no.
I'll take that saddle off your hands for you ;D!

I started riding western, figured that's what I always wanted to do and scoffed at the idea of riding English when my instructor suggested it. Eventually I gave in and gave it a shot and well...I haven't gone back since really!

To be completely honest as long as I am riding a horse, it doesn't really matter the tack I'm wearing to do it. Currently I am working on training a 3yr old appy (the guy in my avatar) and when I am working with him I always ride western for more security especially when working on his lope lol! But then I will go to shows and enter him in the english classes as well.

I am truly a hunt seat rider, it is what I feel the most "right" doing but I love the western bling and just being on a horse in general.
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post #17 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:42 PM
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I ride English. I guess I chose it originally because I had spent all my days as a young girl watching local horse shows (we do have both english and western and lots of them, but I guess I was more interested in english). I started out taking lessons at a dressage barn and have just stuck with it, because I enjoy it.

That being said, I do love sitting in a big ol' Western saddle sometimes. I used to go to a summer horse camp that was Western and I loved it too! I think I'm just too much of a chicken to compete in Western - or at least speed events, I could probably do pleasure.
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post #18 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:54 PM
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I started taking lessons at the youngest age that any of the riding stables allowed. The one that I started at were all Show Jumpers and always, always talked badly about Dressage. When I moved, after six years, I started training withe a lady that did Show Jumping and Dressage. Her life changed and she had to stop training so I was given a choice. Stay and do Dressage or leave and jump somewhere else.

I stayed, I remember staring at the dressage saddle wanting to ride in it so much but instead I had to take the jumping saddle. I'm not trying to put down the jumpers I have a lot of respect for what they do, but I never ever felt any connection, especially as I do now in Dressage, with the horse in Jumping as with my discipline now.

Oh, and I do plan to teach my current horse, when he grows up at least a year or so, to jump. Just a life skill and maybe I will get back into it and do both some day :)

Edit:I also wanted to say, to add to the western part of the OP, that I have a lot of respect for western and its riders, but there was just too much saddle for me to get into it.

Last edited by LoveMyDrummerBoy; 07-21-2010 at 02:57 PM.
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post #19 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 02:58 PM
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I started out western, just because that's the default lesson tack in my area. I think most instructors figure if you can stay on and function in a western saddle, then you can worry about "choosing a discipline" later. I rode and did some western showing for a few years, muddling through things on my very rough-trotting MorganX. Sitting his trot was a rather painful impossibility, and I'm not gutsy enough to run barrels competitively, so I started dabbling in the English scene. I bought a no-name saddle, pad, and bridle, and tried it. I still prefer the deeper seat of a western saddle on the trail, but I love riding English. In the last year or so, I've gotten a lot more interested in "little d" dressage, the theory and technique of it fascinates me. My will to show has diminished quite a bit, but I still post around in my English saddle, providing a source of amusement for all my contest-rider friends.

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post #20 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 03:01 PM
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It's interesting to see the differences and what our reasonings are for picking one or the other style of riding.

You generally learn best what you learn first, so part of it may very well just be familiarity.

I was taught that it's necessary feel the horse under you, and that way I can usually tell what he's doing or even thinking of doing depending on his movements, tightening of back muscles, etc. I can do that easily in English tack, but everything's completely muted in Western.

I remember when competitive trail riders in English tack were an oddity. I got a lot of laughs, reverse snobbery, and, "Hey lady, the show grounds are that way!" thrown at me. Didn't help that I was riding an Arabian!

I rode trails for many years in a FLAT saddleseat saddle, because I couldn't afford anything else. Doing that taught me you can indeed go up and down steep hills, through water, and take any trail obstacle as long as you're determined enough and your horse is willing, regardless of the tack you use.

'Prancing Ponehs' notwithstanding, English riders are no less tough than their Western counterparts.
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