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post #31 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 05:11 PM
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When I first started riding around the age of 6, I rode english because that is what my mom rode when she was a kid. I went to a nice show all english, and thought it was fun. My sister, on the other hand, rode western. I decided to try it one day and fell in love because I thought it was so comfortable.

After riding for several years as a western rider, I took a break from riding all together due to financial reasons. When I was about 11 or 12, I started leasing an older tb and riding again, western. After I finished leasing the old western TB (because I had fallen in love with Arabians and just HAD to have one! lol) I began leasing a spunky 1/2 arabian who was also western.

After leasing him for about 6 months, I purchased my first horse, a full Arabian. With that, I purchased all western tack for my all western horse (who couldn't neck rein, might I add lol). Not long after, I started wanting to ride english. I purchased and english saddle and turned my western Arab to a spirited english ride. Luckily, he loved it.

I started having the desire to jump, and after a year of owning my Arabian, I sold him (partially because I outgrew him and partially because he couldn't do what I wanted to do) and purchased an all english TB. When I say all english, I mean ALL english. He FREAKS out when I put a western saddle on him. Doesn't bother me, though, I prefer english anyway!
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post #32 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 10:15 PM
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I ride western because, as a beginner rider, it looked much more safe. And comfortable! I would love to learn english, but that isn't much of an option right now. I also love the cowgirl style of western and the comfort and support of the saddle.

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As a horse runs, think of it as a game of tag with the wind.Tre Tuberville
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post #33 of 103 Old 07-21-2010, 10:31 PM
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I was raised riding western, as that's what my mother rode, and what trail riding establishments offered.

Then I went to bareback for two years. I still love it. I periodocally rode in an aussie saddle in that time too, as it was the only saddle that fit my fave horse (I was a trail guide).

When I got my horse, I searched and searched for for a western saddle that ft him, but to no avail. There was, however,and english saddle that fit perfectly, so I went with that.

I still ride english, but I still love western too. Aussie is interesting as well.

I'm interested in jumping and gymkhanas. Basically, anything high-speed and life-threatening I have no prejudice against any discipline, but I do prefer english.

...you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
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post #34 of 103 Old 07-22-2010, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post

'Prancing Ponehs' notwithstanding, English riders are no less tough than their Western counterparts.
Actually, I said "Prawncing Ponehs" hehe

I fully agree that English riders are no less tough than Western riders. I think that tough goes many ways. I am a total wimp when it comes to jumping. I almost peed myself one time when I was on a trail and had to jump a big log. Ok, so I admit it, I am afraid of heights, and flying, and flying OFF a flying horse.

But, I don't think it would be really possible to do the things I have to do on our ranch with English tack. I can't imagine having to rope half wild cattle with an English saddle. I also can't imagine having to be keeping bit contact all the time. I can set my horses reins down looped on the saddle horn and move her how I need with my legs, seat and voice commands, so that my hands are completely free for what I need to do. I've shot deer off my horse etc. I don't think that would be possible to do with an English trained horse.

Which is why I am so freaked out that my niece wants to learn English. I fully support her in her desires to learn this discipline, and I am trying very hard to find her a coach. But... its not going so good!

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #35 of 103 Old 07-22-2010, 11:43 AM
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Draft, it's very true that for some things English tack just isn't practical. Cutting cattle is one I can think of that is completely impractical.

I know some Western riders jump, but that's rather impractical to do in a Western saddle. I'd always be worried about getting punched in the gut with the horn.

Shooting while mounted shouldn't matter which tack you use, since there are scabbards/gear that you can attach to English tack nowadays.

I think you'd be surprised how much an English trained horse will respond to leg, seat, and voice commands. Having constant bit contact is only one small way to communicate with the horse, and it's not always necessary.
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post #36 of 103 Old 07-22-2010, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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I saw a little girl this weekend do a gaming show on a little hackney pony in all english tack. She did really well! Thats something I would never take on in an english saddle but boy...she really did impress me!

I've really enjoyed reading this thread. I think it shows you that not all english peeps are snobby and not all western people are inexperienced!

I wish I had the guts to jump. My boy free jumps and truely enjoys it. Anyone in Western PA wanna come jump my boy?! lol
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post #37 of 103 Old 07-22-2010, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by draftrider View Post
I can't imagine having to rope half wild cattle with an English saddle. I also can't imagine having to be keeping bit contact all the time. I can set my horses reins down looped on the saddle horn and move her how I need with my legs, seat and voice commands, so that my hands are completely free for what I need to do. I've shot deer off my horse etc. I don't think that would be possible to do with an English trained horse.
This is a false statement at least as far as I am concerned. I've been all English for 12+ years, but I love love love going around on a loose rein at the end of a ride and riding all sorts of complex figures (figure eights, serpentines, diagonals, transitions through the gaits etc) without contact. Actually, you can see in my avvie that my dearest pony has very loose reins while we were doing a little canter work.

As for why I ride English (or more specifically, dressage) it's another of those cases where that's what my mom was doing and that's what discipline my instructor was teaching when I started taking lessons. I did take jump lessons for a year or two however and I have recently been dabbling in western riding with some amount of interest. Huntseat has always been my greatest undoing however. I don't like it at all.
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post #38 of 103 Old 07-22-2010, 01:46 PM
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I ride both. It depends on what I feel like doing that day and I feel horses should be able to respond to both riding styles. Lately I've been doing a lot of English riding, even trail riding and getting ready to do dressage. But if I just want to strictly trail ride of bum around, I put a western saddle on. My English saddle is my "working" saddle. My Western saddle is my, "ok we're just gonna relax and bum around today" saddle. I feel that in my English saddle I'm much more focused than when I'm in my Western saddle. When I ride Western, I'll be talking to people and turning around in my saddle but when I ride English, I mentally push everyone else out of the arena. But there are exceptions to that rule...a few days ago I threw an English saddle on my friend's gaming horse and took him around some barrels and poles in a competion...and we won. Showed all those cowboys whats up. =) By the way...I always thought cowboys were much hotter until my friend introduced me to a guy she thinks I should date. ;)

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post #39 of 103 Old 07-22-2010, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
English riders have grab straps, if they need something to hold on to. I don't use one, but a lot of folks do.
That's pretty cool Speed Racer. I never knew that grab straps existed for english saddles. Probably because when I was at the english barn it was taboo for the owner and he just didn't have any around. It really would have been nice when the green horses I rode back then acted up though . Having said that, I did notice on the bareback pad I bought for my MIL to ride her old mule a couple of years ago had a strap up front. I remember thinking then that I wished they had those for english saddles.

I also have to agree with you guys that riding western doesn't make you any tougher than riding english. Each style has their different set of skills, and I'm glad I learned to do both. There are also snobs in each discipline who make fun of or think they're better than the other. Wether they realize it or not, they do have something in common with the other...we all love riding, and the relationship that forms with horse and rider.

This is a GREAT thread!

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post #40 of 103 Old 07-22-2010, 03:12 PM
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I ride western (most of the time) because my horse prefers the saddle. When I do ride English its because I am being lazy & don't wanna pull out the 40lb western saddle.
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