Riding in an english saddle to gain balance etc - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-11-2013, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Riding in an english saddle to gain balance etc

I'm a Barrel racer and I have been noticed lately that I have, not terrible balance but I lack some balance when I am riding. I know riding bareback is a good way to gain balance and feel when riding but I also hav a hard time with foot place ment (heels down, toes is etc) I can do it but for a shor ammount of time, would riding in an english saddle help with what I have mentioned?
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-11-2013, 10:14 PM
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YES YES YES.

Do it.

I started English for a few reasons, and to improve my overall riding was one of them.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-11-2013, 11:47 PM
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If you lack balance while riding English, you will likely fall off, so YES! If nothing else, it certainly won't hurt, and you'll have tried something new .

Do you have someone who can lunge you? Here's a great exercise to improve you balance (in an English saddle). Don't do this until you've ridden in it a few times and have the feel for things. On the lunge-line: remove your stirrups - leathers and all. Go around a few times in both directions with your outside hand on the pommel and the inside hand on your thigh. When you're comfortable, put your arms out like airplane wings. Now close your eyes. Do it in both directions at all gaits (as your comfort and confidence allows).

Wear a helmet, and progress through gaits, closing eyes, etc only when you know you're ready. Be patient.

Last edited by freia; 04-11-2013 at 11:53 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-12-2013, 12:05 AM
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Yes!
I always rode western and now I'm learning English. Your balance will definitely improve mine sure is. :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-12-2013, 01:22 AM
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I started English for the same reason! And now I'm hooked. ;) Give it a shot, absolutely. My seat has very much improved.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-12-2013, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freia View Post
If you lack balance while riding English, you will likely fall off, so YES! If nothing else, it certainly won't hurt, and you'll have tried something new .

Do you have someone who can lunge you? Here's a great exercise to improve you balance (in an English saddle). Don't do this until you've ridden in it a few times and have the feel for things. On the lunge-line: remove your stirrups - leathers and all. Go around a few times in both directions with your outside hand on the pommel and the inside hand on your thigh. When you're comfortable, put your arms out like airplane wings. Now close your eyes. Do it in both directions at all gaits (as your comfort and confidence allows).

Wear a helmet, and progress through gaits, closing eyes, etc only when you know you're ready. Be patient.
Many years ago, at one of my first English lessons, we were doing this (well, it was like my 8th lesson, I think) and the horse bucked and tossed me over his head and I badly sprained my ankle. Got on , finished the lesson , then drove my manual trans. car home being unable to put the clutch in with my left foot. Had to do it all with one foot.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-12-2013, 10:22 AM
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I thinking riding in an english saddle and bareback are both awesome ways to improve your balance. I also agree with getting somebody to lunge you, it is an amazing feeling to have your arms out and your eyes closed on a cantering horse!
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-12-2013, 02:21 PM
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An English saddle will help your balance. You can still ride with a western bit and bridle.
I find useful training from both English, Western, Vaquero, Dressage and Aussie, just so you know that English riders don't all think that they know everything.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-12-2013, 09:04 PM
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I think if you have any saddle that puts you in a balanced and correct position, you can improve your riding.

I started riding Western on a little quarter horse and my first saddle was enormous (typical show saddle), but because it put it me in a great position, I have great balance and I can ride anything- bareback (I often do) or english, saddleseat, dressage... doesn't matter :)
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