I'm going back to taking lessons I want to switch to western and start barrel racing.I only jump about a foot with out getting scared of falling off.i had a few incidents and am now a bit nervous.im thinking of waiting until I can jump a 2'6 course safely and confidently.then I want to switch to doing barrel racing.i wanted to know what you all think.or how I could better do it.
I ride & show both english & western. I ride english way more because I feel it's a better work out for me & the horse. However my horse loves going western, low & slow is his thing. I can relate about the jumping, my horse jumps & had done some pretty awesome courses with a trainer. I got him back from the trainer & jumped him hmmmm 2X. Next show season, I promised my coach I would practise & take him in cross poles, if that goes ok, we can move on. Jumping does scare me, I love the feeling but being older & if I fall, I break. Absolutely no reason why you & your horse can't switch it up & go back & forth between disciplines, lots of riders do this.
I never made is past ground poles in my english lessons before I switched to western. (that was when I was...12(?)) I've always been afraid of jumping. Even though it looks awesome!
Like waresbear said, no reason you can't switch back and forth if you want to do that.
I ride both. Take western lessons but I just like riding in an english saddle due to I feel that my western saddle is too big for my two year old TB (I know she's young. She's and OTTB who is a dead head. I've just been going on trails with her mainly. Definitally no jumping) But theres not a WHOLE lot of a difference in the riding style. Some different terms but I've had an english intructor tell me that the cues and everything are the same and in general you sit in the saddle the same. Just different phrases and different tack.
Sounds like you need more confidence. I would work on that aspect first. I'm not sure why, if you are scared of jumping 1', that you want to jump 2'6" before making the move over to Western.
If you feel that you will have more confidence in a Western saddle, then that is what you should try. Barrel racing is very different then jumping and you may feel better in a deep seated saddle that you can grab on to in those turns then having to get out of a saddle over a jump.