From Western to English - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-24-2012, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Dakota
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Both my daughter and one of my dearest friends went from western to english and both love it. They still ride western for trails so they can keep their correct positions when showing but both have taken on a deep love for engish.
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-24-2012, 10:54 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tennessee
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I am die hard dressage all the way, with a touch of trail and jumping. I will hardly even touch a jumping saddle though, never mind a western saddle if I can help it. They're just way to uncomfortable and out of sync for me. I like feeling my horse, not my stirrups or a huge chunk of hard leather.

That being said, I would like to find a reining instructor and learn to rein! Do you think I could do it in a dressage saddle? I can jump in a dressage saddle, I think I can do reining in one too if I tried.

It is totally daunting though, especially since I cannot find a reiner, just barrel or western pleasure trainers. I love my dressage core, and get offended when people try to change my seat, but I would love to learn another discipline, just to learn. I might be stuck with having to search out and travel to clinics if I cannot find a trainer to take lessons with. But I really want to learn, so search I will!

(((HEY, if anyone knows a reiner trainer somewhere in MS/TN/AR area, lemme know! )))
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Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-24-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Texas
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Reining is pretty popular down here (even though this area has a small horse community)! I've seen a few reining shows- it's pretty neat!

And I agree with what you are saying about the saddles. I've been riding in a Dressage saddle for my lesson. Even though there is less saddle than in Western, I feel more... "connected" and comfortable. Not to mention it's lighter and easier to tack up!
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-24-2012, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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Joidigm, have you considered a Steele saddle? A lot of English/Dressage riders have a real problem with a saddle horn on a saddle where the rider has no interest in working cattle. I find it a bit dangerous and purposeless bc I don't own cattle and I'm not interested in acquiring any. Still, I own 2 Western Saddles, and they get some use.
The Steele saddle is very comfortable and usable on the trail bc it has lots of places to tie to, but there is no horn on top of the pommel swell. I am sure that you could learn to rein with one.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-24-2012, 04:41 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tennessee
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I have never come across a steele saddle before, to my knowledge. They look like Aussie crossbreeds. In my experience, the only western saddle I have been able to comfortably sit in, is a synthetic wintec. I do not have the ability to sit on my pockets, and find the twist in most western saddles to be to wide for me.

The horn has never been an issue for me in western saddles. Usually the really wide pommel or really wide twist has been the issue. Or the short stirrups. I over break at the ankle in a lot of western saddles I have ridden. My personal saddle, even for a dressage saddle, is very minimal, with no knee grips, thigh blocks, or a deep seat/high cantle.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-24-2012, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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I made the switch from western to English.

Literally, my mothers dying wish was for me to learn how to ride "properly" (I kid you not), which, in her eyes, meant English riding.

After she passed away, i went and learned English. It wasn't scary or intimidating. I went head on into classes thinking, knowing, and accepting that I was going to look like a complete idiot for a while. But it's a phase, and you get better with each ride (under good instruction). I studied hard at classical dressage and jumping. Learned how to bring a horse up the training tree for dressage maneuvers, and how to correctly train and develop a horse for jumping.

I went on to training fox hunters, polo ponies, sport ponies and retraining older, screwed up horses to be successful English mounts.

Just understand, accept and don't be ashamed of looking stupid in the beginning. It's just the beginning, anyways. The beginning is only the first phase. There will be advancements in time as long as you swallow your pride and get over that first obstacle: the English saddle.

I now ride western because it's my first love. But I use my English experience for a lot of things regardless of the saddle.
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