Western or English? - Page 2
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Horse Riding

Western or English?

This is a discussion on Western or English? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Can i ride my horse in english and western
  • Horse cookie cutter

Like Tree14Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    11-14-2013, 05:46 PM
  #11
Weanling
I think it's simply a matter of what you like - how you like a horse to move and what you plan to do with your riding.

Western is a slower gait - the walk is slow, the jog is slower and the lope is easy. And the horses are picked with that in mind. If you were to go to a show and watch both events, even the beginner/open ones, you'd see a vast difference between the two, besides the tack. Western can be geared towards pleasure, IMO. When you trail ride, chances are you'll be riding it on a western saddle.

Western saddles are heavier. In fact, they're gynormous! They'll put muscle on you lugging them back and forth from the tack room. Unless you have a petite horse, you're going to be amazed at how heavy they are.

I personally like Western riding, I like the challenges, I like the freedom of using neck reining or direct reining. I like that I can use English type aids AND Western aids. You can't do that with English. He he

I enjoy pattern work and side passing and doing things like that. I also like the saddle - it's big and deep - like riding in a big fat recliner. I think Western is more personal - more you and the horse kind of thing - but that could be me. I'm always about the horse I ride, always trying to create a working relationship.

I confess I love an English saddle because there is a lot of contact with the horse. Aussie saddles are said to be the best of both worlds but I've never ridden one so I can't comment.

Take a couple of lessons. Many riders have done both and find it beneficial. All roads lead to Rome - a good lesson is a good lesson - working on your aids, balance and various skills, communicating with your horse. That's what it's about.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    11-14-2013, 06:07 PM
  #12
Yearling
And BSMS has once again stated more perfectly than I ever could about western riding and saddlery.

In my experience there is no problem with riders learning both. I've even lately seen top dressage instructors send their students over to my barn to learn to ride western because (at least where I'm at) western is nothing but your seat and balance. You shouldn't rely on the saddle to keep you in, but your balance. If those kids didn't forget what it was like to ride in an english saddle I'm sure you wont.

It can't hurt to learn western. You can always take stuff that you learn from it to help you better your english riding. Good riding is good riding, regardless of tack.
     
    11-14-2013, 06:14 PM
  #13
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild old thing    
I think it's simply a matter of what you like - how you like a horse to move and what you plan to do with your riding.

Western is a slower gait - the walk is slow, the jog is slower and the lope is easy. And the horses are picked with that in mind. If you were to go to a show and watch both events, even the beginner/open ones, you'd see a vast difference between the two, besides the tack. Western can be geared towards pleasure, IMO. When you trail ride, chances are you'll be riding it on a western saddle.

Western saddles are heavier. In fact, they're gynormous! They'll put muscle on you lugging them back and forth from the tack room. Unless you have a petite horse, you're going to be amazed at how heavy they are.

I personally like Western riding, I like the challenges, I like the freedom of using neck reining or direct reining. I like that I can use English type aids AND Western aids. You can't do that with English. He he

I enjoy pattern work and side passing and doing things like that. I also like the saddle - it's big and deep - like riding in a big fat recliner. I think Western is more personal - more you and the horse kind of thing - but that could be me. I'm always about the horse I ride, always trying to create a working relationship.

I confess I love an English saddle because there is a lot of contact with the horse. Aussie saddles are said to be the best of both worlds but I've never ridden one so I can't comment.

Take a couple of lessons. Many riders have done both and find it beneficial. All roads lead to Rome - a good lesson is a good lesson - working on your aids, balance and various skills, communicating with your horse. That's what it's about.
Who says you can't neck rein riding English? My English horse neck reins beautifully :)
wild old thing likes this.
     
    11-14-2013, 07:44 PM
  #14
Green Broke
^My H/J neck reins, too xD

OP, there are two ways I was thinking about how to answer this as I was reading... And two routes I see to go.

Firstly, based on what people I know have said, it is easier to learn English then switch to western if you would like, than it is to ride western and switch to English. That is just what I have heard, and maybe just some food for thought.

My other thoughts are the following--do some research! Find what discipline looks the most appealing to you, what reputable trainers are in your area, and go from there.

People sure are touchy about this subject xD
As far as your question about if it will mess up your riding; I don't think so. You can definitely learn, and be successful at both. (: Let us know what decision you make!
     
    11-14-2013, 10:44 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
I think rather than it being a detriment to your English riding, it will be an asset. You'll be challenged in a different way and this will broaden your horizon. It's a bit like learning how to drive stick shift; it wont make your automatic driving worse.
bsms and wild old thing like this.
     
    11-15-2013, 01:17 AM
  #16
Weanling
As in all things, there are good and bad ways to do both. The trainer with the biggest name isn't always the best option for a recreational rider. You don't mention what kind you are.

I am exclusively a rec rider who rides both. I have a wonderful work of art barrel racing saddle that is the most comfortable rig I have sat (former trail guide, here). No chair seat for me, thank you very much. I have never run a single barrel and never will. It's my trail riding outfit, or my lazy day outfit. I pull out the dressage beater for ring work, when I feel like getting down to it, though I do also occasionally get hardy in the western gear, too.

I don't find my riding changes much from one to the other... It's more my mindset. My horse seems to prefer the western saddle, but that could just be his lazy side. ;)

If you're into the show scene, or any competitive activity, it's an entirely different bag, imo. The Western ring is not a good fit for my horse's baroque build and we never place. I'll take his sexy self over some cookie-cutter-lover's opinion any day! We do alright in the English ring, tho notsomuch the jumping, lol!
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    11-15-2013, 01:59 AM
  #17
Weanling
I think part of what you should keep in mind is the origins of both disciplines. There's more to riding Western and English than just how you sit in what saddle.

English riding developed as a means to use horses in crowded urban environments in Europe, and then grew to encompass the leisure activities of the gentry, like fox hunting, for example. Consequently, English riding is focused on careful control of the horse and rider. English is much more like driving a stick shift instead of an automatic. The rider is responsible for so much of what the horse is doing and how they are doing it. Because of that you need tack with good contact between horse and rider, and English saddles have the less in more approach there.

Western is a whole different mindset. Western riding was developed out on the open ranges of the west, where you could go days without seeing another human being, and if you saw a horse, it was probably a wild one. The large saddle was developed to keep the cowboy in it, no matter what, and to give the cowboy the leverage to use the horse's weight and power against the cattle he had to handle. Because Western riding developed with these different conditions, Western riding focuses on keeping one or both hands free so you can work doing one thing like roping or shooting while your horse does what it is supposed to do.

Classic Western riding hinges on the idea that you train the horse carefully what to do, tell it once, and expect it to continue doing it's job until you tell it something new. This is why you have less "contact and collection" than the English style where the crowded city conditions needed greater control.

Western riding should be focused on careful timing of pressure and release. It can be great in teaching you a whole new way to think about and relate to your horse.

The Australians since they primarily herded sheep, developed a lighter saddle with less of a horn since they didn't need it to haul down sheep, but the "I'm doing my job, you do yours" attitude came over from the western style.

The thing I enjoy most about western is that development of a partnership on a ride.

I say go for it. It won't mess you up if you still want to ride English.
Saranda and wild old thing like this.
     
    11-15-2013, 01:24 PM
  #18
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckDodgers    
Who says you can't neck rein riding English? My English horse neck reins beautifully :)
I was only kiddiing. But can you show using neck reining?

I ride Western, and I ride school horses. Many of them do both, but they are usually better at one than the other. The horse I'm riding now has been trained as a dressage horse. So for my purposes, he's a bit on the too fast side, but he seems to like neck reining. Calms his forward self right down but not his bounce which is natural or his speed, which is his nature. That's his way. So I use direct reining and neck reining, depending on what's needed. I showed that way, doing both. A little nuts, but fun as all hell.

I believe if you're a good rider, you can be a good rider in either discipline. I think good riding is good riding: safe, calm, balanced. But what I do like about western really - is that it is a more relaxed discipline, in terms of how you put it out there. English (I believe and I'm sure I could be very wrong) is about a very structured approached and look.
     
    11-15-2013, 01:49 PM
  #19
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild old thing    
I was only kiddiing. But can you show using neck reining?

I ride Western, and I ride school horses. Many of them do both, but they are usually better at one than the other. The horse I'm riding now has been trained as a dressage horse. So for my purposes, he's a bit on the too fast side, but he seems to like neck reining. Calms his forward self right down but not his bounce which is natural or his speed, which is his nature. That's his way. So I use direct reining and neck reining, depending on what's needed. I showed that way, doing both. A little nuts, but fun as all hell.

I believe if you're a good rider, you can be a good rider in either discipline. I think good riding is good riding: safe, calm, balanced. But what I do like about western really - is that it is a more relaxed discipline, in terms of how you put it out there. English (I believe and I'm sure I could be very wrong) is about a very structured approached and look.
Haha no, I can't think of any English disciplines where you can show neck reining! I may be wrong though...

Pleasure English, and by that I mean you aren't showing, doesn't necessarily have to be about structure and looks. I mean, if you're leaning straight back and have your feet sticking out to Dallas then there's really no way that's balanced, but as long as you're going along in a balanced seat and reasonably good position there's nothing that's inherently more stuffy about it. Showing? Yeah, most English disciplines are pretty sticky about your position and look. I don't know anything about Western showing though, so I can't comment TOO much on how the two compare!

On the comment that a good rider can be a good rider in either style- I completely agree. Regardless of how secure the rider feels getting into a new saddle type, if a western rider gets in an English saddle and can't stay on (or vice versa) then there's a hole somewhere. Along those same lines, my barn manager has said numerous times that she thinks the big difference between riding English and Western is the amount of contact. I don't agree with everything she says (and I'm a bit iffy about that), but she does bring up a reasonable point. Generally English riding has more contact than western and the horses are trained in such a way. IMO I do think that a good, well-trained horse of either discipline should be able to be ridden with varying amounts of contact. A well-trained horse that is used to be ridden with contact won't go bonkers if the contact is released, and a horse that is used to no contact won't get pissy if a rider takes up contact. Of course, that is provided that the rider isn't just jerking the horse's head down or something silly like that
     
    11-15-2013, 04:29 PM
  #20
Trained
Contact can be defined in different ways. For western riding, a typical scenario is a horse on a leveraged bit with slack in the reins. The slack in the reins, amplified by the leverage (the western bits I've used amplify an input to 125-175% of what it would be with a snaffle), IS a form of light contact. If your hands are steady, then a responsive horse will respond to your moving your hand an inch or two. Moving your hand up or down, front or back, sideways - all should create a response. With Mia, she is good about listening to up/down, front/back small movements. She still considers neck reining to be optional...

We joke that Trooper, our ex-ranch horse, doesn't care what bit you put in his mouth as long as you don't use it. If someone tried to ride him with constant contact, he would be worried and possibly frightened. He never has been trained for it, and I doubt he ever will. It is too nice having a horse who pretty much just figures out what you want and does it.

This was Mia yesterday, which is about as much contact as I want her to have:



This is our preference. Neither is right or wrong, but I prefer to train my horses in just one style or rein use since they are not ridden very often anyways. Saddles vary with the day...

     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Western-like exercises with English mare; might as well ride her Western, too? TerciopeladoCaballo Horse Training 5 06-14-2013 05:10 PM
Going from Western to English SummerBreeze Horse Training 10 06-22-2010 10:35 PM
Two really nice saddles for sale>>>>>>English and Western>>western Wintec +)>>>look PaintsTheWorld Tack and Equipment Classifieds 10 01-08-2010 11:46 AM
Western/English Differences... and Training Western Horse? FutureVetGirl Western Riding 2 08-25-2008 12:24 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0