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why did you start riding english?

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        10-09-2012, 02:31 PM
    When I was a kid my mom picked the barn I started taking lessons at. It was an English barn, so I rode English. All these years later I still ride English. I have no problem riding western and don't mind it from time to time, but I will always pick English over Western, besides I still love to jump.
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        10-09-2012, 02:53 PM
    Green Broke
    Because everyone in my arena rode Western. Gamers; pleasure/trail riders, a lot of them. I didn't want to be like everybody else, so I set myself on riding English.

    Which worked out pretty nicely for me. I found a lesson barn (the only one in the area!) that was sort of mixed disipline. The head trainer was an English rider through and through and started all her kids English, figuring that it would be easier to switch from English to western than western to English. However, several people there rode western, and a couple rode "endurance style" (as I decided to call it), which is a sort of mashup of western and English equitation styles for distance riding. Pick and choose for comfort and ease on the horse. Endurance saddles are also a bit of a hybrid between English and western, so it made sense.

    Today, I'm not sure if I'm still an "English rider". I ride in an English saddle and my style of mostly Englishy, but I also ride a gaited horse and ride distance, so some modifcations have been made. If you just go on tack, I'm an English rider. But I don't ride in the "spirit" of the hunter/jumper I was trained to be.
        10-09-2012, 02:59 PM
    My first mentor was an Arabian show person and she was BIG into the English disciplines, so that's what I learned.

    I quit showing when my heart horse was 10 y/o (he despised it) and took up trail riding, but I never switched saddles or learned to ride Western.

    That was back when seeing someone riding in an English saddle out on the trails was an oddity. Back then (when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I rode a velociraptor) English riders either foxhunted or showed, so when I turned up at a trail ride with my saddleseat saddle, show breeches and patent leather bridle, I made quite the splash. Now nobody even bats an eye at my 'postage stamp' saddle. Of course, my tack has changed somewhat over the years even though I still ride in a 'show' saddle on my TB.
    freia likes this.
        10-09-2012, 04:00 PM
    Super Moderator
    It just looked so "cool!". I loved the look of the saddle , so I tried it and loved it!
        10-09-2012, 06:32 PM
    When my mom gave me riding lessons for Christmas when I was 9-years-old, the barn I rode at was an English barn. I thought I preferred western at first (my one prior horseback riding experience had been western)... but that slowly went away, and when I did my first jump it was all over: I was hooked on English.

    As an adult, I ride English because it's what I love.
        10-09-2012, 10:26 PM
    Green Broke
    Because I want to do it all!
        10-09-2012, 10:29 PM
    I started western lessons at the age of 5 and when I got to be around 10/11 I started posting, so I was forced to ride english. I loved it, really, really fun(:
    And I have been for the past 6 years
        10-09-2012, 11:18 PM
    In Australia, english is a far more common discipline than western. There are a few places that give western lessons now, but when I grew up, they were very few and far between. Then, at the age of 16, I fell in love with dressage, and have been that way ever since.
        10-10-2012, 10:38 AM
    What Chiilaa said, mostly, except that I fell in love with jumping at the age of 7!!

    I do ride Western on occasion, and all my horses have been taught to neck rein simply because I am lazy and like riding with one hand when I'm on the trails, but jumping is my passion. My current horse, I taught a WP jog so that I could know I could control his speed within the gaits, and I have a western saddle (actually mum does, but it fits my boy and she doesn't have a riding horse at the moment, so I use it)... though the western usually only comes out when adult beginners are over, because it's more secure than either of my english saddles.
        10-11-2012, 06:06 PM
    I grew up in Norway, where English is the norm. "Riding" is synonymous with "English". Now living in the Western US, I still get a lot of really weird looks when I ride a rough trail with my flat English-saddle. People give me looks like "Is she going to hold us back? Maybe she should go an easier route?" Not necessary folks - I can actually jump that obstacle without impaling myself. I decided to help some people who were rounding up some cattle one day, and they were short a few horses/riders. I showed up with the only type of saddle I have, resulting in more than a few giggles, and helped round up some lagging calves just fine. And everyone got a good laugh - a lovely day.
    I don't switch to Western, because I'm in love with the close communication with the horse that I have in English. I can feel what the horse will do before it decides to do it.
    Speed Racer likes this.

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