why did you start riding english? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 73 Old 10-11-2012, 05:29 PM
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I was 5 and didn't have a choice LOL!!! My mom started me at a hunter/Jumper barn when I was about 5... started riding Saddlebreds saddleseat for show when I was about 7. Got my first saddleseat horse when I was 10. I love it.. but I now ride western mostly b/c it's an easier trail ride... but I think I learned GREAT fundamentals in riding from riding English first.

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post #22 of 73 Old 10-11-2012, 05:35 PM
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I started english (grandmas choice lol), then tried western but went back and stuck with english, it feels more free, I have better contact with my horse and I feel more secure. I constantly feel like I am going to slip off/out of a western saddle and feel far away from my horse. if that makes sense. . .

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post #23 of 73 Old 10-17-2012, 09:14 AM
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Love this thread! It all began for me when I watched and old Disney movie: The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit. It focused on jumping and how the main character could use horse shows as a means to sell his company's product Aspercel! And of course, that was the horse's name in the movie. After seeing that film, I begged for a couple years to ride. I finally started riding when I was about 8 when we lived in England. And now, all grown up, I own and train my own horses to do low level eventing. And I give my own daughter lessons and she loves jumping too :)
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post #24 of 73 Old 10-17-2012, 09:19 AM
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I started riding english so that I could compete in versatility competitions (western pleasure, hunter under, reining & barrels with same horse and 2 minute in the ring tack & wardrobe changes) and go after overall high point awards. I was around 7 when I started riding hunt seat & around age 9 jumping was added to the repertoire. I still ride both but spend most of my time in my western saddle (goes with the territory doing colt starting & owning qh's) but I do ride english a few times a week on my warmblood, love it!

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post #25 of 73 Old 10-18-2012, 01:29 AM
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Western sports do not attract me in the least. I have zero interest in racing around barrels or chasing down calves. I'm also highly annoyed at this new thing called 'Western Dressage' where someone is giving obvious cues and moving around in the saddle so much a toddler could see it. To me, a Western saddle is good for one thing - ranching. Anything else is just kind of boring to me.

English always struck me as more in depth, requiring more skill, and no handy horn to grab onto when you're in trouble. I had this opinion before I started riding and had no real exposure to the horse world. My information was from books, magazines, and what I saw on TV.

Now that I ride, I've used a Western saddle and can feel the difference between it, and even a cheap GP. In a GP I am required to pay attention to my balance. In a Western I can cheat and just sit there and grab onto something. In a GP I can jump without being stabbed in the gut by a horn. In a GP I can do training level dressage moves without having to swing bulky leather around so that my foot is in the proper position. I feel more connected to the horse, instead of feeling like I'm sitting in a chair with my feet planted on the ground.
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post #26 of 73 Old 10-19-2012, 07:30 AM
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Down here in Australia 99% of riding schools are English - so thats what I did.

I was eight when I started and I didn't know there was anything else!
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post #27 of 73 Old 10-19-2012, 10:36 AM
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OTTB, bless your heart.. I honestly am very offended by your post. You may judge Western to your heart's content but don't think that bashing something you don't understand will make others happy. I don't ride English, I did and it's just not for me, but at the same time I respect it and know that while English Pleasure and the more laid back English disciplines aren't as hard as say Eventing but I'm not going to bash any of those because even though I ride Western I respect others and their choices. I'm not going to sit and say that I think English is slow and you all wear your stuffy clothes and no bling.. I can't understand that at all... But, I don't think like that.. I wouldn't wear the clothes or go without my bling but that's your choice and I respect that. That said, if you've never really ridden Western (Not just sat in a saddle and walked around) you have absolutely NOTHING to judge by except what you see. You have no idea what Barrel Racing, Reining, or Working Cowhorse..even the slower Western disciplines are like. Before jumping to conclusions as you did in your post I'd love for you to sit on a nice barrel horse and see that it is FAR more than just "A chair with your feet planted on the ground". It is FAR from that and you couldn't be more wrong about riding in a Western saddle.. Just like with your tiny little GP saddle, Western saddles have their individual purposes for that discipline. The horn isn't something that everyone hangs onto, there is a purpose for it in barrel racing but the absolute MOST important thing in ANY, absolutely ANY discipline, whether Western or English, is to have a good seat. I can run my barrel horses bareback, I don't have to have the horn.. And my little Western horses can play in the jumping ring if I ask them to. Your information you got from books, magazines, and TV are VASTLY different when you actually sit on a Western horse in a appropriate saddle and ride that discipline. If you're doing something RIGHT in a Western saddle there is NO reason to "cheat" and grab the horn if you're in trouble or that it takes no skill and you just "sit there". You couldn't be more wrong, so next time you want to take a stab at something and bash it at least know the facts and have that experience before you make a half-ass educated response and just stir the post between Western and English riders.. You'll find that you are one of the few people who don't have respect for others and their choice of discipline.

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post #28 of 73 Old 10-19-2012, 11:05 AM
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What Drum said.

I'm an English rider all the way, and I found OTTB's post to be extremely offensive, ignorant, and completely uneducated. If you have bias against certain disciplines maybe you should actually take some lessons in them first, before pontificating on how 'easy' they are to do.

NO riding discipline, regardless of the saddle type, is easy if done correctly. Flopping about on a Western saddle with no idea of how to ride in it properly hardly makes you an expert on Western disciplines.
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post #29 of 73 Old 10-19-2012, 11:23 AM
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When Kitten (my daughter) showed an interest in riding, we sent her to horse camp. This camp was at a primarily English barn. Her Godmother, who she adores, rode English growing up. So, when she came home begging for lessons, we found an Instructor who trained both English and Western.

Kitten prefers her English saddle. Her balance and seat are better than her Western only classmates. Heck, my 9 year old tears around barrels and poles one handed in her English tack (gives me both a heart attack and swells my heart with pride at the same time). ;).

She likes her Western saddle and usually uses it for trails, playdays, and working cows...but if you asked her, she would tell you English was her favorite. She tells me that he just likes the "fit" better and feels closer to Acey.
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post #30 of 73 Old 10-19-2012, 11:31 AM
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I started English when I started Hunt Seat lessons in 1972. Sorry this thread unbraided into an argument between styles. It's easy to bash somebody else's favorite style of riding, especially if you've had a bad experience with it. The ONLY thing I don't like about Western is the dogged insistance pf saddlery's on selling the saddle with a horn made for roping cattle to people who probably will never use it for that. We really don't all need it. MY preference is for the Mexican type horn, low, fat and flat bc I think it's safer for trail riders. Too many accidents bc of that darned horn.

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