Better at Western than English or v/versa?
 
 

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Better at Western than English or v/versa?

This is a discussion on Better at Western than English or v/versa? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        05-06-2008, 10:51 PM
      #1
    Trained
    Better at Western than English or v/versa?

    I've been frustrated trying to get "balance" (at least to me that's what it is) with my OTstd.

    I have been riding very informal English and just have a western and aussie saddle around because the men in the house don't like English. Anyway, the western saddle I found is the first I've been comfortable on and have from time to time, taken out my girl in that.

    Now, either the western saddle fits better, "sets" better or I ride better with it, because I think I'm getting a better trot, better canter/gallop (definitely no "lope" happening yet!), than I was with the English saddle.

    Here's what I notice I do differently: in the western, I have more weight in the stirrups and maybe I have my feet a bit further forward. There might be more, but since I ride alone, it's hard to critique.

    Does anyone else have any experience with this? Also, I was riding with a french link, but have gone back to the hollow snaffle I started her on 2 years ago. Should I consider a traditional western style curb bit, or "is it OK" to ride western with a snaffle? I should add that she is still learning that "go faster" doesn't mean "don't stop!" but she's much better than she was.

    Maybe this is too much for one post, but any input is appreciated. Thanks.
         
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        05-06-2008, 11:14 PM
      #2
    Banned
    As long as you don't plan on showing you can use an english saffle.
    With my horse I'd ride western with an eggbutt snaffle....I finally switched him over to a western bit only because he responded better to the western bit.

    I find, for me anyways, that I can find my balance point alot better in a western saddle...in a western saddle a horse can buck, rear, bolt, or really do anything and I'd be able to stay on....where as with an English saddle more than likely I would not be able to stay on.

    Since you said your horse seems to respond better to a western saddle..I'd definitely think that the western fits better than the english. To a horse, it's just something on their back...they don't know the difference between an English or western saddle....so if they respond better to only one...it's more than likely that it fits better than the other.

    Your feet shouldn't be forward anymore than in an English, nor should there be that much more pressure in it. Think of the leg situation this way:
    You are riding a magical "Harry Potter" horse...and you are riding as you normally do...all of a sudden the horse disappears under you...what would you fall on? Your feet or your seat? Chances are if your feet are out farther you will land on your seat. When your feet are in the right place, you'd be able to land on your feet.

    I find, for teaching collection a bit with a shank works better, but for training, I perfer a simple english snaffle...nothing harsh.

    Really in an western your body position should be the same in an English...it does take time to adjust to a different type of saddle...I find that going from English to western is easier than going western to english.

    Hope that helped a bit
         
        05-07-2008, 12:07 AM
      #3
    Trained
    I would definitely stay with a snaffle over a curb bit (we use egg butt snaffles). Less bit is always better in my book.
         
        05-07-2008, 09:40 AM
      #4
    Trained
    Sonny, what you said about body position is exactly how I feel about it, so how is it that even though I feel like my feet are too far forward in the western saddle that I seem to get better response from my girl LIsa? Maybe tonight I should take out the English and try more weight in the stirrups. I've always been of the mind that my weight should be in the saddle though, not the stirrups. Maybe because I used to ride bareback a lot.
         
        05-07-2008, 09:48 AM
      #5
    Trained
    Any chance you're getting better response because your weight is further back (perhaps because your feet are indeed more forward)? Getting weight too far forward over the shoulders definitely affects a horse's balance.
         
        05-07-2008, 10:42 AM
      #6
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by northernmama
    Sonny, what you said about body position is exactly how I feel about it, so how is it that even though I feel like my feet are too far forward in the western saddle that I seem to get better response from my girl LIsa? Maybe tonight I should take out the English and try more weight in the stirrups. I've always been of the mind that my weight should be in the saddle though, not the stirrups. Maybe because I used to ride bareback a lot.
    what I'd work on is just to get into the western saddle and ride without the stirrups...once you can get a good body posture there then try adding the stirrups. For western, the stirrups should be low...you should just be able to get your feet in the stirrups by raising the ball of your foot and placing it in....I'd try riding with long stirrups that helped me get my body position on a western saddle alot better
         
        05-07-2008, 02:01 PM
      #7
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares
    Any chance you're getting better response because your weight is further back (perhaps because your feet are indeed more forward)? Getting weight too far forward over the shoulders definitely affects a horse's balance.
    I think you have something there. I'm going to experiment around a bit over the next few rides.

    Thanks, all!
         

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