Going from Western to English

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Going from Western to English

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    06-17-2010, 10:46 PM
Lightbulb Going from Western to English

I recently purchased a new horse. He is currently being ridden western. I grew up riding english, and only know the very basics about western riding. I enjoy riding western when I am trail riding, but would like to try english on him. Is there anything I should know before I try this? I know I can put the tack on him and go, but is it possible to train a horse western and english? I hope my question makes sense:)
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    06-17-2010, 10:54 PM
Green Broke

I think so. My horse actually knows the difference between English and Western tack, it's creepy. When she goes English, she's immediately on a contact with solid working gaits and usually more excitable because she figures we're jumping. Tack her up Western and I can get the smoothest loose rein jogs and lopes out of her!

English poneh:

Western poneh!

She also neck reins and straight reins, and can be ridden in a snaffle, curb, hackamore or halter! =P
    06-17-2010, 11:04 PM
^Ditto on everything! Though I haven't tried a hackamore on my boy lol
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    06-17-2010, 11:17 PM
Easy peasy. My horses all work on either a contact or loose rein and will either direct or neck rein. They also will stop dead from any gait or come down through the gaits.

It's all just training, no such thing as too much :]
    06-17-2010, 11:48 PM
How do you train a horse english? I know that is a broad question
    06-17-2010, 11:53 PM
Well, you just have to make the horse comfortable with contact and able to work off a direct rein. The biggest difference is actually the way you ride.
    06-17-2010, 11:57 PM
Green Broke
Exactly what Eliz said. Unless you're doing Western Pleasure, there isn't necessarily a drastic difference in the gaits between English and Western. Reining, for example, uses the same type canter. I personally find it MUCH easier to teach a Western horse English as opposed to vice versa. Probably because almost all horses are started in snaffles anyway, so they know what a bit and a slight contact is like already. Hence why I'm focusing hard on slow and easy with Jynx right now - she was getting very rushy in her gaits, and it tends to be a lot easier teaching a slower horse to increase tempo and extension. I want her going dual as well, so I'm going to work on her Western training now, and when she's got that down, move onto more English riding. She's ridden in a snaffle on a loose contact already as is until she learns neck reining.
    06-18-2010, 01:39 AM
I don't really train 'western' and 'english' - I just train for what I want to do which includes both work on a contact and work on a loose rein. With Latte we are doing both - i'm direct reining and getting her used to contact but out on the trail i'm also teaching her to go relaxed on a loose rein and the begginnings of neck reining.
    06-18-2010, 04:39 PM
You can absolutely do both. My Morab was schooling 4th level dressage, jumping 4' courses and working cattle before she retired. She also took out polo sets and would stick and ball when I worked in a polo barn... I never made a real effort to train her for different disciplines; we just did what we had to do and she figured it out. I had plenty of people (dressage riders in particular) tell me I would confuse my horse, but it was never an issue.
    06-19-2010, 01:31 AM
It is mainly just a difference in how you ride. I ride "english" in a western saddle all the time. I like my guy to know the difference between contact and loose rein and also if I post he knows to step out his trot a bit more. Same with the canter, if I'm more forward in my seat and sit more like I do when riding english then he knows I want more forward motion. I don't have an english saddle at the moment so have to make due using my western and just riding a little differently.

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