The only major huge difference is the tack.
I am seriously baffled by this observation and wondering if you're doinking with me. It's possible you're joking, I suppose,'cause if you're not... Well, wow.
Okay, so let me just say this: At the Quarter Horse World Show this past year, there were more than a few "western" riders that qualified in hunt seat equitation. How they managed to do this is a long story that would involve a rant on my part and so we won't go there
, but suffice it to say, a few mostly western riders were in the hunt seat eq. finals. Problem was, they had specialized english
judges at the WS. Those judges asked these "western" riders to drop their irons. Honey, you should have SEEN the poop hit the fan. It quickly became apparent who were the "men" and who were the "boys". English is NOT western. It's about supporting your upper body with your base and riding slightly (very slightly on the QH circuit
) in front of the verticle, not on your pockets. It's about maintaining contact--the RIGHT amount of contact--with your horse's reins. It's about picking up the right diagonal without having to look and, if you know what you're doing, being able to do this without your stirrups. Ooi! I could go on. (The class winner was an absolutely stunning rider, by the way. You can watch her "winning run" on AQHA.com.)
Biggest problem I see with people who go from western to english is that they lose their base (lower leg) because there's no big-honkin' fenders on an english saddle to hold that leg in place. All we have are these little strappy things that cause most western riders to lose their balance and just about fall off. Never mind that we ride with our irons shorter than the average western rider. It can be dangerous. Nine times out of ten they end up hanging onto their horse's mouth for dear life. That, in turn, upsets the horse--chaos ensues. I've seen it a hundred, no a thousand
I keep stressing to the OP to take a lesson or two before attempting to jump. I suspect that when she realizes how hard it is to hang on in that wittle postage-sized-stamp of a saddle, she'll scratch her classes. But I could be wrong.
As far as the horse being TB and so it should know "direct" rein, I have to disagree here, too. (Sorry!). Many TBs never even make it to the track. Many are sent directly to any Tom, Dick or Harry that is willing to break them. Who knows what they used in that horse's mouth? Ya know?
I'm not trying to come down on you or nothin'. Seriously. (Although I recognize it might feel that way.) I just really diagree with what you're saying and I've tried, truly tried, not to come of sounding like Queen B of the Universe while pointing out the fallacy of your observation. I hope I've succeeded.