Cantering in English - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 18 Old 06-26-2014, 12:35 AM
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Unless you are grabbing the horn for security, there really is little difference . Believe you me, you can come out of a western saddle just about as easy as an english.

I always think that remembering to "allow" the horse to carry you at the canter helps .. Remember that he canters all the time, so it's not big deal for him to carry you at the canter, and he could care less about what saddle he wears.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-26-2014, 12:39 AM
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Maybe it's just how people are originally trained... Everyone's different.
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That's the hilarious part! I learned on Western and rode exclusively western for most of my life. Then as a re-rider I wanted to try English and felt like I was visiting a long lost friend. Swapped to treeless and felt "ahhhh where have you been all my life".
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-26-2014, 12:40 AM
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Okay, so I'm not new to horses, but I am new to English. I've always ridden western, and am SUPER comfortable galloping in a western. The new horse I'm riding is a full English trained horse. I can't ride her in a western saddle. I can trot on her just fine, but there's this mental thing with cantering. I feel like I'm going to fall... I know it's stupid. Does anyone have any advice on how to get over this ridiculous fear?
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Work on your balance and seat. When you're balanced you'll feel better
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-20-2014, 11:56 PM
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Just sit back and breathe. Before you canter you could do some stirrup less work to get your confidence up if you loose your stirrups (I went from western to english as well, at first I always lost ,my stirrups). At first don't worry about your eq and you can also get a strap for your saddle to hold onto if you loose your balance. Good luck!
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-21-2014, 01:14 AM
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I had the same problem, but once I did it, it was amazing. Try to build your confidence more at the trot and even the walk. And do lots of lunge line work I learned almost everything on a lunge line so I could focus on my self and not focus on steering the horse as much. But just take it slow and imagine you are in a western saddle.
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-21-2014, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Lavapool View Post
Okay, so I'm not new to horses, but I am new to English. I've always ridden western, and am SUPER comfortable galloping in a western. The new horse I'm riding is a full English trained horse. I can't ride her in a western saddle. I can trot on her just fine, but there's this mental thing with cantering. I feel like I'm going to fall... I know it's stupid. Does anyone have any advice on how to get over this ridiculous fear?
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You should consider various factors that might be influencing what you are experiencing.

First, the horse may be moving differently. This difference may be good or bad. A good instructor would need to evaluated that.

Another thing to consider is how you are sitting in the saddle. Different saddles -- be they Western or English -- may cause a rider to sit differently. The shape of the saddle may cause a rider to sit further back or further forward; the shape of the horse may also influence this. Where the stirrups are hung may also make a difference. The length of the stirrups also makes a difference. Unless you are jumping, the stirrups should hang at about the height of your ankles when they are not in the stirrups.

There are also psychological factors to consider. Apprehensions about cantering in the English saddle may be causing you to stiffen your muscles which will inhibit your motion so that you are less able to follow the movements of the horse.

Consider various ways to help yourself relax, balance, and move with the horse. If you need suggestions on how to do this, ask.
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-21-2014, 09:31 AM
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There is no reason why you can't ride an english horse in a western saddle. English vs. western is about how the horse is trained to MOVE. You could get used to this new horse's canter while using a western saddle because that's what you are more comfortable with. When you get more confident about cantering your new horse then start introducing the english saddle. I had a horse that I showed in saddle seat. Western, hunt seat, and dressage. I always worked her in my hunt saddle and usually ran through all movement styles with her in one training session. (headset higher for saddle seat, low and slow for westen, somewhere in between for hunts seat, and long and low (not slow) for dressage). I know another lady who showed saddle seat but always used her western saddle in the winter and she'd shown horses for 50 years. She felt more secure in the western saddle especially when her horses didn't get worked as often in the winter. The tack doesn't matter its how you're working with the horse to move. You should get to the point where you CAN use your english saddle to canter, but there's no reason you can't use your western at first. I started lessons for english years ago and I was used to western saddle. It does feel weird to canter in english tack when you're not used to it. Good Luck.
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-21-2014, 11:10 AM
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I'm one of those who feel very different riding a western vs English (or Australian) saddle. My western saddle is shaped differently - much wider. It places me further back, and I lose contact between my lower leg and the horse. It IS possible to ride it with lower leg contact, but harder because of the shape of the saddle.

Western is more seat, while English is more leg - at least to me.

Some of it is psychological. When I go from my Australian-style saddle, with poleys and even a horn, to my English one, the SHAPE of the saddle feels the same...but I feel naked without the 'stuff in front'. No, I do not hang on to the horn. I can't remember the last time I made contact with the poleys, and my Aussie style saddle is arguably "cleaner" than my English one, since it has no knee pads.

But mentally, going from this:



To this:



Makes me double check to see if I've left the house without my jeans on...

"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
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