What's Better: Western or English Riding? - Page 2

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What's Better: Western or English Riding?

This is a discussion on What's Better: Western or English Riding? within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-07-2014, 05:34 PM
    I ride both. But mainly English and I show hunters and jumpers.
    I like the saddle more, and I feel closer to the horse.
    I tried gaming once, but it scared the crap out of me, I get my adrenaline rush from jumping just fine haha
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    Corporal and SueC like this.
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        07-07-2014, 05:37 PM
    It isn't that any one discipline is better than another discipline. It has more to do with the saddle. In my decades of experiences I have found that cheap Western saddles, as some lesson programs use, force you to sit a horse in a chair seat, and how you first learn is very important. FOR THAT REASON, I would suggest that you take lessons in an English saddle. Even the cheapest English saddle requires that you learn to balance and sit upright, or else you will easily lose your balance and fall off of the horse.
    Once you learn to have a balanced seat, then it's a choice of personal preference. Certainly the better made Western saddles are balanced. I have no prejudice against them.
        07-07-2014, 05:42 PM
    What are your riding goals?

    I ride Western, because that's how I started, and I'm fascinated by the ranch horse. I'm planning on doing an internship riding colts at a ranch soon, where I'll gain more training experience and learn how to work with cows. The riding I do now is mostly trail work, which can be done either English or Western. But I'm western through and through.

    If your interests lie in dressage or jumping, try out an English saddle. If you want to learn to rope, try a Western one. Better yet, take lessons in both, and see what you prefer. You might want to do both. Experience everything you can. There are so many disciplines, not because some are better or worse, but because everyone has their preferences.
        07-07-2014, 06:41 PM
    It doesn't matter how or what your ride as much as it matters that you ride and you enjoy it. The principles of good horsemanship are the same no matter what the discipline. Different tack is used for different purposes, so a western saddle and shanked curb bit wouldn't be much good for jumping, nor would an English saddle be terribly useful for roping cows or barrel racing.

    I like riding in my dressage saddle best and love the challenge of dressage, but I also really enjoy trail riding in my western saddle. When I am on a green or very hot horse, I like the security of an Aussie saddle. In winter, I almost never use a saddle and love riding bareback. Although I don't have a horse that drives right now, I also really enjoy driving either a single buggy or a team. It's is all fun!

    My best advice is learn and love to ride in any way you can.
    Corporal and SueC like this.
        07-07-2014, 06:57 PM
    I was told when I was younger learn English first, then Western if you want to ride western. I don't know the entire truth to this statement, but the woman teaching me said English was harder so therefore by learning English first that Western would be easier to learn afterwards. Iunno, all I know is I prefer Western now over English :P.
        07-07-2014, 07:03 PM
    OP you just threw a Cat into a dog pit!!
        07-07-2014, 07:17 PM
    Originally Posted by 3ringburner    
    OP you just threw a Cat into a dog pit!!
    Naw, not really. It's a stupid thing to fight over, and simply comes down to personal preference.

    I ride English. Always have. Tried my hand at Western, and found it worrisome that I couldn't feel the horse through all that leather and blankets. Doesn't make Western riding 'wrong' any more than it makes English riding 'right'.

    Some of the Western disciplines fascinate me, and it takes a very skilled rider to be able to sit the more energetic disciplines of both riding styles.
    smrobs, Corporal, bsms and 2 others like this.
        07-07-2014, 07:31 PM
    I think everyone should try multiple disciplines. So often people start riding one way and stick with it forever. Somehow along the way many people then think that every OTHER way is WRONG or bad in some way. For the open minded folks who give several different disciplines a go, their eyes are open and they can voice their opinions from first hand experience.

    For me, there is nothing more comfortable then a flat saddle. I have loved Saddleseat forever but I have tried dressage, western, ran barrels, jumped and even tried cutting. As it turns out my favorite of all is trail riding in a flat saddle. Ha ha. There is no "Western is better" or "English is better" it is what ever works for the individual and their horse. :) Have fun along the way and make sure your horse is enjoying life as well. Can't go wrong with that. :)
    HagonNag, bsms and SueC like this.
        07-07-2014, 07:43 PM
    I agree with everyone else, try a lot of different things and you'll figure out where your passion is at (even if it's in 2-3 different places ).

    I ride western, I was raised riding western. Grew up doing ranch work and started breaking colts when I was 14. I still love that style. I bought an English saddle once when I had aspirations of jumping my horse and found out that I was more comfortable bareback than in that saddle LOL. We still jumped but only for fun and not for very long. I outgrew that stage and now I focus on training horses to be good handy ranch and trail horses.
    Corporal and SueC like this.
        07-08-2014, 10:16 AM
    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. This has given me a lot to think about! To answer a few of the questions:

    - right now I am learning Western, my goal is to ride trails for pleasure and possibly barrels in the future for sport. I'm only one lesson in ( next one is tomorrow!), so I am still very green :)

    - I don't know if the trainer I am currently working with does a lot with English style, but that wouldn't be hard to find where I am located at all. In fact, I think that is more common than western... which is why it did take my a little digging to find this trainer

    - I apologize if this post came across as trying to incite a controversial discussion! Just asking a few questions, I am learning soooo much from this site that is helping me better understand things in between my lessons.
    smrobs, Corporal and Horseychick87 like this.

    english, riding, western

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