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Midna 02-28-2013 08:25 AM

Help a western newbie?
 
Hi! Last december I bought this beautiful gypsy vanner mare, which is trained for western pleasure.
I'd known this mare for 6 years, and had been wanting her for just as long.
But I don't know anything about the western style or.. yeah, anything. I've been riding for 18 years, mostly just as a hobby and under some instruction.

My mare is very sensible, sensetive and well trained. If I do anything wrong, she gets all confused, both when in the saddle and on the ground.
A little feeling in my tummy has started to whisper that I may have bought the wrong horse. But we're a perfect match in every other way. She's been almost everywhere in Norway, sold time after time, at least eight times in only three years. And every previous owner I've talked have said she's a stubborn and dangerous horse. I've seen nothing about her that reminds me about a stubborn and dangerous horse... (Except when we're outside the course; she suddenly can turn around and try to run home, but its no problem to stop her).

Okay, enough of my frustrations and to the problem.
Since I've only been riding english for 18 years, and never ever have been instructed by a western trainer, I have no idea how to ride her like she wants to be ridden(?), which is western. I know its hard to learn by reading something someone else has written, but its my only hope. There is no western trainers here where I live (all the way up north in Norway, next to the russian border), and if I am to get instruction from a trainer from here, my only choice is english.

Please don't chop of my head for buying a horse I can't ride. I've been wanting to learn western for many, many years. And since I finally got the chance to buy her, I did, even if I can't ride her properly... But I sooo want to learn!
I feel so stupid when Troya and I goes out to train, and it look like we're just fooling around. Many people here know what great horse she is, and I know alot of people think it's a waste that I bought her, since I (at the moment) can't get anything out of her potential... :-(

Is there anyone here who can give us "lessons", or give me tips on how to and what to do? Treat me like I've never been on a horse before :lol:
I feel really stupid to ask, for some reason. But I have no other choice, and I seriously don't wanna sell her... :-(


English is not my first language, so I'm sorry if there is typo here :?

Duren 02-28-2013 09:13 AM

So why dont you just ride her english if thats what you prefer? A horse will do what you train it do to...I dont believe horses prefer one style to another. To them its just work, saddle doesnt matter.

.Delete. 02-28-2013 09:36 AM

I too don't see the problem with throwing an english saddle on her. Its a gypsy horse, It can move out for english

Midna 02-28-2013 09:49 AM

Well, because I want to learn western too. If you've read the whole thing, you'd get that :wink:

I can feel that she's not 110% comfortable with the english style.
And when she's got such potentiale, I think its a waste not to use it, and do what she thinks is funny.

"To them it's just work"? Every horse has a favorite activity. For her, it's pleasure. For my first pony, it was driving. Yeah, it's work, but some horses, believe it or not, don't mind it.

Anyways, thanks for the help....

lbhorsegirl91 02-28-2013 04:37 PM

id say buy the buck brannaman dvds he's really a great trainer and rider. also western is really similar to dressasge. depending on how western she's trained, she probably spur stops. western horses are trained to know that squeezing your heels into their bellies means stop. outside leg is gas pedal and inside leg helps with direction. and she probably doesnt like her mouth to have a ton of rein set her up and let her go. lots of half halting if she needs it but don't drag on her face.

Midna 02-28-2013 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lbhorsegirl91 (Post 1916502)
id say buy the buck brannaman dvds he's really a great trainer and rider. also western is really similar to dressasge. depending on how western she's trained, she probably spur stops. western horses are trained to know that squeezing your heels into their bellies means stop. outside leg is gas pedal and inside leg helps with direction. and she probably doesnt like her mouth to have a ton of rein set her up and let her go. lots of half halting if she needs it but don't drag on her face.

Thank you! :D No, she doesn't like it if I pick up the reins. She is very easy to ride with the seat, so I don't have to use the reins :-)
I'll check out the dvds ^^,

LisaG 03-06-2013 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lbhorsegirl91 (Post 1916502)
id say buy the buck brannaman dvds he's really a great trainer and rider. also western is really similar to dressasge. depending on how western she's trained, she probably spur stops. western horses are trained to know that squeezing your heels into their bellies means stop. outside leg is gas pedal and inside leg helps with direction. and she probably doesnt like her mouth to have a ton of rein set her up and let her go. lots of half halting if she needs it but don't drag on her face.

Okay, if you want her to stop, squeezing your heels is probably not going to help at all! I've been riding western my whole life, and this is not generally how western horses are trained (though I guess it's possible to train them to respond to any cue).

The basics of western and English are fairly similar I think (although I've only ridden English once, and that was for a jumping clinic, so it was quite a strange introduction). You'll want to remain balanced in the saddle, you don't want to be dragging on your horse's mouth, and your horse should direct rein, assuming you're using a snaffle bit (don't direct rein if you're using a curb, or shanked, bit).

A couple differences:
1. As the previous poster wrote, your horse may not like having a lot of contact with the bit. You should be able to neck rein with her. This means you can ride with one hand. If you want to turn right, laying the left rein across her neck, and cueing with your left leg, should turn her.

2. If you want her to stop, you should be able to cue her to stop by tilting your pelvis slightly, so you're sitting on your back pockets. Then pick up the reins slightly. If she's well-trained and responsive, you won't need to actually pull back, at least most of the time.

There are some other things, but I'd suggest just working on a couple things at a time. If she responds to those two cues as I've outlined, then she is trained western.

If not, then I don't think you really have a western horse, so to speak, but instead one that has simply been ridden with western tack.

Midna 03-06-2013 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LisaG (Post 1924637)
Okay, if you want her to stop, squeezing your heels is probably not going to help at all! I've been riding western my whole life, and this is not generally how western horses are trained (though I guess it's possible to train them to respond to any cue).

The basics of western and English are fairly similar I think (although I've only ridden English once, and that was for a jumping clinic, so it was quite a strange introduction). You'll want to remain balanced in the saddle, you don't want to be dragging on your horse's mouth, and your horse should direct rein, assuming you're using a snaffle bit (don't direct rein if you're using a curb, or shanked, bit).

A couple differences:
1. As the previous poster wrote, your horse may not like having a lot of contact with the bit. You should be able to neck rein with her. This means you can ride with one hand. If you want to turn right, laying the left rein across her neck, and cueing with your left leg, should turn her.

2. If you want her to stop, you should be able to cue her to stop by tilting your pelvis slightly, so you're sitting on your back pockets. Then pick up the reins slightly. If she's well-trained and responsive, you won't need to actually pull back, at least most of the time.

There are some other things, but I'd suggest just working on a couple things at a time. If she responds to those two cues as I've outlined, then she is trained western.

If not, then I don't think you really have a western horse, so to speak, but instead one that has simply been ridden with western tack.

Thank you for your answer :D As I wrote before, she is very easy to ride with the seat, and does not like it if I pick up the reins. She has been to several western pleasure shows and even won five so I know she is western trained :) Mostly now a days we just walk an jog. I'm having some problems to make her galop/lope, but it's getting better each day.
Again, thank you! :D
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Poseidon 03-08-2013 12:45 AM

The spur stop seems to be a current trend in the pleasure world right now. I don't understand it all, but whatever, not my discipline. I would try both methods posted or ask the previous owner how she's trained.
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LisaG 03-08-2013 12:52 AM

I don't ride western pleasure either, and I didn't realize that was what the OP was talking about initially (my own fault, I didn't read the original post carefully). I do cattle sorting and ranch work.

OP, you might want to post this in the western pleasure forum. The spur stop seems bizarre to me, but I suppose anything is possible.


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