I need help with riding!
Alright people, share your wealth of knowledge with me!
As some of you may know, I have gotten this English saddle. I have only ridden western my whole life, so I don't really know anything about it! All I know, keep your heels down and your toes in.
Can anyone give me some pointers on starting out? I might want to start my mare on jumping, some day.
One main difference between English and Western riding, besides the saddles, is the way you hold the reins. A lot of western horses are neck-reined, while in English, neck-reining is never used, as far as I know.
Is your horse trained in English? Because if not, she may be confused when you start using two hands with her.
I would strongly suggest starting English on a reliable, well-trained English horse, and with an instructor to help you, if possible. It's MUCH easier to learn with someone right there with you, leading you step by step, rather than reading someone's advice on the internet.
But... that being said, I'll give you some pointers anyway, just to start you out. Once you have the saddle and bridle on your horse (you'll also need an English bridle), make sure the stirrup length is right for you. To check this, put the iron under your arm, at your armpit, and stretch the leather all the way down your arm, closing your fist under the flap. If its the same length as your arm, then its a good length. If not, raise the buckle up or down to change it. Make sure its even on both sides. To check to see if its even, have the leathers hang down on both sides and look at the horse straight on from the front. You'll be able to tell if the irons fall evenly on both sides.
Mounting is basically the same, except you don't have a horn to hold onto. Simply hold onto the pommel (the front of the saddle) with your left hand, and the cantle (back of saddle) with your right. Always make sure your cinch (in English called girth) is tight enough. Reins are held in two hands, not spread far apart but together, with the fingers like this:
Unlike western, reins are usually not long and loose. There should be a line from your elbow, down your arm to the horse's mouth. Here is an example of an English position: http://www.equine-world.co.uk/riding...s/position.jpg
Notice how the line from heel to shoulder to head. This is ideally what you want.
I can't get into a ton of detail, but here's the basics for stop & go for English riding.
go/walk = usually a click and squeeze with lower leg
stop = "whoa" (I use "ho" sometimes too), sitting back with the body, and a slight tug with reins
trot = click and squeeze with lower leg and heel, if necessary
turn to right = squeeze of right leg followed by slight tug (I hate that
word, but its all I can think of for now) with right rein
turn to left = squeeze with left leg followed by left rein
- heels down, toes pointing forward, like you said
- to make sure your leg position is correct, stand straight up in the stirrups and slowly sink back into the saddle; your legs shouldn't move, the way they fall into place is where they should naturally go
- don't have a tight rein! (sooo many riders ride only with their hands ... use your seat and legs -- get an instructor to help you with this)
Well, that's all I can think of for now, but good luck and please ask if any of this didn't make sense! :wink:
I remember you mentioning that once before, Sonny so I tried it, and I found when I squoze with my opposite leg, it pushed the horse further in.
I personally like having the horse (when turning right) to go around my leg. Though before I actually do the turn, I push with my outside leg.
Left rein for left turn is called a direct or plow rein. Used on young horses and riders that are just starting out.
Left (outside)leg/rein for right turn is called the indirect rein and used in western reining and more advanced english riding.
Wow, thanks you guys! (especially Jubilee! full of info!)
I knew about adjusting the stirrups, so that was completed before I jumped on.
My horse has been trained in western, as far as I know. We bought her when she was 4, so I'm not sure about any previous training.
And I think that when you turn with to the left, you squeeze with the left (or outside) leg and pull on the rein. That is what makes sense to me because that what my horse does.
I'd have to agree with Appy, I like the horse to be circling around me, so I use left rein/leg, or right rein/leg. :wink:
Don't get me wrong, YOU STILL NEED THE OPPOSITE LEG TO SUPPORT. When going.. right for example, use LEG FIRST (inside or right) followed by right rein. Then support with a bit of outside leg, especially if going around a circle, you don't want their butt swinging out too much, so you support with outside leg.
Also... to add to that, I've always been taught, LEG FIRST, then reins.
The legs are like the gas pedal, reins are the steering wheel. Now I know that the reins aren't JUST for steering, but you get the idea. Just something I like to keep in the back of my mind. :D
What I meant to say was, "when you turn to the left, you squeeze with the right (or outside) leg, and pull on the left rein, and visa versa for right."
So confusing! so, uh, Just ignore my stupidity...
just to add. make sure the girth is tight before you mount or you might slide off!
and also, ive found that it is easier to grab a clump of mane instead of grabbing onto the saddle to mount.
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