Beginner in western but not to riding..
I have a friend who is moving up here. He has a Fjord that he bought as our old military saddle club closed down and changed her from english to western.
As his wife has long term illness he has asked if I would mind working the mare a couple of times a week. Bonus for me as I have no horse of my own :D
but I am a dressage rider. I don't even know how to fix a western saddle on a horse (yet!).
Is it that different? Any tips? I think they said that she is a reining horse?? I have no clue, but any basic tips will be a great help.
This also means I can go and buy some awesome boots and a cowboy hat!
Haha Duffy! You will have fun! You may just go to the "dark side" and not return. You are going to have to assess what she knows, since what is posted is a little confusing. If she IS a trained reining horse, she will neck rein.....but you say she has been ridden english, so I guess you will have to see what bit they are using. If it is a shanked bit, that is broken (not a solid mouth) you can use VERY light contact while you assess what she knows. Try neck reining and see, you can pick up on these bits easily. If it is a solid curb, I would be hesitant to use 2 hands, but that is just me, and I have recently switched from English to Western. THe hardest part is to ride without contact, I think!
I would have the owner show you how to tack up. YOu will get used to the weight of the saddle, and learn to swing it up there...at least this horse is pretty short, I would guess....
I would have the owner show you what she knows to give you a better idea. If she IS a reining horse, you will have fun, and you should be able to move her 6 ways from Sunday with little effort at all!
Muahaha.. do you have cookies?
I can see myself galloping off in to the sunset.. cow girl.. and omg. I can ride in jeans!
Okay, I'm over it now aha!
I am sorry for the confusion! I say she was ridden english before.. she was a school horse and a bump on the side meant up a level, and a pull on the face meant down a level :S
Alls I know is they ride with one hand. She has a western saddle, naturally, and I need to work on my arms to get it up and thank goodness she is a pony!
This is a picture of her a year ago...
Well, she is a doll. I myself never ride in jeans-I learned that lesson more than 40 years ago! But I know lots of people do-so give it a try if you want to. Have fun!
I have known her for a few years, absolute sweetheart. Perfect to try to learn as she is very unlikely to go and dump me in the sand.
I will get updated pictures and info as I go along..
I rode in old jeans once, as I lifted my leg to mount they split:oops: Have never since!
Hmmm...don't fight the saddle. Some western saddles will put your feet forward, and some will put your heels under your hip. Don't worry either way - both work fine, actually. Some western saddles will tend to force your thighs into a specific angle, and that annoys me. The one we have that does that tends to hurt my legs, maybe because I do fight it...
"a bump on the side meant up a level, and a pull on the face meant down a level"
Ask the owners for how they cue her. Western riders don't tend to agree much on cues, or worry about anyone else agreeing with theirs. My mare thinks the cue for "canter" is my squeezing both legs and saying 'Come on, let's go!' - wouldn't win me any points in a show, but my horse understands. Works OK on a trail, but letting her choose her lead isn't always the right solution in an arena.
I know a lot of western horses who have never been ridden in anything but a standard snaffle. Both the lady I took lessons from and the lady who trained my horses are snaffle-only types. Our Appy Trooper will neck rein (and behave) with anything you put in his mouth, as long as you don't mess with his mouth too much. My Arabian mare Mia is slowly learning neck reining - she knows how, actually, but tends to think of it as advice instead of a command. However, she neck reins better with a leveraged bit.
Riding with one hand on the reins still feels unbalanced to me. I often leave my right hand on the horn, because putting it on my leg just feels weird.
The only pants I've ever ridden in are $15.88 Wranglers from Wal-Mart. I've never had a problem with seams rubbing, regardless of saddle type. Maybe because my toes point out 30+ deg or so. Hmmm....
Have fun! We'll expect to see pictures of you riding soon :wink::
I only ride in jeans since I "converted"....love it. Much more flattering for an aging middle age body.........:-P
Picture the following: 1988.... my formerly crazy run-away OTTB after 45 days of western training.....then me, after 20 years of dressage and jumping, first lesson in western......after 20 minutes I didn't know where left and right was, have felt more than once like a complete beginner ( think butter on a hot potato)....and loved every minute of it:-) I never looked back!
For me the hardest was the no contact to the mouth.
I ride western and dressage; however, the only time I actually ride in my dressage saddle is at the show and about a week before the show! Same cues and same leg positions, etc. Oh, and I ride in breeches all the time. So much easier to take off when it is hot and humid. The only time I wear jeans is at the western shows!
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