I really struggle with my western riding position. I have always thought your position should be like the first picture. In my English lessons my instructor is sure I keep my leg back and in line. In my western lessons, I have never been told this. I've only seen one western rider say pretty much the same things for western and English position - Julie Goodnight (2nd picture). I've attached some other pictures of trainers and people who show, without the heel, shoulder, ear thing..... Can someone please help explain to me the proper western position...Is it ok for the wester riders feet to be way ahead?? I know the position will vary somewhat from what type of western riding your doing, so could someone please help explain the position and why it's used....
First you can not look at reiners and say that is how you ride a western horse say in WP or Western Riding or Western Horsemanship. Reining is unique all to itself as the position of the rider.
Thats what I' asking about the different positions and why they are used and just about the difference in them...Reining is my absolute favorite, thats kinda why I thought I'd ask, because I really dont understand.
Like nrhareiner said, it all depends on what you're doing.
In a horsemanship class where you're being judged on your position and how well you communicate with your horse. You'll be sitting very much like the first pic you showed where ideally your shoulder hip and heel will be in alignment. Heels down eyes forward, etc. Although in my experience, you have a deeper seat in western than you would hunt seat, so you would sit on your pockets more so than rolling your hips forward. I don't know enough about reining to explain the seat right, so I'll leave that to someone else.
The lady in the third picture from the top (in the cream colored shirt) looks to be riding in a cutting saddle, so I will assume she is a cutter. In cutting, you HAVE to keep your legs more forward. When the horse begins cutting the cow, they will often get their front end down low enough to look the cow directly in the eye. If you are not sitting back with your legs pushed forward and your hand pushing against the saddle horn, you will go right over the top of the horse.
As the previous posters have said, your position for WP or Horsemanship is similar to that for English.
Thanks everyone. I understand now! :)
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