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xdrybonesxvalleyx 06-28-2010 11:19 AM

Having the best of both disciplines
I know that I've switched, and I'm completely planning on going through with my plans to do and compete in English if I can, however this has been bugging me.

Because of persuasion, general interest, and etc, is it realistic and possible to train an English horse to do Western or a Western horse to do English? I was planning on buying a saddle anyways eventually for long trail rides, etc, and maybe a little fun with barrels and poles. I'm not talking about heavy competition, but maybe just doing a few shows or such. I love the appeal of the clothing and style.

Is there anyone here who does both?

Speed Racer 06-28-2010 11:37 AM

Horses who are better at English or Western has nothing to do with the tack.

It's their way of going and how they hold themselves that determines whether an animal will do well at a specific discipline.

I'd never take a horse who had a natural, slow lope with low head carriage and try to turn him into an English Pleasure mount. Nor would I try to take a horse who has a naturally high, long, and fast step and high head carriage and turn him into a WP mount.

Horses should be physically suited for the discipline in which you want to show in order to do well.

If you want to ride an English horse in Western tack out on the trail, that's fine and dandy. But don't think you can take a horse who is suited for English and turn him into a WP horse, and vice versa.

corinowalk 06-28-2010 12:19 PM

Well said. I have a very Western QH but I do school him in English tack occasionally. The saddle doesn't matter. I just like to switch it up to keep myself from getting bored. Asking him to actually compete in an English class would be setting him up for failure. He doesn't have english movement and he hates jumping.

xdrybonesxvalleyx 06-28-2010 12:36 PM

I uinderstand about the tack, but what about the rider? Is it possible for /me/ to say, have two different horses for different disciplines and be able to switch? I understand that it would be sacrificing time for one to succeed, and at the moment I have absolutely no intention at all of doing anything but training English, but it would settle curiosity.

Speed Racer 06-28-2010 12:42 PM

Yes, if you want to show both and have horses for both disciplines, there's no reason you can't do it.

I've known many riders who show both English and Western. As long as you're dedicated and willing to put the time and effort into learning both, there's no reason you can't.

SorrelHorse 06-29-2010 02:53 AM

I compete in both disciplines. I find that in reality, they really aren't all that differant. I was originally a western rider and then started doing some jumping, and I tohught I would need at least a year or two before I was ready for a show. But actually, the switch was very easy and I was competing by the end of my first month of lessons. I didn't start winning for a while later, but I did get decent marks on the board.

And for barrels and poles, so long as you aren't in for heavy competition any horse that can lope can do it. Our saddle club does a lot of Gymkhana's and most of the people just lope the barrels. Just so long as you have basic steering control you can do it just fine ^^

xdrybonesxvalleyx 06-29-2010 10:18 AM

^_^ Steering's good.

Well my friend recently switched to jumpers and she said that it's /very/ similar in motion to barrels. I wasn't planning on competing in anything other than English, but it woudl be fun to do the local rodeos just to do it.

StormyBlues 06-29-2010 11:23 AM

depending on what you do, you can compete in either or both. I'm an eventer and I feel like western saddles are big, bulky, uncomfortable, and hinder my ability to "speak" to my horse through my legs and seat aids, so I don't ride in the western saddle in the tack room often. I also take every time I am on a horse as an opertunity to train and better myself for competition. Like every time I'm in a jumping saddle, I will be up in two point, or whenever I'm in a dressage saddle, I make my leg hang still on the horse's side and work on pointing my toes forward. But if all you're doing is hunters or jumpers, then doing another disapline and showing won't be as hard as it would be for me, because I have to train in three different disaplines. So really, it depends on how competative you want to be in your disapline, and how much time you have on your hands.

Silvera 06-29-2010 11:33 AM

I ride my Morgan X both english and western. He does a nice easy lope and a nice faster canter or he can do a collected gallop. It is all about training and to a sertain extent confermation and motivation. If the horse is to slow and lazy you won't be able to do high end english showing. If the horse is in the middle, likes to go fast but also can go slow, then there is no reason you can't train them to do both.

I use slightly different cues to get the western look and to get the english look. He already knows that if I post he is suppost to go faster, lengthen his stride, and get a more english frame.

Anyway, I strongly believe that horses can do both if trained well. It's true they will excell at one or the other, but they can certainly do lower levels of both.

payette 06-29-2010 11:50 AM

Sure! A horse can definitely do both, particularly at local level stuff. Have fun with it!

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