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romeo543 06-06-2008 12:29 PM

taking a western horse and riding english
Hey i've got a question about riding a western horse with english equipment. My boyfriend just bought a horse and shes only been ridden western (trail riding). I've ridden english my whole life and would like to try her with english and see how she does. I think I know the answer but when I go to put my saddle on her will it be a big deal, do they know the difference between western and english? I know plough reining will be different to her but i'm just curious about the saddle. Shes an extremely easy going horse so I don't think it'll be a problem, I just thought i'd ask if anyone has done it before and if they had any advice.


farmpony84 06-06-2008 12:31 PM

It will feel different to her, so you'll want to give her a minute to get used to it, but it shouldnt be a real big deal. She'll do fine. Is she ranch broke or pleasure broke? You probably won't have any trouble pushing her forward. I've always ridden all of mine both ways... You can even start getting her used to posting in your western tack if you want to....

romeo543 06-06-2008 12:37 PM

I would have to say she's pleasure broke, she mostly just did hunting and packing and she did move some cows but I don't think much. I actually rode her yesterday in my boyfriends western saddle and I was having such a hard time sitting (which is funny cause I do some dressage so you'd think I could sit the trot in a western saddle, but nope) the trot that I just started posting and she didn't care one bit. So you think if I just put my saddle on her and then walk her around on the ground for a bit that she'll be ok?

PoptartShop 06-06-2008 12:41 PM

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My horse was started out she's a good English horse! :D I think it takes a lot of training & time, though. Start things gradually.

Dumas'_Grrrl 06-06-2008 12:44 PM

good advice poptart! I would just start slowly switching tack on her... It shouldn't be that big of a deal if she is so mellow... I don't think she would have any problem with a saddle switch from what you posted earlier.

SonnyWimps 06-06-2008 01:05 PM

the saddle should not make a difference to a horse...meaning it won't really know the difference between an English and Western saddle. Remember, to a horse, a saddle is really just another thing on their back...western or english they don't really care. I've never seen a horse that will ride perfect in a western but not in an english (unless it's the riders fault)

My horse, Sonny, was trained in Western pleasure and was mainly used as a trail no English what-so-ever. But I ride him English.
I still keep a western bridle on him? Why? I like the western bridles better....and I'll switch back and forth from an English Eggbutt to a Western Snaffle with Shanks.

I would think she'd have no problem with you riding her English...if she's in a western bridle it may take some time for her to get used to the noseband, but other than that I'd say she would do fine

missy06 06-06-2008 01:10 PM

I agree w/what everyone else has said, but when you rode her yesterday, did you notice what type of rein aides she was trained to respond to? i.e. Is she only trained to neck rein, or can you direct with pressure on the bit? If it's the latter, no problem, but if she's only used to moving with pressure on her neck, then you'd have to train her the other way.

romeo543 06-06-2008 01:58 PM

I did both because I figured she had only been taught to neck rein, and when I plough reined she did really well. I could tell she probably had never done it but she'd go in the direction I told her to. I'll just keep working on it and I think she'll pick it up pretty quick but it's not easy to plough rein with western reins! :D

kchfuller 06-06-2008 04:54 PM

it really doesn't matter ... my mare is off the track and those saddles are TINY! and i rider her western and english and in different bridles, the whole works ... she is the chillest 4 yr old ever... i mean the back cinch doesn't affect her either and that is something that normally horses are confused about ... anywho it really doesn't make a difference to most horses but if it makes you feel better lounge her in the "new" tack and see how she does ... good luck! :lol:

JustDressageIt 06-06-2008 08:04 PM


Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
the saddle should not make a difference to a horse...meaning it won't really know the difference between an English and Western saddle.

FALSE. They have completely different pressure points. Some horses are fine with it, some aren't, and need more time to adjust.

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