Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Fundamentally they are the same. You still have to have good position, good hands, legs and seat. Your horse still has to be responsive to all your aids, and work up and through himself. In all honesty, you (this is a "blanket" you, not at anyone in specific) should be able to sit your trot/jog and canter/lope regardless of discipline... and steering partly (mostly) comes from your legs, not your hands, and this too is universal.
When it comes to the finer tuned things, each discipline requires different training, i.e. for reining, your horse has to neck rein very well, but also keep a good frame and work through themselves - without rein contact. Dressage, for example, requires a bend, frame, and balance as with reining, but it's on a direct rein. However, the similarities are that they both require the horse and rider to be in tune with one another, they both require the rider to understand the basics of a good seat, legs and hands, and each has to be responsive to those aids.
I don't think one style is any harder than the other, depending on how far you delve into it. I may be able to do a piaffe, but if you handed me a lariat to go rope a cow?? I would not be able to at all!!
Each discipline has its own skill set.
The best horse I owned (Maia is my up and coming star, but I'm talking about Dancer) could be ridden English or Western and win at both; together we did Medium level dressage, jumped 3'6"-3'9" courses, then we'd turn around and compete in Western pleasure. She was a very well-rounded horse and I think that gave her a great advantage.
I'm not trying to bash your topic as well, just offering a discussion point.
I believe that just like riders, great horses can do well no matter the tack they're in.
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