Let me begin with the fact that I know nothing of western riding. I've ridden a few western horses and even have a western saddle and use it for trail riding but I don't really know much about that part of the equestrian discipline. I just have a few questions for all of the western riders here.
1. Why are the majority of western horses in shank bits? Why can't you just use a snaffle? From my understanding, most western horses are started with either a rope halter or snaffle.
2. When people say that they ride in a rope halter do they mean a bosal/hackamore or a plain rope halter? If it is a plain rope halter, how do you attach the reins? Do you just tie the leadrope?
3. What do you strive for in your riding? I know, that as a dressage rider, I strive for an even gate with impulsion and a even contact on the reins.
4. Why do they tend to start horses earlier? I went to a AQHA sale and all of the horses that sold for any decent money were two to three years old and could neckrein, walk, jog, lope and one man even took the bridle off of his horse (a two year old mare, she was a sweetheart) and steered her by placing his hand on each side of her neck. Of course, I'm more used to horses being started at three the earliest.
Thank you in advanced for your answers.