Sort of New to Western Riding

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Sort of New to Western Riding

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        12-10-2009, 02:59 PM
    Sort of New to Western Riding

    So when I got my first horses when I was 12 I just threw the saddle and headstall on and off I went. I had one horse ridden in a curb but and one in a hackamore. Shortly after I started riding english and so it is most of what I know.

    Now that I am older and not doing the jumping thing I have gone back to a western saddle and have started going to playdays (not competing yet although I want to)and trailriding with my horse. I ride in an english bridle but just bought a western headstall. This may be a stupid question but can I still ride with the same bit? I normally ride in a D ring snaffle or a slow twist. I have taught him how to neck rein and he is pretty good at it now...should I switch to a curb?

    I have asked my husband for some riding lessons (western) for Christmas or my birthday so that this western world won't be so foreign to me but for now it is just forums and reading.
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        12-10-2009, 03:13 PM
    Hello, Welcome to western riding.
    There is alot more to putting a horse in a curb than just neck reining. First he needs to be collected and move off your legs. I used a d ring on my horse with a western headstall I would get a trainer to help you a little more.
        12-10-2009, 03:29 PM
    You can keep the slow twist D. It works just fine in a western bridle. I use them on my young horses, with a chin strap and it does just perfect. I'll probably get a lot of nit picking from some folks, but just about all english bits work fine with western, the only exception that I can think of being the full cheek snaffle. Lol. I interchange easily anyhow. The other way though doesn't work though. Most western bits don't fit as well with an english headstall. Have fun!
        12-10-2009, 03:31 PM
    He does move off my leg somewhat. He is an OTQH, but has had some light dressage training in the past. He is 10 years old. When I taught him to neck reign I taught him with leg cues as well. I know I am missing a lot and like I said I know I need a trainer, but well money doesn't grow on trees so something I will have to budget for and save up for. Right now we are working on stopping.

    Thanks Qtswede. I figured I could :) He does well in it and I really didn't want to change anything if I didn't have to.
        12-11-2009, 10:18 AM
    If your horse neckreins with or without leg aids in a snaffle you certainly try using a curb. Remember to keep the "rein" aid very light on the neck, no pulling.. Back up with leg and he should get the hang of it quickly.
        12-11-2009, 10:56 AM
    Not a bit expert by any means, however a few thoughts i've learned/come up with. Bought my app about 2 1/2 years ago, first horse, didn't know squat. Rode in a curb b/c that's what we had laying around and he did ok (for all I knew about it). Old guy where I kept him when I was up north of here in school gave me a snaffle and told me to use that. Dunno WHAT all he was trying to teach me cos he didn't say too much.

    Then moved way up north and worked at a kid's camp. Boss there used two bits for the most part (a few curbs got used, and a couple hacks, depending on the horse): tom thumbs and loose ring snaffles. All western riding. Kiddos in lessons/on trails used TT's unless it was a real soft mouthed or young horse, those got loose ring's. ALL employees rode rodeos, our lessons, and free time in loose ring snaffles. Her philosophy was we wouldn't be as hard on their mouths with the snaffles as the tom thumb potentially could be.

    So fast forward a bit, came home and knew a LOT more about how to handle a horse in general. Still had the snaffle on my bridle, got on my horse and he had a LOT more respect and did real well with the snaffle, for the most part. He stops alright with it, but is a little tough sometimes. Tried a tom thumb ONCE, and had less control than I would have if i'd just been using a halter!

    Started doing some cattle work with him in pens and put my spurs on as well, not that he needs it, just helps him mind a bit better. Couple other fellas suggested a wire twist snaffle. Only used it once, and didn't have my spurs. Since then started a dif job and haven't had the chance to further try it out.

    Anyhow, I would say you should be fine, especially if he neck reigns and reacts to legs pretty well. For me, I want my western riding horses to stop with a straight back pull on the reigns. Boss up north wanted one reign stops in the arena (understandable when you're going all out), and they're good when otherwise unable to stop the horse, but to do anything else with a horse, got to be able to ride with one hand.

    Oh, and I do use a chin strap. Wife doesn't and her old QH does just fine with it.

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