Switching from English to Western...tips?

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Switching from English to Western...tips?

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  • 1 Post By oh vair oh

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    07-31-2012, 01:11 PM
Switching from English to Western...tips?

Hey guys it's been a very long time since I've been here. Lately I've been wanting to ride Cowboy western. I've gotten to the point of having a nice slow jog and he drops his head when we get to that pace, and I just want some tips on this switch.

I have a western bridle, egg butt French link. He works really well in that, better than my D ring snaffle which I use when I ride English.

Yesterday I worked with him just at a jog, had to refresh his memory because I hadn't ridden him in about a month so he was a little rusty. I was also trying to drop his head, and after a few times of us butting heads (not literally!) he was finally getting it. Not so much at the jog, but it was better than me not ever teaching him.

I would like your guy's tips on how to slow down his canter, I've worked with him but it's not the speed I would like. And I would also like to learn how to have him drop his head and get on the bit at the canter and get better at the trot. Thank you!!
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    07-31-2012, 01:25 PM
Subbing! Im an english rider who is taking on a western project horse at the beginning of September! Id love to hear what everyone else says
    07-31-2012, 02:02 PM
It's funny, the better you ride "western" the more Dressage you use, just with variation. Working on your balance through circles, lots of leg-yielding, half-halts, etc. will all aide in slowing your horse down.

To slow down the canter depends how slow you want to go, and if your horse is physically cut out for it. Softness is always key. Lots of lateral flexion and big releases when you are teaching collection. Working through the butt, two-tracking, half-passing, pivoting, rollbacks, etc. Fast and slow work through transitions.

I use my knees to half-halt. If I press in my knees, my horse knows to slow down. I started at the walk, pressing them and backing up. Soon he associates that pressure with backing. You can get a nice subtle crawly walk and a slower rate of speed for the jog and canter with enough practice.

But to rate the lope, I usually two-track, circle, or back them up before loping.
Amanda B likes this.
    07-31-2012, 03:11 PM
For me and my mare, we too are still working on a nice slow canter, she isnt perfect yet, but she is getting the hang of it. My technique is to gently pull back on the reins until she starts to slow, once she starts slowing down, I release pressure. Now sometimes she will start off in that nice lope without me having to tell her. I'm not a professional, but this worked well for me and my mare.
    08-01-2012, 01:20 AM
Thanks guys. I'm going down to the barn tomorrow of it doesn't rain, I'll he riding bareback. My western saddle is so crusty at the moment lol. I can't wait to try out these tips!
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