Trying western after 15 years of English - The Horse Forum

 22Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 573
• Horses: 0
Trying western after 15 years of English

I've been riding for 15 years, and have done both jumping and dressage. I've been strictly English my whole life, doing dressage for the past 8 years and jumping before that.

For a while now I've been wanting to learn a bit about western riding, as I think it'd be great to have at least a working knowledge of this different style. I was given a paint horse recently, and plan to work with him to build up my experience and knowledge of western riding, and am wondering if anyone has any tips as far as which discipline to start with, and how I would go about finding a good trainer in this area? What do I look for? What are warning signs of a poor western trainer?

I don't want to do any showing, I'm really interested in the more 'practical' skills (for lack of a better description) such as those that would be useful should I ever work on a cattle ranch, or anything like that.

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!

" If the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason." ~ Hugo Cabret
Lonannuniel is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 12:00 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 12,737
• Horses: 2
Without knowing where you are it will be hard to suggest a trainer!

It is a good plan to have someone teach you, the whole thing feels a bit odd to start with riding without contact takes some getting used to for sure. Be prepared to get hooked, (and not only on the saddle horn as you dismount) I was an English rider for many years, then converted, it's great.
amberly likes this.
Golden Horse is offline  
post #3 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 12:01 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,162
• Horses: 2
Well, I'm not quite good for giving tips on picking out trainers - as I don't have one I learn on my own. :)
But I would look at some Parelli groundwork and Buck Brannaman techniques. Parelli I only use for groundwork because it is very good, it helps get better communication and bonds with your horse.
Buck Brannaman is good for everything else, hehe! He has great groundwork and warm-up riding tips.

This link has some great tips for learning more as well.
HorseQuest Instructional Videos - eXtension

🔫 Don't Tread On Me 🐍
,.-~*'¨¯¨'*·~-.¸·,.-~*'¨¯¨'*·~-.¸
amberly is offline  
post #4 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 573
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
Without knowing where you are it will be hard to suggest a trainer!

It is a good plan to have someone teach you, the whole thing feels a bit odd to start with riding without contact takes some getting used to for sure. Be prepared to get hooked, (and not only on the saddle horn as you dismount) I was an English rider for many years, then converted, it's great.
I'm located in the Edmonton, Alberta area! Would need someone who can travel, as my barn is a bit of a drive away from the city.

I am quite excited to be learning something completely new! I could probably do very basic stuff on my own, but I'll likely end up riding like a dressage rider in the wrong saddle without having more guidance, so I thought that if I was going to really be serious and learn about this area, it'd be best to find a trainer who can help along the way.

" If the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason." ~ Hugo Cabret
Lonannuniel is offline  
post #5 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 12:08 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 12,737
• Horses: 2
Hows the weather up there?

Are you in this thread Horse talk for Canadians you will get some locals helping out maybe.

Shhhh don't tell anyone but I have often heard it said that you can tell a person who started in English and has converted, we have nice seats.
Golden Horse is offline  
post #6 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 12:23 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 945
• Horses: 1
hello from a fellow Edmontonian!

I think your dressage background will really help you in the western world. You ride with a longer stirrup western than you do english, and previously learning to stretch your leg down and have your leg underneath you will be of big benefit.

Other than looking and feeling a bit more relaxed, I honestly don't see much difference between english and western riding. I do both, have taken lessons in both, and to me the only big difference to me is the type of saddle you sit in, lol.

Having said that, i've never worked cattle though. But I think having a strong seat, strong core muscles, and a strong leg (all aspects of a good dressage rider) are the most necessary parts to being able to stick a horse while he is cutting a cow from the herd or chasing after a stray steer.

I'd say get yourself out on the trail in a western saddle for a couple hours and you'll get the feeling of it by the time you are heading back to the barn :)

Or I might suggest taking a few lessons at a good western barn in the area. I'd try calling Dukes Ranch on 50th street just south of the city. They do western lessons there. Take what you learn and transfer it back to you and your horse. May cost less than having a trainer come out?
EdmontonHorseGal is offline  
post #7 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 12:43 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: AZ
Posts: 964
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdmontonHorseGal View Post
other than looking and feeling a bit more relaxed, I honestly don't see much difference between english and western riding. I do both, have taken lessons in both, and to me the only big difference to me is the type of saddle you sit in, lol.

Being a former english rider who switched to western, the thing that was so hard for me is hardly being able to feel the horse thorugh that huge saddle. With my short legs, english was easier (I used to show hunter over fences).

One thing EHG missed mentioning is the difference in the contact with the mouth and the reins. Generally speaking you ride on a very loose rein (there's no "on the bit"), and neck rein, but you still use your seat as you do in english.
EponaLynn is offline  
post #8 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 01:07 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 8,939
• Horses: 4
I recommend this book:

Http://www.amazon.com/Ride-Smart-Improve-Horsemanship-Horseman/dp/091164766X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387732638&sr=8-1&keywords=ride+smart
You might want to read some of the articles on this website about western saddles & fit:

False "saddle fit rules" regarding the shoulder blades

There is no reason to switch to a western saddle & western saddle tree if one rides it 'English'. It can be done, but it will create an unbalanced saddle on the horse's back. Since the weight distribution system (the tree) is different, one's balance in the saddle should also change.

The norm in western riding is to drop the idea of 'contact' and headset. Ride with slack in the reins, and let the horse choose its head position. You can direct rein still if you wish, but the goal is to transition to using one hand. With a curb bit, moving your one hand up, back, left, right - without taking all the slack out of the reins - will communicate your goal to your horse...once trained.

As I've started riding in a western saddle this last month, after years of Australian or English saddles, I find it is more of a platform to do things from than a saddle to feel the horse. The impression I get is that I need to change my approach to balance in order to use the western saddle to its full advantage. One thing that surprised me is that my horse seems quite content with the extra weight and length of the western saddle. She turns around a pylon faster and with more freedom in her shoulders than when using the Australian-style saddle.

After a month or so of intermittent use (bad weather and other commitments), I find it to be very different than riding English, just in terms of balance. I had switched to a western approach with the reins a couple of years ago, but the change in saddle gives it a very different feel. I'm still not sure if I like it or not.

"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
bsms is offline  
post #9 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 01:24 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 945
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by EponaLynn View Post

One thing EHG missed mentioning is the difference in the contact with the mouth and the reins. Generally speaking you ride on a very loose rein (there's no "on the bit"), and neck rein, but you still use your seat as you do in english.
I didn't mention the difference in contact/reins, etc because the OP said this:

"I don't want to do any showing, I'm really interested in the more 'practical' skills (for lack of a better description) such as those that would be useful should I ever work on a cattle ranch, or anything like that."

IMO the 'traditional' draped rein and lack of contact is more in the show ring than out on the range working cattle or just riding western for pleasure, from what I have seen, read and experienced. When you are doing practical/pleasure work with your horse you may have varying degrees of contact with the bit as opposed to looking picture perfect in the show ring.

And not all western riders ride their horse in a curb, so how the reins are handled can vary.
boots likes this.
EdmontonHorseGal is offline  
post #10 of 42 Old 12-22-2013, 01:52 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 12,737
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdmontonHorseGal View Post
i didn't mention the difference in contact/reins, etc because.
Golden Horse had already mentioned it
Golden Horse is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
carts stored for 14 years last show about 15 years ago. michaelvanessa Driving 17 06-17-2013 05:40 PM
Western-like exercises with English mare; might as well ride her Western, too? TerciopeladoCaballo Horse Training 5 06-14-2013 05:10 PM
Two really nice saddles for sale>>>>>>English and Western>>western Wintec +)>>>look PaintsTheWorld Tack and Equipment Classifieds 10 01-08-2010 11:46 AM
Western/English Differences... and Training Western Horse? FutureVetGirl Western Riding 2 08-25-2008 12:24 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome