Western or English - a continuing debate. - Page 5

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Western or English - a continuing debate.

This is a discussion on Western or English - a continuing debate. within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Hacmore saddle
  • English riding vs western riding debates

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    01-22-2011, 11:21 AM
Poor communication skills coupled with ignorance has caused many a fight and even wars. The two systems of riding have evolved over the centuries and have developed in order to meet the differing needs of the rider. Neither is system better than the other, they are different.

Stacey Westfall rides with incredible skill wearing a cowboy hat, and without needing reins, bit or saddle. Watch the videos and be amazed.
A Grand Prix dressage rider makes a ride on a horse to music look like ballet.

Stacey would not feel comfortable in a European dressage arena and I don't know of a dressage rider who would ride in an arena without a saddle and a full bridle set.

Spending a day rounding up steers is way beyond my stamina and skill level.
Riding to hounds chasing a pesky fox for a day with the Quorn Hunt in Leicestershire can cost you your spine.

If someone says to me come ride my western trained horse, I'd have to occasionally ask for guidance. If a knowledeable Western rider friend came to the UK and asked to ride my horse, then I'd show him where the pedals and the brakes are hidden.

But, a badly trained, ignorant, heavy handed, coarse, unfeeling, rider shouldn't be let near a good horse, whether it is English schooled or Western trained.
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    01-22-2011, 11:27 AM
So what are you telling me? Barry Godden

I know that if I tried English i'd be like AHHHH! What do I do, cause i'm no English rider. But still wondering what that has to do with the conversation I had with that girl had. I like both and i'll defend both.
    01-22-2011, 11:40 AM
Say this isn't really a v.s. Thread it about does English have the same riding skills as Western or does western have the same skills English, There is not different to me but the saddle and disciplines. Other then that you got a horse your setting on its back your controlling it with a bridle or halter/hacmore or how ever it's spelled, and your having fun. People think one is better then the other, if anyone can prove that to me i'll take back every think I said.
    01-22-2011, 12:21 PM
What I am telling - neither the Western style of riding nor the English style of riding is better, but they are different and designed for different purposes.

If we ever met, I'd show you as a Western rider how to sit on an English saddle, on an English trained horse in the sincere hope that you enjoyed the ride - once you had learned how to tell my horse what to do.

Then maybe, we turn around and you'd show me how better to sit a Western
Trained horse, kitted up with a Western saddle. You might even show me how to use a lariat.

I'd show you how to hold the reins English, you'd show me how to hold the reins Western

I'd show you how to keep contact with the horse's mouth through the bit,
You'd show me how to let the horse have full control of its neck,

I'd show you that my horse is scared stiff of cows,
You show me how to chase a herd of steers

And we'd both have fun. Which is what playing with horses should be all about.

    01-22-2011, 12:26 PM
Western to English

That's me on the left on the palomino , a thousand light years ago in a snooty Surrey village parade in the middle of the world of riding English
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    01-22-2011, 12:40 PM
I see what your talking about, It's kinda funny thinking about how a style can change how we ride. Like you said about how to sit. It funny that we each have a different way of doing so, How to hold the reins and everything else. Not being mean or anything but it seem that the way an English rider rides is like showing off and a western rider are more just out there.(I may have sentenced that wrong but that's the only way I could sentence it.) NOT being mean but look at this video It's funny but nice at the same time I can see by this that it is very hard to go from your usually style to a new one with out even taking lessons, This video show exactly what you just told me, I think this videos Beautiful

    01-22-2011, 01:20 PM
Thank you for posting that video. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, that video speaks millions of words.

It illustrates what I have always said about the comparison between Western and English - a good rider can ride in either system with the minium of readjustment.

All it takes is two good knowlegeable riders and two well schooled horses


In the US I get the impression from viewing from across the Atlantic, that the
Perceived difference between the English way of riding and the Western is that English riders and horses jump - yes , many of us do but not all. I haven't jumped a horse in years and neither has my wife.

Apart from the design of the saddle with a horn, the big difference I perceive is that the English tend - repeat tend, to hold the horse permanently in check on a collected rein and then let it go; whereas the Westerner leaves the horse loose on a long rein then asks it to stop.

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