Trying Out English? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Trying Out English?

I haven't had an English riding lesson in about 7 years and never really got into it. I didn't find the right trainer, and they couldn't really teach a child, especially not one that hadn't ever been around horses. But it is something that I have always wanted to try again. What are some tips anyone has for preparing myself as well as my horses to try it out? Also a little bit about the different parts of English riding would be great, as well. (Like about dressage, jumping, etc.) I do not know much so feel free to explain as if I were an 8 year old. xD Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 07:57 PM
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I'd just take it easy and go to the lesson. I'm sure a good trainer will make it interesting and informative for you. :)




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post #3 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 09:31 PM
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What we call "english" riding is the way that most of Europe rides, and other areas of the world, too. it means basically that you ride with a lighter seat and utilize the stirrup to stand up off the saddle at times to lighten the horse's back for movements like jumping or going up/down terrain. Do not think that E riding is "wussy" . it is so not! it takes a lot more muscles and if you ever see folks riding out to the foxhunt, you will see some crazy hard riding. There is more of an emphasis on sitting up and out of the horse's way, with more drive forward in the hrose's movement, less collection , in a general sense.

Dressage might , from the point of view of one not familiar with it, be more likened to western riding , such as reining. The rider sits more down into the horse, like W riders do. And there is more emphasis on having the horse stay balanced and under the rider, rather than the rider staying out of the horse's way as it runs across country. Mind you, these are real generalizations. All these sports are much more complex and refined than I am making it sound. But you'll find you own way there and I will be interested in hearing your impressions of the differeneces.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-13-2012, 12:38 PM
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When you start riding english you will be learning the hunt seat version..slightly more forwards in the seat, using more of your leg and arms as aids, not sitting as deep in the saddle. As you gain muscle and experience, you will learn what is referred to as a balanced seat, where you begin to sit more upright, using your seat as an aid as well as your hands and legs. Hunt seat is also the version used when working over fences (includes your two-point or jumping position). Usually when teaching beginners to canter, the instructor will have you go up into the two-point position and have you canter from that rather than sitting in the saddle as you would learn later.

In dressage, think of this as the ultimate balanced seat. The rider sits a little deeper, moves more in one with the horse and is sitting straight and using basically their entire body as an aid even to the degree of how much the upper body moves..a former trainer I had referred to the dressage seat as the perfect posture seat :) or as he used to say, "look proud."

As for your preferences as to the type of english riding, it can change. I started out in hunters where jumping was the only thing I wanted to do. I morphed into jumpers and then lower level dressage. As I aged :), I decided that maybe jumping wasn't so important anymore and am now more or less solely a dressage rider unless I get on a horse I can trust implicity over fences, in which case I will indulge in a round or two :). My new horse is extremely green over fences and my thoughts now are not to bother teaching him to jump though I do use ground poles just to help with his trot stride and he likes them :)
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-13-2012, 01:18 PM
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Usually/often, a non-leverage bit is used in English; Snaffles or snaffles combined with a curb-bit. This allows light rein contact so that you're always barely feeling the mouth, but not pulling on it unless you want to tell the horse something. Direct-reining is the norm.

I would describe the seat/position as working with the horse, moving with the horse, helping the horse. It's very dynamic and athletic. I ride trails/pleasure only, though I used to do some light jumping as well (I won't address dressage, since I stink at it). In all those, my body is anticipating the horse's next move, and I get my butt up to free the horse's back when needed, or shift my weight to help it up/down hills and over obstacles, etc. Most people switching from Western to English immediately feel that the saddle offers little support and security, but in fact the saddle allows you freedom to move with your horse and communicate very clearly.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-13-2012, 04:19 PM
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Going to english... you will be able to feel every movement the horse makes. It's amazing. Just work on your balance. Western lets you get away with relying on the saddle too much.

If you are going to teach a horse something and have a good relationship, you don't make him learn it - you let him learn it.
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