Should I ride English or Western? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-04-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question Should I ride English or Western?

Hi fellow horse lovers! I really need advice. I have taken the winer off from riding and am going to be starting it again in the spring. When I start riding again I will be riding at a different barn- this new barn offers lessons in both Western and English, whereas the one I went to previously only taught English. Ever since I started riding three years ago, I have been riding English. However, recently I have become much more interested in Western riding- no offense to English riders, but Western riding seems more relaxed and casual and more about bonding with the horse, and there is a lot less drama in the Western riding world from what I've seen, especially online. The style of Western riding in general appeals to me more than English does. I am still an advanced beginner/novice intermidiate English rider, so it wouldn't be hard to switch over. I really want to switch, but I'm nervous about it- it's such a big decision to make. How do I know I won't hate it? When I asked my mom and sister about it, they laughed and said that I would look silly dressed as a cowgirl. My family lives in New England, so there are not many Western riders around. I have yet to ask my dad about it. I really don't know. Please help, it's much appreciated! :runninghorse 2:
bitlessbeauties is offline  
post #2 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 01:17 PM
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Sounds like you’ve already made up your mind. Try the western riding for a couple of lessons and see how you like it. If you decide it’s not for you, then you can always switch back to the English.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 01:59 PM
Green Broke
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Silly dressed as a cowgirl?

Hmmm... What is it you envision western riders look like?

I ride in a pair of Miss Me jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of Ariat boots. Sometimes a ball cap, always a pony tail. Sometimes a hoodie... or even an oilskin duster. Belt with my CASE Trapper knife in a sheath, and a velcro closing sheath (also on my belt) for my phone. Sometimes spurs, depending on which horse I'm on. But I'm not in an arena. You will be, so... jeans, boots, and a t-shirt or hoodie, depending on the weather.

Nothing silly about that at all. ;)

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 02:27 PM
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Riding is riding at home....
Jeans, boots, t-shirt and helmet...

Obviously you have no experience in the show world of western as the few shows I've attended politics, cliques, sniping and just general horsey nonsense is as rampant as it is going to English H/J shows...
I am a English trained rider and showed many years when younger...
Got tired of the above listed and said no more...
Riding now is mostly done on trails with family and friends.
I still take lessons but do for me to be a better partner for my horse and to stop my habits that can become dangerous as they multiply and I get lazy at times.
For me the stress is gone for the most is fun and when it becomes not fun I will sell my horses and equipment and find something else to do.
I love the animal for just being themselves...having contact with them and watching them just being them.

So, go try western if you want.
It is still hard-work to ride correctly and anyone who tells you otherwise is foolish.
You can also just be a recreational rider and be good at that and that is fine but few recreational riders understand the fine points of riding and how a horse does what they do you learn from taking good constructive criticism lessons...there is a difference, truly.
You can do that recreational rider thing English too and not have all the drama you make mention of...

Riding is what you make of it and how much you want to be involved...
Guarantee you there is a lot more "western" going on in your region than you realize...
It is is the stress, politics, cliques and everything else all for you to decide if you want to be involved or not... and the vast sums of money to spend or not...

I have the fancy duds of western but more common to see me in Walmart jeans, my Ariats and a t-shirt than in my nice boots, fancier pants and dressy looking shirt and cowboy hat I actually wear out to dinner with friends.
I also have the custom field boots, expensive breeches and show-ring shirt, jacket and gloves...but more common to see me in Walmart jeans, my Ariats and a t-shirts.
Saddles and tack for each... my English saddle is $3000 new today and western $ money spent aplenty...
If it is connected to horses it is costly...

Give it a go...
You'll know if western is it for you or not...or do you want to be part of both worlds and be a multi-discipline rider as many are too...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is online now  
post #5 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 02:37 PM
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I ride western 24/7. The only time I use my english saddle is for show....

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 03:05 PM
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Honestly, you will find drama in both English AND Western disciplines.

I would give it a try, if you don't like it, go back to English.
And your riding attire really won't change unless you are in the show-ring...

Wear jeans/comfortable pants/breeches (I personally HATE riding in jeans, I ride in breeches or leggings) and a t-shirt/hoodie etc. Keep it simple.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 03:23 PM
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You've already answered your question. You say that's what you want to try so do it. How will you know if you hate it? By trying it, and you may love it. Not really getting why you would look ridiculous, but I'm the type who usually likes to do what other people are not so being different doesn't bother me.

I have one English saddle and one western saddle, both are used frequently. As far as clothes go, it's either jeans and a T shirt, long sleeved shirt or hoodie/jacket of some sorts depending on the weather. Or, it's leggings and T-shirt, long sleeved shirt or hoodie/jacket depending on the weather. I don't show. I take lessons occasionally and just love my horses.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
Coffee is my spirit animal
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 04:07 PM
Green Broke
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I do find that it's easier for most riders to learn English and switch to Western than the other way around.

I ride western most of the time, and usually wear Ariat boots, Wrangler or similar jeans, and a t-shirt or sweatshirt and coat. You don't need all the regalia to ride at home or a lesson barn.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bitlessbeauties View Post
Western riding seems more relaxed and casual
I think you lack imagination for what "Western Riding" can entail :)
You can also find some great videos of her barrel racing on the internet.

It really just matters what you want to do.
bitlessbeauties likes this.

Last edited by horselovinguy; 02-06-2019 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Facebook links are not allowed...sorry.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-06-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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thanks so much to you all for all your advice I think I'm going to try Western for sure
bitlessbeauties is offline  

english , inexperienced , lessons , novice , western

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