Hi! I'm hoping you folks can give me some good advice. I don't have any riding experience, but have been paying a friend of a friend to get me some exposure around horses to get comfortable (mostly grooming, feeding, cleaning stalls, asking questions). I'm feeling ready to take some riding classes, and through networking I got connected with a reputable barn and trainer who is willing to take me on. Through all my research, I've been really drawn to western riding, with aspirations to possibly do cow sorting and/or barrel racing some day. However, this particular trainer does English, specializing in jumping. When I met him, he told me I need to get a helmet, riding pants and new boots (while pointing to my cowboy boots I had on, normal leather Durango cowboy boots). The lady that hooked me up with him said it's best to start with English since it's harder and will give me a better seat, and I could always transition later. With that, I have a few questions:
1. Do you think it's true that starting English is the best option, even if my heart's set on western? Will doing so make the transition easier?
2. Do I really have to get new English style boots and pants, or can I use my normal boots and riding jeans? (Mostly the concern is the cost of these new items and overwhelming options that seem so foreign)
Thanks so much for your help!!