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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, so I've ridden Western my whole life. I've only ridden English on saddlebreds in 2nd grade at a Saddleseat Riding Camp. And...my mom's kind of dating a professional polo player. He invited us to come riding (my mom, me, and my never-before-layed-her-hand-on-a-horse nine year old sister) next Saturday and, while my sister has NO clue how to ride or any aspirations to get on a horse, my mom's bf said his polo Thoroughbreds are bombproof so she can (with any luck) handle just walking....no trotting or cantering for her lol. And we're going to be riding ENGLISH. And I ride WESTERN. And have my whole life.

I mean, in 2nd grade I was able to handle and ride our high-strung TB with my mom walking beside me, and that mare rode English, but I had no idea what I was doing. My mom rode that TB mare English a lot, so she knows a loootttttt more about English riding than I do.

So, any tips for riding English on his TB's? Oh--The only type of horses I've ridden in like the last like 6 years are my gaited horses. Paso Finos, Missouri Fox Trotters, etc. So they don't trot...They fox trot and do Corto's and Fino's and "fox walks" and such. But I haven't been on a trotting horse in a looonnnngg time....since the riding camp probably. Would it be easier for me to sit the trot like in Western when I go ride English? Or attempt to post, which I really haven't done in a while?

And i can't really 'practice' English riding because a.) I don't have English horses anymore and b.) I only own Western bridles, although I could put a pair of English reins on the Western bridle to help with learning English hand positioning and c.) the only rideable horse in my barn now rides Western. I suppose I could put my mom's old English saddle up on him and try him around the pastures....but I don't want my mom's bf to think I'm a total novice to the horse world. I've been in it my entire life, and he offered to let me excercise his TB's sometime over email! Their excercise is pretty demanding....20-minute interval canters.

Anwyay....any pointers so I don't look like a complete idiot when the four of us go riding? In Western terminology lol. And how holding the reins is different? Thanks so much!
 

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Keep your fingers closed, shoulders back, sit tall,heels way down,chin up,ummm...dont do a death choke w/ pulling on the reins....keep legs tight against the horses side,grip with thighs...i cant think of anymore!
 

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I ride english,so i am used to posting. Sitting tends to give me cramps:/ I would say whatever you feel most comftorable at. Give posting a try though! It depends on how smooth the horses trot is for how easy it is to post (sorry worded that wierdly)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, I can't go today cuz like I'm at my dad's house and my mom (I keep the horses at her house--she has primary custody of me) is really mad at me because, long story short, my stepmom and dad wouldn't let me go over to my mom's to help her move furniture to set up for a party she's having today. So I'm going to try to get an English ride in on Monday :D
 

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The horses that I rode english, we did a combination of leg cues and using the reins for turning. As far as holding the reins, we didn't hold them with a death grip, but we didn't leave a lot of slack either. And like WannaHorse said..."Keep your fingers closed, shoulders back, sit tall, heels way down, chin up", and hands down Although, I wouldn't grip with the legs in any way. I don't know how it is with polo ponies, but with the saddlebreds that I rode, it was squeeze slightly with your legs to get them to go faster. Be sure and ask your mom's bf what the cues are for those particular horses. It won't make you look clueless in any way. Different horses have different cues. GOOD LUCK!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OKAY, after spending 2 hours cleaning up my mom's old English saddle, I rode English for a good 4 hours over the span of yesterday and today. I LOVE it! So much fun lol! I did walk, trot, and canter, as well as jumped a few foot-tall logs at a trot and canter.

I like it so much I'm having my English-riding friend come with me to the tack store to help me buy an English bridle. What kind should I get? Not a flash noseband, those are harsh right? And the ones with an X are for racing I think....so just a typical headstall-and-cavesson deal? What kind of bit? I'll be doing just walk/trot/canter on trail rides and some ring work. Artie needs a firm bit, but not a harsh one....we'll be doing flatwork and maybe some small jumping. No big jumps, as Artie's 21. I have 2 D-rings and an O-ring from our old ex-racer. Will either work? Which one?

That same friend is going to give me a simple English lesson lol after we buy the bridle. Unfortunately it'll be after I get to ride the TB's, but I think I'll be okay with just going on horseforum critique until Sunday, when I get my "lesson" haha.

Can anyone find a picture or something of how to hold the reins? I'm kinda clueless....currently holding them, thumbs up, palms in, with the excess rein coming out the bottom of my fist and draping over his withers. Is this right?

So yesterday I took a few videos....Please critique! I think what I need to work on is not pointing my toes out to the sides, but pointing them forward. I catch myself doing this all the time Western too. It was hard to not bounce yesterday and today because the snow was that thick ice stuff that made Artie's fox trot bouncy. He lifts his front legs so high he looks like a high-stepping showhorse :D. BTW--Arthur doesn't trot, he's gaited, so he does a fox trot. So I can't really practice posting lol. He gets confused when I use English commands on his Western bit....I end up doing a combination of English and Western to get him to turn correctly. Ignore my sister's commentary haha. I especially like her (whispered) "He's taking a dump!" in the first video.


Here's the first. I'm really going over a foot-tall log, but it's kinda covered in snow so you can't see it that well. It's where the camera focuses a lot. He ticked it the first time (before I took the video) because he didn't pace himself but after that he learned to pace himself pretty well. He clears it with ease, even with me not knowing how to jump on his back xD. I like pausing it mid-stride over the log to see his form:) :

The other video is just going around in a circle at a walk, trot, and a little cantering:


Thanks guys!
 

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Ok for holding the reins put your thumbs up like your holding and ice cream cone. Then ask for the horse to collect by slightly pulling back on the reins he should start to lift himself threw body and push from the behind. I think your stirrups need to be shortend too.
 

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Here is how you hold english reins. I can't tell how you are holding them but this is the correct way :)

 

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Polo ponies are fast agile creatures. Mum's boyfriend knows that they can be quite a handful but my guess is that he is going to show you how to ride them when you get there. He is probably real pleased that he has found a female couple who knows one end of a horse from another.
If you are only going once, then what are you worried about.

Think of it as barrel racing but with moving barrels.
 

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LOL I still can't understand the pic...but thanks haha:)

In English, you hold the reins so that the backside of your hand is facing out and is perpendicular to the ground. You also put your pinky finger on the outside of the rein so that the rein goes in between your ring and pinky fingers. It helps you feel the horse's mouth better. And for turning, you pull back on the side you want to turn and use your outside leg a bit farther back than the girth and LIGHTLY use your inside leg on or almost infront of the girth. English leg work is similar to western that way.
 
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