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Cookie is the first horse I have ever owned, So naturally that opens up endless possibilities! She is a wonderful girl with perfect confirmation. Everyone I have shown her off to says she has a very "englishy trot" & a "jumpers chest" ect.

I myself have only ever ridden western with a tiny bit of bareback thrown in.
But I am a little english curious, So my question is ... Where do we start? I am not ready to buy an english saddle as I don't know how I feel about this discipline ...... yet. However I do have more one than one friend willing to let me borrow theirs. So what should we do first? And what are steps to take to excel at english riding and possibly future eventing?

All answers appreciated thank you guys!
 

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Step 1) Get an English Trainer
 

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^correctomundo. If you are even thinking of jumping or eventing, get a good certified trainer
 

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I agree, finding a good trainer with experience, ideally concentration, in the discipline you plan on riding. If you just want to test the waters, though, there are lots of good books on English riding, equitation, etc. out there. :wink: Good luck!
 

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like everyone else said :p but have lotsa fun!! and tell us how it all goes
 

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Getting an English trainer is a great idea, but while you're deciding if its even a discipline you would like to pursue, I see no reason you can't borrow one of your friend's English saddles and get a feeling for it.

Have someone with you to watch from the ground, in case anything happens. Sit in the English saddle and walk around a little bit. See how you like the feel. Do you feel secure in a seat much smaller than a western saddle? Put your stirrups up. Is that comfortable for you? Or would you rather keep your long western leg? Have your "English" buddy show you how to hold the reins and steer two handed for a while. I would go ahead and try a couple quick trot steps and see how that feels with your short stirrups.

If you think you like the feel of English, then look into a trainer. I wouldn't go trotting up a storm or heading for cross rails! But there is no reason you can experiment with leg length, two handed reins, and things like that.

Give it a go, I bet you'll like it!! ;)

 

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I would first take a few English lessons from a good trainer. See if you like it and if you can, get a few lessons on your horse to see how she does with it as well. If both of you like it, then you could invest in the tack and more lessons! :)
 

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I would first take a few English lessons from a good trainer. See if you like it and if you can, get a few lessons on your horse to see how she does with it as well. If both of you like it, then you could invest in the tack and more lessons! :)
I agree. Take a few lessons with your horse and then you can decide if you want to invest in english riding tack and apparel. I am a beginner and have taken one lesson with a western instructor and one with an english instructor and I preferred the english style of riding (the higher stirrups, holding the reins with 2 hands and wearing a helmet!) even though at first I was sure I was going to fall right out of the saddle LOL.
 

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Another vote for instructor/trainer!



If you just wanted to tool around in english tack vs your western tack then sure, use a friend's saddle and go for it. If you want to jump and do eventing then you need a trainer.
 

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Agree with the getting a trainer BUT agree more with take some lessons. Then you will get a feeling if you like it or not by riding an old pro (any good trainer should have a good lessons horse for you to ride)... But keep in mind that since you have ridden western it might take a little while to get used to English so give it sometime :)
 

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I agree with kchfuller-take some lessons on lesson horse. If your horse is used to western, you wouldn't get the "right" feeling. Take some lessons on old good fella, snior jumper, or "dressage grandpa". Learn how to use two-hands-holding-reins, how to use your legs, etc... I also started in western and then sat into english. I can tell you, that maybe you will feel a bit unsteble, unsure in english saddle. It's way too smaller and less "holding you"-western saddle has in front of you and behind you sie things (I am not english, I don't know the expressions for it in english)... And you feel safe there. But english saddle is a something like only "under-butt-equipment"-or I felt this way... If you are okay with long western stirrups, I would advise you to start in dressage saddle, which has also long fenders and stirrups and you can fix your leg on "knee-supproting steady"(taken from dictionary)-the long narrow thing in front of sour knees :D U know what I mean :D Ask the trainer for an martingal-you can catch the "around-neck-belt" If you felt like falling off :)
 

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How long have you been riding?

While I agree that in the long-term, getting an instructor is the best idea, there's no reason to waste money on it if you decide you don't like English (although I personally can't see how you couldn't love it). If you have been riding (even Western) for several years, I don't see any reason to not just try your English friend's saddle (make sure it fits!!!) and just ride a little bit!

Start with a lot of walk work. There's a lot to get used to. First of all, your stirrups should be adjusted to about the length of your arm from your fist to your armpit. When steering two-handed, make sure not to pull with your inside rein - it's a crutch that instructors teach beginner riders, but it is really not good - steer with your outside rein, almost like neck-reining.

Depending on how experienced your English friend is, maybe she could teach you for a while? I started out riding with one of my friends on one of her fat old Haflinger ponies, and it was super fun. :)
 

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Agreed with the trainer idea. But since you haven't decided yet and just want to see if you'll like it, I would say ride in your friends saddle.At a walk. Make sure it fits your horse well. If not, try it on her horse or a horse it does fit on.
 
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