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Discussion Starter #1
I have ridden Western for about 7 years now and I am officially switching to English! I am now at a barn where they ride Hunter/Jumper and I am very interested in learning some things from them :) Soo... I am currently looking for good (and cheap) paddock boots, half chaps, and eventually riding breeches. What are some good brands I should look into for any of them? Also, I am about a size 4 or so in pants, so what is that in breeches? Thanks in advance for any help, and if anyone has anything to tell me about the differences in riding styles I am open to any advice/warnings/things to expect!
 

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I'm not sure what a 4 would be in breeches, but I'm a 0-1 and I fit a 26, so if you can compare to that haha :)

I don't want to get flamed for anything I say, but english doesn't hold you in the saddle as well as western and if you're learning direct reining its going to be much more different! Some advice would be to turn your thumbs up, keep a nice bend in your elbow, and the obvious relax, heels down, toes in, look up!
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I've actually always switched between neck reining and direct reining so that is one thing I was prepared for haha. I guess I may be about a 28 or so in breeches then?
 

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I've actually always switched between neck reining and direct reining so that is one thing I was prepared for haha. I guess I may be about a 28 or so in breeches then?
I wear a size sm in kerrit and a 26 in tuffrider. sm in chaps we are about the same size so this may be helpful.

Brands: Breeches come in waist size or s,m,l if you have a 34 in waist do not follow dovers advise and buy 34 size breeches. please go to a local shop and have them size you properly. this goes for chaps as well. I also switch western to english in hunter/jumper. So i learned everything about the clothes the hard way.

products: start cheap then when you ride more you will learn about different clothes and then expand.

for breeches buy tuffrider. Tuff Rider™ Low-Rise Pull-On Riding Breeches < Knee Patch Breeches < Riding Apparel|Dover Saddlery.

I wear paddock lace-up boots and chaps. my chaps are dublin easy clean Dublin Easy-Care Half Chaps < Half Chaps < Riding Apparel|Dover Saddlery.

if you want any advise about transitioning I have been riding hunter for about a year not and still ride western when ever I can.
 

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Thanks so much! My BO has a pair of tall boots that fit me, but I think I would rather have the short boots and half chaps. Today I actually rode in tennis shoes and half chaps because I don't have boots yet.. Haha.

But I have a question - I never had this problem western, but I seem to be losing my stirrups at times during my rides. I try not to put too much weight in my stirrups and depend on them too much, but I also try to keep my heel down.. So what could I be doing wrong?
 

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Usually your sized in breeches is based off your waist measurement (and inseam if they have an option.)
I wear a 28 and I'm 5'7 and about 165lbs.
My favorite pair of breeches are from TuffRider, I've had them for awhile and they haven't shown any signs of wear. They're the ribbed ones and they're quite grippy.
I'm not much help as far as differences considering I've been in a western saddle only once or twice! But I wish you luck in your transition.
 

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To keep your feet in the stirrups you need to loosen your heel and not focus on shoving it down into the stirrup, or shoving your toes up. Contact with the stirrup and a flowing motion in your ankles will keep them put. Keep in mind though, you do still need to get those heels down, just don't brace on your stirrups. :)
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english stirrups are shorter so you need a deeper heel to keep your feet locked in. this is achieved by placing you palm in the stirrup closer to the toe. the length of the stirrup is about 2 inches shorter. your iron should bang against your ankle bone when you relax your legs and feet are lose.

second your stirrup is just a leather strap and not a thick lock in piece of leather. this means the stirrup is very lose and goes everywhere. something a western rider doesn't experience. to get your foot use to this new discipline turn your feet out so your toes are away from the horse. once you get use to the stirrup length and lower heel then turn in your foot and strengthen the ankle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay thanks for the advice guys! I wil definitely keep all that in mind next time I ride :)
 

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Hi, I ride both western and english, but started english, and it's still my main discipline. I also ride hunter/jumpers and have ridden them for about 4 years. You probably loose your stirrups mainly at the posting trot, right? That is because you use your stirrups to post, and it's an annoying habit, but can be fixed easily. One thing you can do about your stirrups is simply drop them. Yes, take your feet out and cross them over the saddle. Get a friend or trainer to put you on a lunge line and just do posting trot for about 5 minutes each direction, and build from there (example-7 minutes each way next time, then 10 minutes, then 13, and so on...) It will hurt like crazy for a while, but eventually you will be able post with ease without stirrups, which is sometimes required in some english classes at shows. After you go 5 minutes each way w/out stirrups, pick them up and continue posting. It should feel easier. The point is to teach you to not depend on stirrups. It will also help you keep a steady leg and independent seat, which are both GREAT things no matter what discipline. Other notes/tips: have light contact on both reins, so you can "feel" the horse's mouth. Most hunter/jumpers want contact, so they know what you are asking. Also, remember to always hold with your outside rein when bending, don't just "drop" it, or take the pressure off when turning, or else the horse's shoulder will "drop." Remember to sit up tall and breathe, and keep a slight bend in your elbows. You want everything to be in rhythm with the horse. And your two-point, or jumping position, don't ever stand in your stirrups while going over a jump, it is not the correct way, and so many people do it. You simple reach forward with your hands to give the horse his head and tip forward from your hips. Hope this helps! Good luck!
 

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I'm 5'5, 120 pounds and I wear a 4 in jeans, too.

In Tuffrider regular breeches the 24 fits me perfectly. In their winter breeches I wear a 26.
:)
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Sunny I am 5'6 and 115 pounds so we're about the same size! Thanks, I will be looking into getting some soon :)

All Shook Up, thanks so much! I actually had the trainer at the barn today (she's not my trainer but does H/J with middle school girls at the barn) watch me and she told me I had almost perfect posture :) so I will also be asking her for advice on that and asking if she can help me out.

I also just noticed today that on the saddle I got, the irons are slightly "off" where the leathers go through them, the inside is lower than the outside - if that makes any sense. So the difference in angle of the stirrups may be causing a little bit of my problems.
 

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Okay so my stirrups were the main problem! I finally got in new stirrup irons and leathers (so not more stretched out on the left side) and between that and using everyone's tips while riding, it has tremendously helped. Thanks guys!
 
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