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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Strange, according to how I was trained to ride as a youth in 4-H. I was taught to hold both reins in my left hand, my right hand on my thigh. We were to sit in a relaxed but straight position, allowing the hips to rock gently in unison with the horse's movements.
I returned to riding in recent years and then moved to Arizona where one would assume cowgirls reign! However, people are riding straight, stiff, reins held separately and low and it looks like English-style riding to me. And I personally think it looks pretentious and funny....but please correct my amateurish opinions if I'm wrong.
 

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I'm thinking you just ran into an unusual bunch as I have several ranching friends who ride in a functional manner.

BTW, English riding doesn't promote what you describe either. Other that most often direct reining, it too, has riders moving with the horses and all that.
 

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Leesey, I see a lot of what you see. And I was taught how you were taught.

What's more, I was just talking to a fellow horse buddy recently about how all of the 'cowboys' down here ride with their reins so tight their horses heads are always jacked up super high. Their heels are down so far it pushes them out of the saddle to compensate their horses jigging - because their heads are jerking all over the place!

Not sure who is teaching these people to ride.
 

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I'm thinking you just ran into an unusual bunch as I have several ranching friends in Arizonawho ride in a functional manner.

BTW, English riding doesn't promote what you describe either. Other that most often direct reining, it too, has riders moving with the horses and all that.
I left out a teeny detail.
 

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There are a great variety of riding styles used by riders using both "Western" and "English" saddles. These styles vary among those showing in various disciplines. Riding styles may vary even more among riders who do not show. Sometimes, these styles seem to vary in different regions of the country. However, even within the same region you will find variations.
 

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Actually, what you describe sounds to me an awful lot like how a lot of WP horses are "trained". Those riders are generally really braced against the stirrups and have their arms stick/straight with their hands down close to their knees, similar to this
 

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Haven't seen this except for as smrobs said, in WP horses in a snaffle. Can't say its my cup of tea, which is why I don't touch most the wp barns around here with a ten foot pole

I'm in AZ too
 

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Not sure who is teaching these people to ride.
Random people on the internet, because people don't see the value in actually paying to learn anymore. A couple of hours on YouTube, and join a forum or two, and you are good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I see what you're saying, Boots. No one should be stiff, right? TX, so there aren't universal guidelines that determine those styles? Smrobs, the guy in the video is really leaning back, isn't he?
Maybe I need to start watching YouTube videos, ya'll! ;-)
I have a short video clip of a trainer on my horse, trying to gauge what her strengths and weaknesses are. Also a picture of her with a previous owner; both are good examples of what I'm talking about. It might be helpful to put them on here but I don't know how...plus I can't show their faces on a public forum--very bad form!
I don't want to be critical and when I re-read my original post I sound smug. I really just want to learn, and my experience is very limited, so thanks to you all for your help.
So, what about posting? I never learned that either and it feels very foreign to me, but I see the people on the ranch where I have my horse being taught to post. I'm sure it must be more comfortable for the horse to not have my big 'ol rear bouncing on her back! But again, I always associated it with English riding.
 

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Posting & Western: there was a thread here a few years back asking which western riders posted. From the results, it seemed very regional - in some places, most folks were shocked at the idea, while in others everyone posted western.

FWIW, my first lessons were from an old cowboy in Utah, and he taught posting...said the trot was the horse's most useful gait because it got you where you needed going with a horse who was still ready to work, and posting would save its back some wear & tear. I didn't ride much for 30 years after that. When I took some lessons here, posting was just not done. I also find some western saddles make it hard to do well, and others are no problem.

The lady who gave my daughter lessons came from a barrel racing background, and she taught posting.

I started English and wandered west, so I feel free to use two-point in my western saddle...:shock: :p
 

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I have seen a lot of the two handed riding, not sitting as stiff, Posting western done a lot here, especially in cattle work, not so much for trails, the hands are used n conjuction with leg cues.
The you tube clip, well it just goes to show what any one can post , and what some people call training. The one handed rein held like an ice cream cone, with the hand on the thigh was how it used to be for the western pleasure classes. I have not been to a horse show in years.
 

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So, what about posting? I never learned that either and it feels very foreign to me, but I see the people on the ranch where I have my horse being taught to post. I'm sure it must be more comfortable for the horse to not have my big 'ol rear bouncing on her back! But again, I always associated it with English riding.
The first book I ever read on horsemanship was "Training For Western Horse and Rider" written by J'Wayne "Mac" McArthur who taught Wester Horsemanship at Utah State University and first published in 1976. He wrote that he didn't understand why posting was not allowed in Western showing since cowboys did it all the time. McArthur described posting as a "rocking on the crotch" which is probably a better way of doing it than the deep knee bends one often sees.

Done properly, posting can be easier on a horse's back -- especially young horses -- and easier for the rider. Done poorly, it can be worse.

When posting, the rider should allow the horse to propel his seat out of the saddle rather than attempting to stand in the stirrups or, even worse, pull himself out of the saddle with the reins. If the horse isn't trotting with enough energy to do this, the rider should either sit or ask for more impulsion. While posting, the rider may consciously pull his hips forward to stay with the forward motion of the horse. Emphasizing the movement while rising or inhibitting this same motion can influence how the horse trots.

While it is good for a rider to know how to do a rising trot, rider's should also learn to sit well while trotting. If a rider sits well while trotting, he has greater contact with the horse and, subsequently, greater influence on the horse's movements. To sit a trot well, the rider must be balanced and relaxed. Any unnecessary tension in the rider will cause bouncing which adversely effects both horse and rider.
 

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Lol, Gibbs has a great western jog that I can sit to comfortably, now I have actually got him trotting with more impulsion he is much harder to sit!
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh vair oh, I doubt that! I'm apparently the goof, bouncing around like popping corn!
TX, thanks for the good information. I can't do the standing post anyhow--2 knee replacements recently--but that's what I'm seeing so I thought I needed to do it too. Would need to join a gym and work out my legs! I would love to see the rocking crotch thing. Any way you can post a video of yourself doing a proper post? ;-)
 
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