View Full Version : Better to stick to one discipline, or to maximize riding time?
13th Jul 2002, 06:56 PM
My summer job is over an hour's drive from my house. I've been taking one lesson a week in the town where I work, and a weekend lesson at a stable near my home. The weekday stable insists all beginners start out western, but the stable near me only teaches english.
I'm kind of a nervous rider, so I figured the more riding time, the better. But now I'm starting to get confused. When I'm riding western, my reins feel too long and my stirrups too big. When I'm riding english, the saddle feels too small! Not to mention the confused reaction I get when I try to neck-rein the english horse!
What do y'all think? Is it better to stick with one discipline in the beginning (which would cut my riding time in half, since I don't get home early enough to ride during the week), or should I keep riding at both stables?
13th Jul 2002, 07:09 PM
I would definately say that it's easier to stick to one discipline in the beginning. LAter on you can do both, but to keep you from getting confused just choose one or the other. :)
13th Jul 2002, 08:23 PM
I would agree - stick to one - it's confusing enough just doing that!!! Could you not talk to the midweek stables because it sounds like they offer English?????
13th Jul 2002, 09:13 PM
its great to do BOTH but when starting out you should probably do just ONE because its easy to get confused. like taking french one year than switching to spanish. i had the hardest time! but after a little while i forgot all the french (finally). but when i was trying to keep doing french while doing spanish iwas getting confused with pernoucing words.... its the same with riding. when you get to neck reining english and trying to post and ride with short reins western....things get lost hehe
14th Jul 2002, 02:57 AM
I don't know, I switch back and forth all the time. I would say do both if you think you can handle it, the more riding time you get the better. You get used to it eventually, and it works in your favor. But if you find that you want to learn one and then the other, go right ahead, you can always switch later! :)
14th Jul 2002, 03:32 PM
It's tough enough trying to learn one discipline. I've been riding for years; my show-buddy and I ride *very* similarly; and it still takes me at least 20 minutes to get used to her horse when I hop on for a few. As a student, you're often riding different school horses with different needs. If you're also having to entirely change your discipline every time, you're going to end up crossing your communication lines with the horse such that NEITHER of you knows what's going on!
Is there another stable, either for weekday or weekend, that offers a discipline such that you can be consistent, at least for a bit? If not, I'd say you're better off riding at just one, even though your riding time will be cut.
14th Jul 2002, 04:54 PM
I think y'all are right. Especially galadriel's point about riding different horses adding to the confusion. I'd been riding the same horse at each barn, both older quarter horses, but yesterday the english school had me up on a 16 hh TB. He's a great guy, but adjusting to the suddenly decreased width of both horse and saddle made me feel just a tad insecure :) .
Qwerty - the weekday school may let me ride english. I'm considering now whether to ask about it, or just save up the money I'd spend on lessons there and use it for extra lessons at the stable I'll be sticking with. My summer job lasts only three more weeks, so I can make up the extra time before school starts.
While both are good, safe programs, there's a big difference in philosophy between the two as well. The weekday barn is more regimented. No petting of horses, please, even when they've done what you ask! (It messes up the rider's posture). At the weekend barn, praise is a requirement (which makes more sense to me). :)
14th Jul 2002, 05:47 PM
I think its better to stick to one. At first you could try out both western and english to see wich one you like better. Thats what I did, and then I decided that I liked western much better. So now I ride western, and I'm happy with my choice. :) After about 5 years of riding though, I'd like to maybe switch to english, just to give it a try. :)
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