English vs. western

MuffinMaker

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I know many more people ride english opposed to western.( I ride english) What are your reasoning of not trying western?
Would you ever?
Do think there are negative aspects to it?
Positive?
 

elise

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I take english (dressage and jumping) lessons but I ride western on my own horses most of the time. I think a big reason I don't ride more western is that it seems more difficult to find lessons in western riding than it is english. Other than holding the reins a bit different, I think if you learn a proper seat, be it english or western, you'd be just as good off at the other discipline.
 

kedwards

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When I started lessons (as an adult), I started hunt seat, primarily because I wanted to jump. Prior to that, I'd ridden primarily in Western tack. In fact, I even have occasionally since then, including trying my hand at team penning (albeit, while on vacation).

I have no negative views of Western. I don't think I'd ever enjoy riding Western Pleasure (waaaaayyyy toooooooo slooooooow) but reining, cutting, and barrels would all be great fun.
 

CD2387

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My riding instructor starts everyone out western and me and my friend (both of us asked her to teach us english) are her only students who ride english. I do agree that western is pretty slow (english is way better). I've found that western horses (in my experience anyway) are much lighter on the bit then english horses. I ride mostly western pleasure horses who are also trained in english.
 

Miriam

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When I was introduced to western for the first time I really loved it. The horses I was introduced to were wonderful. Thanks to Katie 85. I much prefer western to english but my western saddle is causing me problems. However Peter seems to like that saddle more than the english one :D
 

Roseanne

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English vs Wester

I love Western-horses seem to find it a "kinder" way to ride as the emphasis is on seat and a very much lighter contact on reins than English. Also, most horses adapt very quickly to Western as they already have a good understanding of the aids and both of my horses responded immediately to the transfer.

The only problem I have is that Western saddles are so heavy, and I don't like synthetic saddles. I'm just about to try three treeless saddles however, one being a Bob Marshall, which is similar to a traditional Western, and a Dartmoor, which apparently you can also buy in Western style. The Heather Moffet I'm not too sure about, as it felt a bit "odd", the tree being in the cantle.

Roseanne
 

Shadowlark

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Dec 31, 2005
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I am a total convert.. I used to event now I rein and barrel race! I actually find the "games" a lot more fun without the need to kill myself going over fences. Penning Cattle is a blast!
When was the last time that you went to a dressage test and people were whooping and cheering during a great run?
Western style riding is no less demanding and the sticklers are out there. I do find western pleasure akin to watching paint dry. Although at least everyone is dressed to impress rather then to conform it makes it a little more interesting :)
 

Shadowlark

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Roseanne said:
I

The only problem I have is that Western saddles are so heavy, and I don't like synthetic saddles. I'm just about to try three treeless saddles however, one being a Bob Marshall, which is similar to a traditional Western, and a Dartmoor, which apparently you can also buy in Western style. The Heather Moffet I'm not too sure about, as it felt a bit "odd", the tree being in the cantle.

Roseanne
My saddle is actually very light! well comparaed to a lot of western rigs. It has a rawhide tree and I can swing it up without any issues I would say at max it's 20lbs It is a ladies barrel saddle.. Roping saddles make me cringe.. even jsut to get them on a 15 hand horse can be deadly!
 

horseygal90

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It's incredibly hard to find a western instructor round here, and even then they're really expensive. I'd love to have a go when I'm older though.
 

Skib

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I had a Western lesson in the UK (yes it is a problem finding a good teacher here) and then trail rode Western in the States. I really liked Western. It teaches you to sit soft and easy on the horse, so I dont think good Western riding is all that different from good English.
The main disadvantage for an older person is that in Western you are sitting all the time. In English with rising (posting) trot and forward seat in canter, the end of your spine gets some respite.
But I've read that the Western saddle is safer? And Dorrance was still riding at 90. So when I am too old to ride English, I plan to ride Western into the sunset.
 

Lindsey_S

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Nov 7, 2005
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When I started riding lessons 9 years ago, I learned English. My instructor has a policy that everyone (barring any physical limitations) must learn both. I rode western for 6 months and then was introduced to English....and fell in love with it. Now I show only English and jumping, but I do saddle my horse up Western two or three time a week for a few different reasons.
1- He's going to be full of it. (I have much more leather ito sit in)
2- I do western exercises and find that I can sit more deeply in that saddle.
3- The Western saddle spreads the pressure more evenly across his back than the English one.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that both have their benefits!:)
 

LMS

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I started out western when I was about 10yrs old & started english (mainly dressage) when I was 16yrs old.
I found that with english, one had to work a bit harder on the balance (there's so little leather between rider & horse). Therefore it has helped me tremendously for both disciplines.

At the time, in my area, I found that western riders were not as gentle with their horses as Roseanne describes. So finding an instructor, let alone a competant one was difficult.
Even though the english riders in my area were very "hoity toity" (erm... full of themselves), I eventually found a good english instructor who cared more about the wellfare of horse/rider & promoting the sport, than the type of tack/riding attire. That's when I was seduced to dressage.

I sold most of my western gear (2 best saddles) after I was married in order to purchase Heidi, my Appy (approx. 7 yrs ago).

Both styles (E & W) are great, the basics are basically the same and it's all for the love of the horse & sport.

Roseanne: the heavier saddles most probably have a wood tree whilst the lighter ones (not synthetic) have a fiberglass tree (100% or wood covered with fiberglass).
 

Rob26

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I'd like to learn both in the end... I think it's good to develop all round riding skills in both styles. It just makes for a more complete rider I would think.

From a man's point of view, I think western 'looks' more masculine.
 

Cochise

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I've dabbled in both on my horse. But not very much! I ride every day in an English saddle, but every once in a while I get up around the hill country on friends horses in a western saddle. This is me on my horse the other weekend winning our very first western class.

But he's also a lovely English horse...

We're definitely only pleasure types in the western ring, no way we could do the reining or trail!
 

LMS

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Rob26 said:
I'd like to learn both in the end... I think it's good to develop all round riding skills in both styles. It just makes for a more complete rider I would think.

From a man's point of view, I think western 'looks' more masculine.
True
 

LouHarvey

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I've only ridden western once - in the Rockies in Canada - but I must say it was pretty sweet..

It's veryveryvery hard to find any instructors/fellow western riders/western equipment in the UK, especially in Hampshire.. Most of us are far too stuck up to ride like cowboys! (just kidding!) :D :p
 

Shadowlark

Tripp and Olly
Dec 31, 2005
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Sitting all the time? Oh dear lord no.. we would die! We sit at a Jog but rise like the rest at a trot. Easier on us.. easier on the horse. You may hear people poo poo it.. but watch em ride and you might get a different picture of things ;) Western Pleasure of course is a different matter.. but those horses should be jogging. We sit foward in a lope/gallop also better balance!
I would consider my western saddle safer.. it fits Splash and I both VERY well - So I go no where.. I can't imagine working cattle or barrel racing in an english saddle :)
 

Daffy Dilly

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Personally I've just never had the inclination. There are too many other things I want to try, and western has just never really appealed to me. Maybe its the weight of the saddles I've lifted at work, or the hassle I had cleaning them - too fancy. :rolleyes:

;)