Okay. So a weird thing happened to me; I got an internship at a Western-style riding facility. Great news, right?! Right. Well, I ride Hunter/Jumpers...and I'm still fairly new to that (been riding for 2.5 years).
The entire Western concept is SO foreign to me. Riding should just be riding, no? Well, when I first begin taking Hunter/Jumper lessons, I bought books upon books to familiarize myself with everything: tack, the process of tacking up, handling, riding, terminology, etc. It worked wonders. It made me feel 5 steps ahead of the game. When I hop on a horse at this barn? It's like I don't know left from right. I'm not used to the loose-rein feel, having my legs just kind of there...and I'm HORRIBLE at it. So I figured that I'd get myself a few steps ahead again and would start reading up on the basics. I want to make the most of my internship and want to be a good intern there so I'm not wasting anyone's time - so I need to get the fundamentals down.
So - for the Western folk, what books/websites/videos are good "instruction manuals"? I want to learn EVERYTHING. What tack goes with what, proper tacking instruction, beginning riding steps, etc. Everything and anything helps.
Thanks in advance!
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I know how rough of a change that can be, I was a hunter jumper rider before I switched to western. I never read any books on it as I had someone teach me, but as far as riding goes you will notice that the way the rider positions themselves is different. Their legs sit farther in front of them and the stirrup is longer. You have to learn to round your lower back as well. They basically have a more relaxed/slightly backward posture when compared to a forward riding english rider. You will also notice the horses you ride are trained differently, and that is why having the correct balance and posture in the saddle is important. Some western horses neck rein and require you to ride one handed, although most horses who neck rein can also be ridden two handed. And some horses hardly require you to touch the reins at all, generally speaking western riders/horses use more leg aid which is why they ride with a looser rein. Perhaps you can take a few wetsern riding lessons to get the basics down. Don't worry so much, you will get it down in no time. You are already a fairly experienced rider it sounds like so it shouldn't be too hard to adapt.