Items

Forums
English or Western Riding
 By Winniefield Park   •   11th Jan 2018   •   1,285 views   •   0 comments


A commonly asked question when people first decide to learn to ride is ‘should I ride English or western’. I’ve covered the differences between the two in The Difference Between Western and English Riding Styles. But how do you decide? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself that may help you make a decision.

What Kind of Horses Do You Like?

If you admire leggy Thoroughbreds, draft horse crosses, Friesians, Andalusians or other tall elegant breeds, you may also be attracted to how they are used and ridden. These horses are most often ridden English, although there is always an exception to the rule.

You might prefer more muscular, compact horses like American Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and Paints. These horses are often seen ridden western, and if their way of moving and the impression they give appeals to you, you will probably enjoy riding western. Most horses can do both at the lower levels of competition. Competition may not even be on your radar. But considering what type of horses appeals to you can help you decide the direction -
English or western - you’d like to head.

Do You Like To Be Dressed Casually, or More Formally?

Although it’s up to you what you wear when you ride at home, English riders tend to be more formally dressed when competing. Even at home or on the trail, most English riders don riding tights, tall boots or half chaps and jodhpur or paddock boots. While the traditional English helmet is almost emblematic of that style or riding, you’ll see more western riders wisely wearing similar helmets. If you like comfortable jeans or trousers, western style boots, and a button-down shirt, you’ll probably find western riding more inline with your style.

Do You Like a More Forward Moving Horse or One That is Slower and Relaxed?

English riders tend to encourage their horses to be more forward moving, with ground covering trots and purposeful walks. Western riders encourage their horse to travel in a way that reflects the pace of working cattle, which is more slow and steady with a relaxed walk and slow, comfortable jog, rather than a trot that requires you to post. Even at the canter or lope, western horses are encouraged to be more laid-back than English horses.

Are You More Attracted To the Riding Seen in the Olympics or in Rodeo and Speed Events?

Some people are attracted to the western cow-hand type of lifestyle. If you gravitate towards rodeos, speed events like pole bending and barrel racing, or love the relaxed attitude of horses in western pleasure classes, then western riding is probably for you. However, if the control and elegance of high-level dressage, the thrill of show jumping or the excitement of cross-country jumping appeals to you, then sign up for English riding lessons first.

Do You Want to Learn to Jump?

If jumping really appeals to you, English is a natural choice. Jumping in a western saddle is possible, but that saddle horn gets in the way.

What If The Answer To All of These Questions is Neither?

You don’t have to pick a ‘discipline’. There are lots of things you can do on horseback that have nothing to do with English or western styles, and you can become a good rider nonetheless. There are many trail riding saddles that are a hybrid of different riding styles but emphasize comfort and safety for horse and rider. Sports like vaulting and polo don’t require you to choose a riding style. The basics for all riding disciplines are the same. If you feel you really must choose between English or western, and still can’t pin down your choice, take a few lessons in both. You might find that little English saddle is just too insecure feeling or the daisy cutter paces of a western jog too slow for your liking. You’ll quickly decide what’s for you once you’re on the back of a horse.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 More News by Winniefield Park
RavenSide Stud TBS Home of Multiple Top Ranked Horses
5th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
RSS Break Even and RSS Identity Thief are both top ranked horses belonging to the same stables. RavenSide Stud TBS was established in 2017 and is ranked at 113 with 49,459,023 PB in earnings. Currently, there are three stallions s ...
Horse Dismounts Police in Protest Turned Ugly
4th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
During a peaceful protest that turned ugly in London, UK a police horse bolted after being pelted with debris by violent demonstrators. Flares, bottles and sticks flew as the crowd was pushed back by mounted police officers. One o ...
Horse That Survived Kentucky Horse Shooting Foals Healthy Pinto
3rd Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
You might remember a story from early last winter about twenty horses in Eastern Kentucky that were shot and killed. The few survivors were taken to Kentucky Humane Society’s Willow Hope Farm to regain their health and eventually ...
Stop Petting Wild Horses
29th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Beach-goers to the Outer Banks are being asked to stay clear of the wild horses that live there after a photo of a woman appearing to pat a wild horse has surfaced. This is not an isolated incident as tourists visit the well known ...
Funny Horse Fruit Taste Test
28th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Some horses eat anything and will eat everything from anchovies to zucchini. And some are extremely picky and act like you’ve poisoned them if you put anything but hay and grain in front of their noses. Have you ever tried a taste ...
Jim Gaffigan Horse Comedy
27th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Jim Gaffigan pokes fun at the Triple Crown, from the costumes and pageantry, to owners, jockeys and trainers. He then takes a humorous trek through the horse world, exploring horse breeds, horse people, horseshoes, riding and the ...
Top Five PonyBox Horses for First Half of 2020
22nd Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
We are halfway through 2020 and so far it’s been quite a year. IRL, there has been a lot going on. But on Ponybox, records continue to be broken and new horses are vying for the top rank and highest jumps. Horses tend to go throug ...
Horse Rescue Races to Save Ponies For Auction Due to COVID-19
21st Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Covid-19 is taking its toll on so many businesses and individuals. One rescue stable in British Columbia, Canada, fears that they are running out of time to save 30 horses and ponies, many of which could be sent to slaughter. The ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
204 Members Online 267,324 Registered Members 2,735 News Articles 11,618,547 Unique News Article Views 276,441,960 Website Views