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"Cross-training" english & western

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  • "Cross-training" english & western

    I have coached and shown in reining and western pleasure most of my life; my step-daughter has had formal English lessons for nearly 6 years now. My 16 yr. old AQHA gelding has done mostly western pleasure and reining with me; he dabbled in English years ago with someone who leased him- under my guidance- and we likely just skimmed the surface. My step-daughter has recently shown interest in showing locally and in 4-H; my gelding is the perfect temperament and versatility to attempt both western and English pleasure, perhaps with some trail and horsemanship on the side. Her and I train ~4 times a week.

    Are there any suggestions on how to structure this type of "cross-training," for both horse and rider? {for example: do we train English one day and Western the next? Do we break EACH session up half English/half Western? English one week, Western the next? Etc.} I don't want to overwhelm, sour, or confuse either one of them.

    Thank you in advance for sincere ideas.

  • #2
    Generally at home I would do one discipline per day, use that tack and focus on being correct within that discipline - but if at shows you cross disciplines within the same day then I would occasionally do that in training too.
    http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      Agree with Training Cupid --as much as humanly possible, ride "English" with the English tack and in your English clothes (boots and spurs, at least). Ride Western in your Western tack --they pick it up quickly. Two years ago I bought a cutting sorting horse at an auction --then took him foxhunting. Over the last two years, we have worked in both English and Western. Will totally gets it. He's a top-notch western horse with all the expected responses when ridden western in a loose rein --but put him in the English tack and he's on-the-bit ready to jump fences. He never gets confused --well except that time a hound ran in front of him looking like a calf and Will planted his hind end and left 11s in the dirt. He was clearly disappointed when we didn't pursue it . . .

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      • #4
        The horse will be better for it and also the rider. All of my horses ride both English and Western. Different bits, saddles and way of riding, they know the difference.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by erins44256 View Post
          I have coached and shown in reining and western pleasure most of my life; my step-daughter has had formal English lessons for nearly 6 years now. My 16 yr. old AQHA gelding has done mostly western pleasure and reining with me; he dabbled in English years ago with someone who leased him- under my guidance- and we likely just skimmed the surface. My step-daughter has recently shown interest in showing locally and in 4-H; my gelding is the perfect temperament and versatility to attempt both western and English pleasure, perhaps with some trail and horsemanship on the side. Her and I train ~4 times a week.

          Are there any suggestions on how to structure this type of "cross-training," for both horse and rider? {for example: do we train English one day and Western the next? Do we break EACH session up half English/half Western? English one week, Western the next? Etc.} I don't want to overwhelm, sour, or confuse either one of them.

          Thank you in advance for sincere ideas.
          Sunday I went to a small local fun show. Started with an open jumping class, which was the first time Shotgun jumped a full course (and he did great). Then we did open English pleasure (and WON, I may add ). Then ran back to the trailer to take off my saddle, change my clothes, and head back in the ring for Western Showmanship. I decided to use Red for Western Pleasure and Horsemanship. Then used Shotgun for the trail class. Used Red for reining b/c he's better about his flying changes right now. Then ran barrels and poles on Shotgun.

          All that within about 6 hours. I could have used Shotgun for everything the entire day and he would have been fine, but that does get to be a long day for one horse. But he knows what is expected of him for each event based on my tack and my cues. No problem.

          In general, I will work on one particular discipline on a particular ride on a particular day. Again, using the appropriate tack that corresponds to what we are doing. Horses are smart and they know the difference! I wouldn't worry about it, and cross train away!!
          It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

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