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English to Western Riding?

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  • English to Western Riding?

    How easy is it to pick up on western riding when you are fairly competent in english riding?

    I really want to work at a guest ranch this summer, and I am totally up to all of the work, but I think the main problem would be transitioning from english to western riding. I've ridden in a western saddle on trails, and never felt completely lost...

    Do you think only having ridden english would prevent me from getting hired?

    TIA!

  • #2
    I started Western as a kid but switched to English fairly early. I think the hardest thing when I try to go back is to sit back on my pockets, as it were. Trying to do a foward seat in a Western saddle just does not work. But overall, besides that "curse you, muscle memory" aspect, it really shouldn't trip you up.

    As to whether or not they'll care, that's up to the ranch.
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    • #3
      Much the same here as well, western almost exclusively thru high school, then English almost exclusively 1970 to oh, early 21st century. Currently a teensy bit more western than English. But yeah, tendency to 'sit English' instead of back on pockets though I get over it on several hour to all day rides.

      I wouldn't think, unless you are expected to instruct (or rope and brand), it would bother prospective employers. Only one way to find out though!

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      • #4
        I think for casual ranch type riding you will be fine...it is hardest to switch to the showring, as you go from always having contact to having virtually none....that is what I found hard...

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        • #5
          Good point- if you are used to riding only 'on contact' it can be a real adjustment to learn the buttons- 'off contact' is the norm for western and if you try 'on contact' you will get much puzzlement (and usually jigging) from the horse.

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          • #6
            Should be fine. We used to have both in training regularly when I was growing up and switching back and forth was not a big deal.

            Drop your stirrups and sit deep in the saddle. After a little bit, it will feel very natural (I think english to western is easier than western to english for most people). It's likely the horses will be used to going on less contact as well, but that's pretty easy to get used to on a reasonably well trained western horse.

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            • #7
              I'd think that what would catch a ranch owner's eye is not that you rode English or Western but that you've done a lot of trail riding and work outside the arena, ridden horses in all states of training, been able to work hard around the barn and care for a wide range of horse and tack issues, and treat the guests diplomatically no matter how idiotic they act.
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              • #8
                As a long time Western Rider (who must have an English seat cause I honestly can not say I sit on my pockets) ... anyway, when I am asked about starting a new rider in a lesson program I always tell them English first.

                With that said I would believe if you can ride, the Ranch will see that. Good Luck!!!
                "Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter, it gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark"

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