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What is western?

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  • #21
    Yes, she's quite enlightened and a has a background with several disciplines (english and western) in it.

    And I was also being totally cheeky. Just couldn't resist.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
      Maybe this is part of my confusion. I ride in English britches with paddock boots. And without being dressage, I apply dressage principles to my riding. I would ride only dressage if I could stay on the freaking horse. And I mean that truly: when the horse freaks, I am in the dirt.

      I'm definitely a wannabe!
      Sounds to me like you're a "be" not a wannabe.
      Have you checked out any of the western dressage threads?

      You sound like you ride like I ride, and I definitely ride! I ride in a western saddle because the fenders and stirrups give me more support than English spaghetti-strap leathers and heavy irons. I ride in schooling tights and endurance or paddock boots because they are more comfortable for me than jeans and my western boots. I wear a helmet, which I wear also when I do ride in jeans and western boots. I ride in an English bridle because that is what the horses I have currently been riding wear, with snaffle bits because those are their bits.

      I try to ride more off my seat and legs than direct reining, so while that's not exactly neck-reining it's a similar principle.

      Actually right now I'm not riding at all since I've just moved and have no way to get to any of the local barns. Hope to get to ride again soon, and a lot.

      You are definitely a rider, OP .
      Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
      People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
      "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Wellspotted View Post
        You are definitely a rider, OP .
        So are you!

        Comment


        • #24
          Why do you want a label? You're riding your horse, that'll do

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          • #25
            Paula, Carhartt coveralls should fit over any boots! I wear mine over my Mukluks, (which are not safe riding apparel but they sure beat frozen toes). If the temps aren't too bad I wear my Western style suede chaps over the Mukluks, but they don't zip down all the way. That is truly a unique look! It's chaps/Carhartt coveralls, Mukluks, maybe a Carhartt jacket or maybe just many layers with a fleece on top, purple helmet, and mittens. And a scarf.

            I have a BM endurance saddle, but also occasionally use a beat up dressage saddle, but usually with a Western style bridle with a snaffle. I don't know what I am! I can't make up my mind!

            Ezduzit, have you tried an Aussie for trail riding? Those poleys help keep you in place during spooks.

            Comment


            • #26
              The other day I saddled up the mule with an Aussie saddle, western bridle, and happy mouth mullen mouth pelham bit (with 2 reins). I was wearing jeans and Ariat Terrains. I'm soooo confused!
              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
              that's even remotely true."

              Homer Simpson

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              • #27
                I think it's awesome there's all this middle ground.

                Paula
                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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                • #28
                  I guess I consider myself to be riding western if I am doing a sit trot/jog in western tack. I consider myself to be riding english if I am doing a posting trot and canter in english tack. My mare knows the difference between types of tack. She won't jog in english tack and she won't trot in western tack. Some days I will wear jeans and tall boots and ride western, some days I will wear jeans and cowgirl boots and ride english, though typically I wear breeches and tall boots to ride english because the leathers rub my calves raw otherwise. I wear either jeans and boots or breeches and tall boots when I am riding western, depending upon my mood.
                  Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                  The Blog

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                  • #29
                    I ride my Paso in my western saddle instead of my Paso show saddle - much comfier. He does neckrein but I usually direct rein. Curb bit (traditional for Pasos but he will go fine in his halter and two lead ropes, but I will NOT attempt this out on the trail!) I leave off everything on my bridle but the bit hanger unless I'm showing/preparing for a show - in which I ride my show saddle, kind of a cross between western and dressage sadadle (no horn). Ride in my jeans and paddock boots.

                    So what the heck am I? Not too concerned with it, I'm a total anomaly at my barn (english, show horses, everyone wears tall boots and breeches, mostly). BO calls my horse "our token Paso Fino."
                    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I feel so much better now! After reading what you all have written I feel like I'm not orbiting the outside of the riding solar system so much!

                      I ride in jeans almost all the time, with either paddock boots or my Ariats or my (actual) western boots...sometimes in an English saddle (no horn), sometimes in my western saddle (horn), often bareback (with or without pad)...with a simple snaffle or bitless, with looped reins or with split reins. I ride in the arena or out on the roads or on low level trails, depending on the mood and training in progress with whichever horse. And, yes, sometimes I use aides and sometimes cues!

                      I just think it's really fun to have ALL the options, not worry so much about breeches and tall boots (my background was totally English originally) OR worrying about "looking like a cowgirl" since I've never cut a cow in my life.

                      I think it's all about what you and your horse are comfy with and enjoy and being safe. NO matter what "type" of riding I am doing I DO wear a helmet, btw.

                      Anyway, to answer the general question of the OP, I'd say that the Western saddle with horn and some of the western type aides/cues may make you a Western rider overall. Except on the days you are English! LOL!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Just got some Saxon (pleather) tall boots for my birthday. I ride an OTTB in a western saddle, I post. I will be riding said horse in skinny jeans (my official breeches) and tall pleather boots, in my cheapy western saddle (which fits like a glove) Oh I wear a helmet too. Horse is 17hh. And I have a horn to hang onto when we do our forays into canter (Vrooom!!)

                        Luckily I board at a very small barn, trainer/owner is happy with the arrangement and so am I. And I have those "shaky, googly" eyes glued to the back of my helmet...

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Love the gooogly eyes on the helmet!!! I love all the people who just tack up and ride. And yes, I show western and I practice western but with a dressage head.

                          I am going to try *western* dressage simply because it will help my equitation to prepare for a pattern. And round and round gets so boring for both of us. We don't have anyplace to trail ride...busy roads, no fields that aren't fenced off from trespassers (not our fields)...and I still have some left-side weakness from the stroke so I can only ride forward. Quick spooks, spins, etc put me in the dirt. And I know that ahead of time so I just ride around the yard after schooling. With a hand on the horn, just in case!
                          Ride like you mean it.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Good for you! Keep riding ezduzit, it sounds like you are overcoming some physical battles and that's inspiring. And do please join us in the "darkside" of *gasp* western dressage!!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Oh, I will. Just can't bring myself to take it seriously. Maybe it will develop into something and maybe it will stay 'just a pattern class'... IMHO!
                              Ride like you mean it.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
                                Maybe this is part of my confusion. I ride in English britches with paddock boots. And without being dressage, I apply dressage principles to my riding. I would ride only dressage if I could stay on the freaking horse. And I mean that truly: when the horse freaks, I am in the dirt.

                                I'm definitely a wannabe!
                                Cracked me up! I do the same thing LOL. But in all seriousness, the important part is that you RIDE. Who cares what else you call it?
                                Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
                                Anonymous Bedouin legend

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by sorrelfilly721 View Post
                                  Cracked me up! I do the same thing LOL. But in all seriousness, the important part is that you RIDE. Who cares what else you call it?
                                  Perfect post! I think Western is a state of mind. I have a half Arabian/Saddlebred English Pleasure show mare. For schooling I ride her in a snaffle bridle and Western saddle. She has a BIG motor and I need a little extra for my confidence. However, I post her trot and ride as if I were in an English saddle. I've had many people at the stable I boarded why I was riding her Western if she's an English mare? I'd just reply that I wasn't riding Western, just using a Western saddle. I'm sure they all thought I was a little crazy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by DesignerLabel View Post
                                    Perfect post! I think Western is a state of mind. I have a half Arabian/Saddlebred English Pleasure show mare. For schooling I ride her in a snaffle bridle and Western saddle. She has a BIG motor and I need a little extra for my confidence. However, I post her trot and ride as if I were in an English saddle. I've had many people at the stable I boarded why I was riding her Western if she's an English mare? I'd just reply that I wasn't riding Western, just using a Western saddle. I'm sure they all thought I was a little crazy.
                                    That's like the lady that told a COTHer who showed up in breeches and boots that the horse didn't go English.

                                    It's not so much the saddle or the clothes, It's the seat, the reining style and basically what you like to do. I can't recommend a Western saddle for jumping anything big, or an English saddle for anything needing a dally thrown all because of the horn, but I've jumped Western and dragged tires English, and trail ridden in hours in both.
                                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                    Incredible Invisible

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                                    • #38
                                      I really dont DO labels. I ride in riding tights and paddock boots. Use a treeless saddle. Depending on my mood, lately I have been riding in just a basic snaffle, but at times, use a western bit.

                                      I trail ride, love playing w/cows, do a few Endurance rides a year, and get extremely bored riding around in circles in an arena.

                                      So, the tack and clothing would put me in the hybrid section.

                                      If we are talking "state of mind", then I am definately WESTERN.

                                      I guess I dont see why you said it was "kind of demoralizing". I ride for fun and dont really care what other people think if they are trying to put a label on me.

                                      Perhaps that is what they mean about western being a state of mind. Western people that I know seem to be pretty laid back. They RIDE, trail ride, actually do stuff w/their horses instead of staying in an arena most of the time. Their horses are happy, relaxed and well behaved.

                                      Not all, but many English people seem to want to impress other people. Meanwhile, most stay inside the arena, do not ride very long or very often, they like to "hang out" at the barn, their horses tend to be spoiled, cranky, and pushy.

                                      This is a total generalization, so for that I do say I am sorry, but has been my experience.
                                      Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Shermy View Post
                                        I really dont DO labels. I ride in riding tights and paddock boots. Use a treeless saddle. Depending on my mood, lately I have been riding in just a basic snaffle, but at times, use a western bit.

                                        I trail ride, love playing w/cows, do a few Endurance rides a year, and get extremely bored riding around in circles in an arena.

                                        So, the tack and clothing would put me in the hybrid section.

                                        If we are talking "state of mind", then I am definately WESTERN.

                                        I guess I dont see why you said it was "kind of demoralizing". I ride for fun and dont really care what other people think if they are trying to put a label on me.

                                        Perhaps that is what they mean about western being a state of mind. Western people that I know seem to be pretty laid back. They RIDE, trail ride, actually do stuff w/their horses instead of staying in an arena most of the time. Their horses are happy, relaxed and well behaved.

                                        Not all, but many English people seem to want to impress other people. Meanwhile, most stay inside the arena, do not ride very long or very often, they like to "hang out" at the barn, their horses tend to be spoiled, cranky, and pushy.

                                        This is a total generalization, so for that I do say I am sorry, but has been my experience.
                                        I have to agree. One of my part time jobs has me visiting different barns of differing riding styles. The western crowd has been easier going and friendly compared to the english/dressage crowd. I've walked through several 'english' barns where I swear to you, I could have robbed the place blind because no one would lower themself to make eye contact with me. I actually ended up auditing an expensive dressage clinic for FREE because I literally could NOT get anyone to make eye contact with me or speak to me! How was I supposed to know who to give the money to?! I figured, Hell, if they are going to be like that? So, I pulled up a chair RIGHT NEXT TO the clinician and sat and watched the whole damn thing. And no one ever spoke to me. It was like being invisable. I don't dress like crap either and I drive a car that is considered a 'luxury' vehicle. I dunno..Maybe they could just SMELL the 'western' on me? )

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