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Horseback Riding/Transtion From Western to English?

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Gina
Gina  
Hello!
I have been riding western for 8 years now, and I believe I've learned all i can from my instructor about western. I am planning to go to a new stable to learn to ride English and hopefully start on some jumping and maybe cross country. I was wondering how hard and much of a change this will be for me, and what to expect on learning English, and also if you had any tips for me.
I already know how to post ( both bareback and in a Western saddle) and i can do anything up to cantering without stirrups ( the place i used to take lessons in, was hilly and didn't have a big enough arena for me to do anything beyond this, which is one of the reasons I'm leaving that place behind.)

Thanks for your help :)

Answer
Hello Paige,

...........and good for you to espane on your theory and knowledge. I have ridden western, hunt seat and dressage for many years.

One of the main differences is contact. In a trained western horse (I train the young horses on contact to help them, mainly with a with a Bitless Bridle). Western horses are ridden uaually on a softly loose rein, neck rein, and often trained horses are ridden with a curb it.

Riding English you will ride on contact...that is, your hand follows the movement of the horse's head and neck and you support that and help the horse become more balanced and supple.
In hunt seat, your stirrups will be a bit shorter than in western, but not much shorter until you start work over ground poles and low jumps.

When you are schooling on the flat and especially dressage, your stirrups will be close to your western length. You will allow your horse to be a bit more forward, and to travel willingly into your ocntact. Whether you are riding western or english beware of an instructor that has you use a severe bit..( a french link lozenge eggbutt snaffle is a good choice) or has you use draw reins or running martinglaes or spurs. Write me again, ran out of room.....   Mitzi

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Mitzi Summers

Expertise

I am currectly registered in the HORSE TRAINING category. I feel that I would also be helpful in this category as horseback riding is also my field of expertise. I can answer any questions abou trider postion, correct use of aids, specific problems, physical and mental (fear) that rider may encounter, and suitablility of horse to rider.

Experience

I have been teaching riding for over 35 years. I have taught all over the States, plus Europe, new Zealand, and south Africa. I specialize in teaching each horse/rider pair as an INDIVIDUAL case, not generalizing in any area. I encourage non-abusive techniques, and can help with almost all disciplines- Dressage, Stock Seat, Hunter, Jumper, Trail and Pleasure horses. I also have certified over 250 Instructors for the Certified Horsemanship Association and Centered Riding.Rode with the Royal Lipizzan Stallion Tour.

Organizations
Centered Riding, Inc. Certified Horsemanship Association New York State Horse Council Humane Society Greenpeace Barneveld Horsemans Association New York 4-H

Publications
WESTERN HORSEMAN PEGASUS EXPRESS, Alabama YANKEE PEDDLER, HORSE BITS HOOF BEATS CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE N.Y.HORSE online BITLESS BRIDLE (Dr. Cook) on line CENTERED RIDING on line CERTIFIED HORSEMANSHIP ASSOCIATION

Education/Credentials
Degree from Michigan State British Horse Society A.I Certificate from Northern Equitation Centre. Level IV Centered Riding Clinican (one of 20 in the world) Clinician and Master Instructor for the Certified Horsemanship Associaiton American Judging Association Judge (finished top 1/3 in judging Hunt seat, Stock seat, and Saddle seat).

Awards and Honors
2010 Certified Horsemanship Assocation Instructor of the Year Trained and rode the Northeast Regional Morgan Horse Reserve Champion and Champion Sport Horse (qualifying for Oklahoma Finals) Trained and rode the Northeast Pinto-Paint Stallion Champion, qualifying for the Finals. Awarded the Toastmaster Champion for Regional Competition Several awards form N.Y. 4-H volunteering as Hunt Seat Chairperson for 3 years, plus giving numerous clinics.

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