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Thanks a lot; that was pretty helpful [Q & A 55]. I haven't decided between English or Western yet; actually I was going to ask what the major differences are between the two that might help with my decision. I'm not sure what I'll exactly pick up, barrels, jumping, etc. I really appreciate all this help one on one and on the website too, it's the most informational website on horses that I've found. It's been a big help. Great Idea with the online lesson too, if I can help, be sure to ask.

Thanks again, hope to hear from you again... Take care for now.... Once again I really appreciate all this help.

- J. F.


Basically, all riding is the same. It involve staying on the top side of a horse while using some form of communication to (hopefully) get it to do what you want it to do.

Pretty profound, eh?

From there on, it's a matter of personal taste.

I like teaching the basics with a Western saddle, because most beginning riders feel more secure with the larger and heavier Western gear. Also, Western style generally calls for a longer stirrup, allowing better contact with the horse. (But then I'm a cowboy, not a fox hunter!)

If you throw a party, do you like it to be a dress-up affair, or laid-back casual? If you like formal events, English may be your style. If you wouldn't be caught dead in anything but denim, you'd better stick to Western. Are you athletic or romantic? In English, that may influence your choice between hunter/jumper and dressage. In Western, between gaming or trail riding. If you really like gymnastics, you may decide to skip the saddle and bridle altogether and do vaulting.

For myself, I favor activities such as dressage, cutting and trail riding because they often allow you to continue as an active participant well into your senior years.

Don't limit your choices too early. Sample a little of each and evaluate how well you liked it. Even if you decide to go exclusively one way or another, you'll be a better rider because of your wider range of experince.

I'll be interested to see which way you decide to go.

Happy Riding!

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