About Western Riding
What is western riding?
Western Riding is no longer confined to the USA and is now popular worldwide. Developed by the cowboys, it was brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Unlike regular riding the traditional headgear is a Stetson hat. Riders sometimes also wear decorated leather cowboy boots.
What is the difference between western riding and classical riding?
Western riders use their weight and neck reining to influence the horse’s speed and direction. Western Riding is a more relaxed style than classical riding. You ride with long stirrups and usually hold the reins in one hand. By holding the reins in one hand western style riders have one hand free to be used for the rope when catching livestock.
In western riding, unlike classical riding you sit to the jog. If you are used to classical riding this takes quite a bit of practice and seems quite bumpy until you are used to it. The long reins and the western saddle make it easier and it will soon be found that that for longer treks remaining sitting is less tiring. The western saddle, developed from Spanish style saddles, is heavier than a classical saddle with a broader seat– designed to be comfortable over long distances.
Terminology in western riding is also different. The lope is a comfortable pace for riding long distances. It is like the canter in classical riding although usually slower. The trot is known as a jog.
Western Riding Experiences