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Discuss Western Riding position Q at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums.

I am not experienced with western riding at all. Other than the tack, and trail ...
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    Smile Western Riding position Q

    I am not experienced with western riding at all. Other than the tack, and trail rides

    I notice in a lot of photos of people riding in western tack that their leg position looks so different than the way I am used to.

    The leg looks more forward and off the horse. Is it the style to ride that way? Is it the way the fenders are attatched to the saddle?

    Just wondering

    Here is an example I found on the net (sorry guy in the photo, no offense meant! )

    Western Pleasure Rider on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    ♥ Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away. We have roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

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    The western position should be very similar to the dressage position. Nice relaxed long leg, very open hip angle. Not feet pushed down braced in the stirrups. Unfortunately, a lot of western saddles do lend themselves to the wrong position.

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    Let's see if I can find some pictures:

    Niece practicing. Her heels need to be dropped a bit, but she is pushing Bailey forward and has lifted a bit to connect since she is not wearing spurs. Bad Kendra, LOL.


    Em sitting a nice walk. Legs are good and hips are open to encourage forward movement with an "engaged" western walk.


    Katie is pretty good, but her heels are lifted a bit to much since Wamp was wanting to slow his fast circle and she was putting a little more calf on him instead of going to the spur. I told her to drop her heels a bit and touch with the spur next time becasue she allowed this to "lift" her slightly out of the proper seat.


    Nice posture for a walk on the rail, but she's got her heels a bit to far down because she is not riding on the ball of her foot.


    This is me on a rundown to a rollback. My feet are deep, but I'm in the process of getting set to ask for a slide by pushing my butt in the saddle and bringing my legs forward.


    Me again. Nice form here, going toward the calf, hips are open and legs are just right with only a tinge of drop to the heel.


    My legs are more "active" in this one as we are circling on a reining pattern. I am keeping him in the circle with my right leg, while the left is off and feet are "relaxed". So, my right side hip is closed and the left is wide open.


    There, just some general pictures. Hope it helped a bit.

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    Smile

    Riding western...and Western Equitation can be 2 different things when it comes to the riders position.....just as the riding positions of equitation class riders and some Professional Trainers can be very different.

    Also keep in mind that some performance photos will catch a rider during that one split second when their leg, hand, or body is pulled/placed out of the "correct" position from many various reasons.

    The correct position for a western rider is basically the same as an English rider. A straight line from hip to heel.....


    As you can see these riders, pictured below, all have basically correct positions but they all have slight differences according to the gait being ridden, the movement of their mount, the breed they are riding, and the time the photographer clicked the camera shutter:




    "It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." ~Dumbledore

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    Oh, Sandra is right. I have to force my kids into what we consider "unnarural" positions for Western Equitation classes. We hold to more of a "performance equitation" seat. Look at the drop on the heels of the first rider Sandra showed. That would never work in a "performance" class that you had to get into serious work at high rates of speed.

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    Senior Member+ phorelockless's Avatar
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    Unless you are in a horsemanship class your equitation doesn't have to be exactly right. For instance, in a WP class sitting back with your legs slightly forward helps some horses drive from behind and lift their shoulders, giving them a better performance. I say, sit so that your horse can perform to the best of his ability, unless of course you are being judged on your posistion.

    Just so everyone can see, here are some good photos of correct horsemanship (for showing):



    ~Lindsay

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    Quote Originally Posted by phorelockless View Post
    Hehe! That's one of those tough judges, LOL. I HATE dropping the stirrups

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    Quote Originally Posted by doublebarr View Post
    Hehe! That's one of those tough judges, LOL. I HATE dropping the stirrups
    Haha, I'm the opposite. I love it when they ask for that, because I ride more without stirrups than with them, lol! Plus the stirrups on my saddle are annoying.
    ~Lindsay

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    But, mine are steel. They bump the heck out of my ankle at the trot with a dropped stirrup.

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    Senior Member+ phorelockless's Avatar
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    Ohhh ouch, that would hurt. Mine don't do that, but the bottom of mine (like where you put your feet) is slippery. lol!
    ~Lindsay

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