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Stereotyping English and Western Riders

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by CrazyHorse, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Fox Glove

    Fox Glove Senior Member+

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    Wow, this is a real eye opener for me. Honestly, I never thought that way about people who rode western, or english, to me we are all horse lovers, and that is a tie that binds us.

    My momma taught me not to judge a book by it's cover. If someone acted "snotty", I figured they were having a bad day, or just stayed away from them. I never for a moment thought it had one thing to do with the style of saddle they were sitting in.

    I always admired Western riders, the saddles, the clothes, but, I never had one treat me any differently than an english rider did in any situation.
     
  2. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

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    I ride both Hunt Seat and Western, but with more emphasis on Western. The only stereotype or "conception" I've noticed quite a lot, is that the Hunt Seat people think Western is easy...easier than Hunt Seat. THEN, they've gotten on one of my horses and tried to ride one-handed with a drape in the rein. It changed their minds....

    Jennifer
     
  3. Rummymuffin

    Rummymuffin Senior Member+

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    I think a lot of the people that talk about "English" riders being snobby have only met certain groups. ;) I've found in general that eventers are just much friendlier than dressage riders or hunter/jumpers at horse shows. I have had lots of really nice people help me at events, and I've done the same in exchange. There are nice people in every discipline and there are some mean ones. The same goes for good trainers vs. bad.

    I've sat in a western saddle maybe 3-4 times. We were at a barn last year that had 5 trainers in separate sections; one of them is a top paint horse trainer that specializes in trail. He was amazing! I don't think I could get my lazy bum of an irish horse to be that careful around poles, or listen that closely, haha. I saw him training a warmblood a few times in dressage, and he was just as capable in dressage as he was western. Trainers like that are just great horseman, it doesn't matter what discipline they're doing, they just know how to work with horses.
     
  4. Rummymuffin

    Rummymuffin Senior Member+

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    Clearly never met any eventers! I also think that "quality" time is a relative thing. I know my horses' legs like the back of my hand, I know normal breathing, heart rate and recovery in his various stages of fitness, and I know when he's in a good mood or he's feeling crabby. I know when my old TB's back is comfortable or not by watching him walk, and I know when he's going to be an absolute crazy. Do I spend hours every day feeding them treats, grooming them or doing groundwork? Nope. I don't have time! Doesn't meant I don't know my horses. ;)
     
  5. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

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    My trainer is alot like that. He used to lease stalls at a barn where there were two dressage trainers and the three of them got along great, compared notes, offered tips to each other etc. The Dressage guys were impressed with the dressage training my trainer put on ALL of his western and HUS horses.

    Oh and the whole pole thing in trail is INSANE! The trail courses at an AQHA or APHA show are poles on the ground laying EVERYWHERE. What's really neat about it is....a horse really learns how to shorten or lengthen strides in the both the jog and lope. My horse does trail and he has learned how to "read" them pretty well. In some of these trail courses, those poles came at you pretty darn quick and it's great to have a horse that can think on its feet and manuever them with minimal contact with the mouth an a semi-drape in the rein.

    Jennifer
     
  6. Lakyn

    Lakyn Senior Member

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    Where I come from there are some stereotypes.

    I ride English, because I want to do hunters and cross country and stuff.
    Also I just like the look better, I guess. But around here a lot of english riders are kind of snobby, and stuck up. Some of the older trainers I've met have an air about themselves which is arrogant.

    I was at a warm up for a hunter show once, just to bring my mare to the grounds and see how she'd react in the arena and such, and I'd just got done lunging her in the back, so I had my line on her still and I wanted to walk her into the arena by foot before I hopped on her, and this stuck up male trainer who I've never actually met before, but I've heard horror stories, looked at me in disgust and says, "Ugh. You can't lunge in here." With a sneer.

    I could understand if he said that if I had actually proceeded to lunge her, but to be honest I just wanted some extra rope in case she flipped a switch, so I found him to be a bit rude.

    As for western riders, around here there are two categories I'm most aware of. Older Parelli obsessed western pleasure riders with paints and quarter horses, or younger redneckish girls who wear camo jackets and "bucked up" logo clothing who do barrels and live in the woods. xD

    My new boss though is a completely different kind of western rider. She is my new idol, and she believes even western barrel horses need to learn dressage. She says they could do any of the dressage movements and actual dressage horse could do, they just use different terms for them. I love her. :)
     
  7. 2hot4u

    2hot4u Senior Member

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    i dont prefer either.. however.. i notice SOME english riders are snooty, but some are downright helpful! and caring! Like when i fell off on my first lesson, i fell, and there were 6 or 7 riders doing jumping, and they all asked me if i was alright, right away!
     
  8. CrazyHorse

    CrazyHorse Senior Member

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    Thank you all for your excellent responses! :D
    I myself get a lot of teasing about being so "aware" of saddle fit at the barn where Hope is boarded. All of the men believe you should be able to throw one saddle on every horse and if it doesn't fit, too bad. You ride anyway. I, on the other hand, am too old to be getting tossed because of an ill-fitting saddle :p:eek:
    I would love to learn some dressage basics mainly to improve my balance and strength, as well as teach Hope some new moves and improve her overall condition and suppleness.
    I too believe in a few wet blankets to adjust a horses' attitude, and believe a well trained horse should not throw a temper tantrum if they get a little pinch from the saddle or blanket.
    There are snobby folks in every discipline who will not give you the time of day, but I believe that more often than not, folks will go out of their way to help out in any discipline :)
     
  9. Fox Glove

    Fox Glove Senior Member+

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    Or any foxhunters :)
     
  10. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a difference between Western and English riders? Really? Sheesh... :eek: ...not in my book!

    Seriously, it ain't the riding discipline. There are some folks in the horsie world that largely focus on themselves at the expense of everything else and a much, much larger number who are the kindest, most helpful people you'll meet anywhere. What kind of saddle they throw on their horse or what they wear to cover up their, um...seat bones...is not material to their attitude. That rests entirely inside that 10 lb orb perched just above their shoulders. This forum community is a good example...;) The problem with stereotypes is that we often, as humans, are prone to make assumptions based on things like appearance or our own lack of understanding, rather than the "real" individuals we face. What we don't know is a mystery and therefore, we generalize in sometimes unhelpful and unhealthy ways.

    But sadly, that first, smaller group can sometimes congregate together in ways that might give the impression that all others that "ride like them" have some undesirable trait. Some of you have mentioned experiences like that already in this thread. Should "luck" have it that one's first experience with someone or a group of someones who are unfriendly, snobbish or otherwise less-than-warm, it tends to taint their general view. It's only when we meet others from the larger, open and friendly group that we start to realize it's about enjoying the horse and the horse community and embracing both our similarities and our differences--and even learning from them. The English world and the Western world (as well as a few others) have a great deal to share with each other when you really look at them more closely! :)
     
    tlwidener and dawnsmom like this.

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