English Riding

English riding does not mean you drink tea and eat crumpets while you ride. English riding depends on the type of tack you use on your horse. English riding style began by people who hunted foxes. As the riders chased the foxes they needed horses that could jump over hedges, fences, and fallen trees. Sitting high in the saddle gave them a better view of the escaping fox. From this activity, English riding was born.

The fancy clothes worn by English riders were first designed to help during a foxhunt. High boots were perfect for charging through the woods. The tall boots did not have laces that could get caught on a hedge.

Grace says:

Canter” is an English riding word. It means a three beat gait. In Western riding it is called a Lope

The saddle is the most important piece of horseback riding equipment. A saddle helps you stay seated and steady on your horse. It also protects you from injury. It is made of several parts including a pommel, a seat and stirrups for your feet. English and Western saddles were made specifically for the jobs of their riders.

Grace says:

The pommel is the high round part of the saddle in front of the rider.

Western Saddles

Cowboys would spend long hours seated on their horse so they need a saddle that was heavy and comfortable. The saddle needed to have a place for the cowboys to tie their ropes and hang their guns. This is called the horn. The horn on a Western saddle is used to tie your rope while you’re roping cattle.

English Saddles

English saddles are smaller and lighter than Western saddles. They help you sit up high and use proper posture when jumping. The stirrups in an English saddle are very thin.

Saddle Smarts:

How old do I have to be to ride a horse?
Answer: This depends on your riding instructor. Some will work with children as young as 5 years old. The most important thing is that you learn from a qualified teacher. You want a teacher who stresses safety and uses proper equipment including helmets and safety stirrups.

Jack says:

23 year-old Tuf Cooper is the youngest rodeo champ to win one million dollars!

Jack says:

In 2013 Harry Edward Brady was the youngest person to ever compete in England’s Horse Of The Year Show. Little Harry was only 3!