Basic Horse Riding Styles

One of the main questions any new horseback rider has is which type of riding style to choose. In most cases, riders are curious about whether they should choose English or Western riding as their preferred style. However, besides these two well known riding styles, there are many others. This article will cover the basics with a more unique riding style.

Trail Riding
This is a style that can be done with either English or Western style saddles. In England, it is called hacking. This is perhaps the most gentle and basic type of riding and it is perfect for beginners. This is a relaxed style where older, quieter horses are used. Riders go along trails, bridle paths or through fields and forests at a slow pace.

English Riding Style
This is a type of riding style that features a flat saddle. This saddle does not have a saddle horn or a deep seat like the Western type does. When riding in the English style, the riders makes contact with the horse through the reins in the horse’s mouth. This is an aid that helps the rider direct the horse.

Western Riding Style

With Western style, the saddle is heavier than the English saddle. It has a cantle, a horn and is made to let the rider place more of his or her weight on the horse. While most any type of horse is right for this style, the Quarter Horse, Paints and Appaloosas are mostly used. With this style of riding, the rider uses reins and his or her weight to aid the horse in moving.

Barrel and Racing Riding Styles

Once a rider gets better, he or she may want to advance to more complex and competitive riding styles. There are many, some of which include disciplines like dressage and jumping. Here is a brief look at Barrel riding and Racing styles.

Barrel riding is often seen in American rodeos. It requires the rider to take the horse around three barrels. They must do the riding in a clover-leaf pattern. It is not as easy as it sounds and is a fast-paced form of riding. Finally, there is horse racing.

This is where the horses are ridden at the fastest rate possible. Any beginner rider with good qualifications and a great horse can get involved in racing horses to some degree. Besides offering pleasure, different riding styles offer a great form of exercise.

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