TBD on Ning

Do you prefer to ride in a Western style or in one of the English styles? Was it a choice, or did you just grow up in that milleu?

Any thoughts at all about the differences or similarities?


Tags: Western vs. English

Views: 51

Replies to This Discussion

I learned to ride on a Western saddle...gives you something to hold onto if you feel yourself slipping :-)
The first time I rode on an English saddle, I was a little overconfident and proceeded to fall on my ass almost immediately :-))
I like the feel of the English saddle…less saddle makes me feel closer to the horse. But, the Western is more comfortable for long rides and, it’s funny how accustomed I became to using the pommel and horn as a hand rest :-) I think the cantle is more comfortable as well…it keeps ones derrière in place a bit better.

I prefer English, 4-H made my daughter ride with Western saddle & gear, but even when delivering papers on her paper route, I was surprised when she even used a bit...

I rode first in an English saddle by default...my mother and her mother had ridden that way (albeit mostly side-saddle for my grandmother who would be 122 were she alive today). I started out in pleasure as a child, then changed to saddle seat in my early teens, and dressage by 19. It's just what I did.

I love what you said, Quinn, about an English saddle allowing you to feel closer to the horse. In dressage, I did a lot of stirrups up, which even increases the feeling of being one with the horse. You're right, of course...there's nothing to hold onto, which left me either flat on my ass on the ground, or finding my seat (which is pretty big to misplace, hehehe).

Western saddles are comfortable and have that cradling effect for stability which is, of course, what's needed for the quick turns, wheels, and stops of the cowhand's art. An English saddle just wouldn't be practical.

In dressage, one should have total freedom to move without friction, to make the subtle adjustments needed every second...and there, a western saddle is less practical. Also, because the aids of leg and seat bones have to be felt by the horse, less saddle is better.

I certainly wish I'd had a western saddle when I used to horse pack, though!  

I totally agree about riding bareback. How wonderful to feel the horse directly.

And what you describe are some of the aids we use in dressage.

In my dressage lessons and clinics, we did a lot of riding through all gaits without stirrups or reins, yet in a saddle. The slick leather between you and the horse forced one to find one's seat and perfect balance. And moving a horse with only the weight and the legs and the seat bones forced one to really get in touch. (Hey, who is this "one," anyway? )

We also rode over cavaletti and relatively small jumps in a saddle without reins or stirrups, sometimes with our arms wrapped around a broomstick behind our backs. It was a challenge to focus yet remain totally relaxed.

Man, I miss all that!

western, cause I'm just a western kinda guy.


I could ride any horse.

To fat now.

But I prefer show jumping or raceshorses to jump and gallop.

HAHAhahaHa!  The years do tend to make the bulges a bit bulgier!  I'm not sure I'd like to see myself in the ol' Harry Halls at this point!

Nice to hear from you, Beth!!!


Don't know if I replied to this on the other site or not. Any how, depends on what I'm going to do: trail riding my choice is a Western saddle (more to hold on if things get hairy); jumping or just doing equitation, my Steuben all purpose; for dressage, my Albion dressage saddle. I  have ridden in an Australian saddle many years ago and an Icelandic when I went to VT to ride Icelandic horses one weekend.  

Hi, Carol!!!  Glad to see you here! I'm back and forth between the sites, so I may not respond right away.

Yeah, I agree!  Western saddles are more comfortable and secure for trail riding--especially looooooooooong rides, like when you're horse packing.

Other than that, I'm a dyed in the wool English devotee.  




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