Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
As mentioned, there are different types of English saddles, the most popular being the dressage saddle, close contact or jump saddle, and the all purpose saddle. I think out of all of these the dressage is the most comfortable, and would be my choice of saddle. Some people prefer the all purpose as it allows a bit more flexibility for jumping.
I don't know what position you ride in now, but I am guessing you will need to make some changes. English riders I think tend to sit in a straighter seat with their legs underneath them.
The biggest change for your horse will probably be getting used to a new bit and riding a contact if you don't do that already. Most of english riding is ridden on a light contact and more direct reining, rather than neck reining. I guess it depends what you plan to do though, and what you do now.
Good luck and have fun!
I'd probably guess you're a 16 or 16 1/2 inch saddle. Go into the store and ask though, they might be able to help you out. I think english saddles can be a bit harder to fit than western saddles, but if you look around you can find some. I use a Wintec saddle, which is a cheap synthetic brand with an adjustable gullet, so it will fit more of a range of horses, but still not all. Many people don't like Wintecs but I think for their price range they're a good basic saddle.
I don't think english saddles are particularly comfortable. Many people I know will ride in a stock saddle (i'm Australian) for trail rides as they are much more secure and comfortable. I hear the western saddles are comfy but I've never ridden in one to compare.