I think Western gets a bad name, not because the top riders of the Western world can't be compared to the top riders of the English world, but because every ignorant person who up and decides to buy a horse also buys a nice big western saddle. I think western has a lot more pleasure riders, who deserve their place, where English is a discipline, and no one assumes they can do it without a lesson or two. Those who do, usually end up black and blue and may give up horses for life. I don't think Western is neccesarily easier, but it is easier to be lazy in Western and look impressive. I see many Western riders who claim their horse is trained, or they can do this, this and this, but haven't learned how to feel what lead they are on. I also think many Western riders idea of a broke horse is different. Most Western people feel that if a horse is quiet and neck reins it is broke, where English riders want their horse to bend, collect, extend, half pass, preform flying changes, and leg yeild, before they will claim it is green broke. I would love to see some famous dressage riders and reining riders switch horses and see the difference. I also feel that English riders don't prefer a quiet horse, unless they are beginners, because we want more from our horses when it comes to athleticism, and a lazy dull horse won't make it over a 3'6" verticle. But this is all my opinion, and from what I have observed. I also haven't met someone who rides english and has never had a lesson, but I have met many western riders who have, and usually they are the first ones who tell me they can ride a horse. But sitting on a horse isn't riding, and to many people think it is.
Troubled TB ~"A thorn by any other name will prick just as deep." @-'--,---