When I first started riding around the age of 6, I rode english because that is what my mom rode when she was a kid. I went to a nice show all english, and thought it was fun. My sister, on the other hand, rode western. I decided to try it one day and fell in love because I thought it was so comfortable.
After riding for several years as a western rider, I took a break from riding all together due to financial reasons. When I was about 11 or 12, I started leasing an older tb and riding again, western. After I finished leasing the old western TB (because I had fallen in love with Arabians and just HAD to have one! Lol) I began leasing a spunky 1/2 arabian who was also western.
After leasing him for about 6 months, I purchased my first horse, a full Arabian. With that, I purchased all western tack for my all western horse (who couldn't neck rein, might I add lol). Not long after, I started wanting to ride english. I purchased and english saddle and turned my western Arab to a spirited english ride. Luckily, he loved it.
I started having the desire to jump, and after a year of owning my Arabian, I sold him (partially because I outgrew him and partially because he couldn't do what I wanted to do) and purchased an all english TB. When I say all english, I mean ALL english. He FREAKS out when I put a western saddle on him. Doesn't bother me, though, I prefer english anyway!