Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: In Sunny, HOT and HUMID S.C.
Neither, but certainly not bareback.
I've ridden both (still do if need be). Western style would be the better of the two for the riding I do, but it's not the best (jumping can be brutal) so I prefer neither.
I prefer a Trooper, which is neither what people in the US refer to as "English" (we didn't call it that in Germany where I learned to ride) nor is it Western. It has a frame vs a tree and is great for endurance and long distance riding. It's been around for over 150, but less than 200 years, but was primarily a military or mounted constabulary saddle until a little over 100 years ago (designed to reduce the number of horses taken out of action from back problems).
That being said, the Tooper is not the best saddle for every type of riding. E.g. If I went back to working cattle again the Trooper would not be my first choice. I could do a lot of it on a Trooper, but I'd rather pick the saddle best suited for doing all of that job.
If I had to give my riding a "style" is would be Western though. Neck reining is the only way to go for the riding I do (the value of a free hand). The Trooper has the European style flaps, but you can sit it pretty much any way you like, because the seat is it's own, although not as deep as the Western (a slightly higher cantle might be nice). No matter how I might start off after about 6+ hours I'm usually sitting closer to the Western style for comfort.