Yay! Someone else like me :]
I don't think there is a western/english difference here, really. I mean, it's all riding!
What is the difference between barrel racing in a western saddle to barrel racing in an english saddle? Is the person in the english saddle not barrel racing because barrels is 'supposedly' a western sport, yet they aren't in western gear?
I find it all confusing, lol. I choose not to ride in a western saddle, as the horn is too restricting.
I think we should all just ride, ride the individual events we want to ride, and enjoy it. I can't stand those people who look down on others because they don't have the correct gear, etc. That's why I have put off entering barrels at our local rodeo. I don't have a western saddle, I don't ride in a curb, or with spurs... yet I could run times on par with all the others.
It strikes me a little like a muted down apartheid! We're all riders, we're not that different :]