Because everyone in my arena rode Western. Gamers; pleasure/trail riders, a lot of them. I didn't want to be like everybody else, so I set myself on riding English.
Which worked out pretty nicely for me. I found a lesson barn (the only one in the area!) that was sort of mixed disipline. The head trainer was an English rider through and through and started all her kids English, figuring that it would be easier to switch from English to western than western to English. However, several people there rode western, and a couple rode "endurance style" (as I decided to call it), which is a sort of mashup of western and English equitation styles for distance riding. Pick and choose for comfort and ease on the horse. Endurance saddles are also a bit of a hybrid between English and western, so it made sense.
Today, I'm not sure if I'm still an "English rider". I ride in an English saddle and my style of mostly Englishy, but I also ride a gaited horse and ride distance, so some modifcations have been made. If you just go on tack, I'm an English rider. But I don't ride in the "spirit" of the hunter/jumper I was trained to be.