Originally Posted by SouthernTrailsGA View Post
Well it seems you have missed the joys of taking a 5 day camping trek on a Horse.
I do not ride English, so excuse my ignorance, but can you do that in an English Saddle?
Yup, you can. Take a week-long "horse-trekking" vacation in Norway or Iceland (highly recommended, BTW), crossing rough, spectacular wilderness, and you will be in an English saddle. Though in fairness, the gear is not carried on your own horse/saddle.
I think a skilled rider can pretty much do the things they enjoy doing in either discipline (well, except you might not want to do too much high jumping in a Western saddle or rope calves in an English). English or Western: Communicate with your horse. Be balanced. Have a good seat. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy your partnership with your horse. Enjoy the sights and smells. That's what it's about.
My family learned to ride from an officer in the Norwegian cavalry. When we emigrated to the US, he visited us: 75 years old, weathered, leathery, sinewy, crotchety. He showed up at SeaTac Intl. In his jodhpurs and tall riding boots (They were the only clothes I ever saw him in). It took less than a day for his infamous comment: "Americans can't ride" (referring to Western riding). So we drove him out to the Pendleton Roundup for giggles. We expected him to be proud and stonefaced and in denial. He had the time of his life. In the car on the way home, I remember him smiling and clapping, then suddenly exclaimed "Americans (Western) CAN ride!", and took a Western saddle home with him as hand-luggage.