Originally Posted by Lorry1
What's the difference between trail riding with an English saddle or a Western saddle? I'm assuming that the Western is just more comfortable. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just taking lessons right now, but plan to get a horse in March.
I personally find it more comfortable to trail ride in an English saddle. But then, I ride (arena) every day in an English Saddle and have had very VERY minor instruction on proper Western Equitation (or...Horsemanship? Whatever it's called!) I'm probably just riding Western slightly wrong so it's not as comfortable for me.
Also, in my English saddle I feel much closer to my horse and more secure in the saddle...ready for all those scary things that could happen on the trail! And also, if there are downed trees across the trail you can easily just jump over them in an English saddle instead of having to blaze a trail around or dismount to move the obstacle. I knew a girl one time to jumped a small log on a trail in a Western Saddle...the horse jumped bigger than she expected and the saddle's horn hit her and broke a couple of her lower ribs. Eeek!
Also, English saddles are usually lighter...so less weight for your horse to carry. The saddle bags attachment areas are nice on a Western Saddle for long trips. =)