Originally Posted by BarrelWannabe
I don't know if he'll like english.
He'll like the English better. The saddle is lighter, most people use either a girth with elastic or (my personal favorite) cotton string girths which conform to the shape of the horse--VERY comfortable. (Avoid the cotton webbing girths bc they don't last and you won't see when they're ready to rip.) The downside
is that English saddles need to have a tighter girth so it doesn't slip when you mount. I can get away with a looser cinch on my Western saddles than when I ride English. You might want to lunge your horse with this saddle the first time you ride to see if he's going to act up or not. If you DIDN'T break him yourself then it is quite possible that an English saddle was the first one he wore when he was broken to saddle.
If you are tall you will need to buy longer leathers. You roughly measure your stirrup length by placing your middle finger on the stirrup bar, stretching the leather WITH the stirrup, and the right (average) length should stretch to your armpit. After mounting people sometimes tighten up a hole or loosen a hole. (Don't forget to pull the buckle up to the stirrup bar and to put the end of the excess leather through the guard on the skirt.) Also, when mounted the average length will have the bottom on the stirrup hit just below your ankle bone. Make sure that you buy rubber treads for your stirrups! Your foot can slip through the metal. Although the English saddle has a failsafe in that the stirrup bar end (which folds vertical to keep the leather on) will flip down if the leather is pulled (as when the rider loses balance and takes the stirrup with him/her,) you don't want to test this. If, for WHATEVER reason you feel nervous about the stirrups, buy a set of peacock stirrups. They have a rubber band that flips open when necessary.
Another thing, you do NOT need
a saddle pad with an English saddle. However, you'll need to clean the bottom of the saddle more often without it--your choice. My personal preference for the knee roll is suede bc I get a better grip than with smooth leather. Since it's your first English I suggest you get an all-purpose. Purists LOVE their close contact saddles, but the knee rolls are thinner--not sure it would be as comfortable for YOU, going from a much more secure Western. You can't have too many saddles, I think!! Lol