You'd probably find that while learning, whether english or western, you'll end up doing circlework and arena work for a while. That's where you'll learn your control, where the instructor can watch you and teach you, and later you'll have the skills to ride out. After all you can go to many places and go for an hour trail ride if that's what you want, but you're going to a riding school where they actually teach you to ride.
Two point, well you might not find yourself using it a lot but it's teaching you balance and you use your balance all the time in any discipline.
I think its good to learn English first. I learned english and when I went into a western saddle it felt a tad different but I would still ride the same, and never touch the horn, all in all a very easy change Where as the other way around, peoples seem to find it a lot harder to switch to english.
Yes, that's exactly what we're doing right now -- circles, circles, and more circles.
And yes, she's teaching me to ride
, which requires much more than I had realized. I went to a schooling show last weekend, to watch, and learned that they have to tell the horse to jump. (Right?) I was talking with one of the mothers and she was trying to explain some things to me. I had always though the just ran the horse up to the bar or whatever and then it just jumped. Lol Guess I have a lot to learn.
So far I'm not actually missing the saddle horn, but we have only walked ands trotted on a rope, and I'm on a sweet school quarter pony who hasn't given me any reason to wish I had one. She did have one tiny little trip that sent my heart racing, and after all these years I remembered what it's like to be scared on a horse.
Is there any reason the Western saddles are bigger/different? I know I am in some kind of close contact saddle, which means I think that I can feel the horse more and maybe the horse can feel me more -- I know it gives me more contact but right now that something I can repeat without really understanding munch about it or why it is desirable. I understand why a Western saddle would have a horn, but why is it bigger and more padded? Why do the stirrups have the piece of leather that the English ones don't?