What's Better: Western or English Riding? - Page 3
 
 

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What's Better: Western or English Riding?

This is a discussion on What's Better: Western or English Riding? within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-08-2014, 09:26 AM
      #21
    Super Moderator
    Western really isn't an option here (unless you know someone who does it) so I have never tried it but would love to.
         
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        07-08-2014, 09:48 AM
      #22
    Yearling
    I ride and prefer western.

    That being said, English saddles are very comfortable, light, and fun to ride in.

    But yet, I prefer western. Despite being heavier, my saddle is really comfortable and it's much easier (I think) to trail ride in western and also it's easier to run barrels lol. Plus my horse is a western horse. I don't think he's ever had an English saddle on him ever
    Corporal and SueC like this.
         
        07-08-2014, 10:02 AM
      #23
    Yearling
    All of the above! Neither is inherently better/worse than the other. Try as many disciplines as you can!

    What I ride depends on the individual horse and the activity I wish to do at any given time. I've ridden in comfortable and uncomfortable saddles of many types - English saddle seat, dressage, hunt seat, cross country, western pleasure, reining, cutting, Australian saddles, antique military saddles....

    While the saddle itself doesn't necessarily prevent you from doing something entirely, it may help or hinder you or your horse. If you want to rope cows, you're going to want that western saddle horn to wrap your rope around. If you want to jump 4' fences, that western saddle horn may stab you in the gut while making it more difficult for your horse to use his body appropriately. If you want to show, you'll need the appropriate equipment for the class you're interested in. For a leisurely walk down the trail, any comfortable saddle should do fine.
         
        07-08-2014, 11:14 AM
      #24
    Started
    Welcome to the forum.

    The important thing is to learn to ride...which is different than simply perching on top of a horse and making him go!!!!! : )

    Style and discipline? Depends on what you want to do. Enjoy the adventure. That's pretty important to my way of thinking.
    HagonNag, Corporal and SueC like this.
         
        07-08-2014, 11:17 AM
      #25
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rebelwithacause    
    Still new to this forum and new to the " horse world" in general.

    I am currently working with a trainer (I do not have my own horse, am using her TWH mare) to learn proper technique, form and become a better all around rider.

    My question is: which do you prefer, English or Western? Or Western vs saddle seat (not sure what the exact name is )?

    Why do you prefer one over the other? Do you find that it is more location specific ( I.e. You live in an area that trains for one discipline over the other or one is more popular than the other?)

    I am open to trying both, just getting a feel for what the "other side" is like. I am still pretty new to learning Western, so I am looking for info :)
    3 pages of comments and you're likely to get more. I'm not going to bother reading them, because I can tell you what the bulk of them will say. Basically it's a question of what kind of riding do you plan to do.
    (Oh, and "English" is a gross misnomer....that "style" of saddle was of German/Hungarian origin...created for military use, which turned out to be blessing in battle and a curse on campaign, but that's a different story). In Europe it's Dressage, Jump, etc..... not "English". At least not when I was riding over there in the 60's.
    Obviously if you want to shows for dressage, jumping, etc or if you want to join your local fox hunting crowd for a day of running with the hounds then you'll want to use the associated (and often required by rules) European style saddle. If you want to take up roping, penning, cutting, barrel racing, etc...., or work cattle, then you'll want the appropriate "Western" style saddle (although it's origins trace back to Spain, and even beyond, I guess we can still say Western since it's the western area of that part of the world ). Of course penning can be done in a stock saddle (i.e. The Australian saddle), but you don't see it much in the US.

    Now the rest of this will almost certainly not apply to you, BUT I will make this qualification anyway (just in case). Regardless of what kind of riding you elect to do (they all have their own appeal). If the day should ever come (it does not for 99% or all riders, but it can happen) that you fall on your head (or get kicked there) and as a result decide to take riding to the ultimate level (no, it's not the Olympics or some World championship) and do long distance riding (no, I'm not talking "endurance") where you load up everything you'll have on your horse and ride for 100 miles a week (with a couple of days off) for weeks and months then do not, for the sake of your horse, go with a saddle that uses the European style tree (or frame if you prefer). Get a saddle that has two very important (but not the only) features. It fits your horses back (something you should make sure any saddle does) and it displaces the weight across greatest number of square inches across your horse's back. The European saddles, e.g. "English" style (and traditional Australian stock saddles) do not do this, which is why they became such a problem during campaigns and why in the mid 1800's the British military came up with the UP (Universal Pattern) saddle which design is still used to by the military today. Not saying you have to get a UP saddle. Just get one which has a tree/frame which spreads the weight over a large area (there are some that cover more than a UP saddle). It's much easier on your horse and will significantly reduce your chances of giving a sore back (it's no fun being 100's of miles from home and hold up for a week or longer while your mounts back recovers). It was only by great good luck that I never ran into that problem, but only because I came form an old horse family where some of them had and I learned form them. As for what style of riding to do if your "going the distance" that will be determined by what is most comfortable for you, riding a huge part of each day, 4-6 days in a row in that saddle.

    Of course there are other considerations, such as weight carried, but this topic is on saddles and style of riding.
    Corporal and Rebelwithacause like this.
         
        07-08-2014, 11:29 AM
      #26
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
    3 pages of comments and you're likely to get more. I'm not going to bother reading them, because I can tell you what the bulk of them will say. Basically it's a question of what kind of riding do you plan to do.
    (Oh, and "English" is a gross misnomer....that "style" of saddle was of German/Hungarian origin...created for military use, which turned out to be blessing in battle and a curse on campaign, but that's a different story). In Europe it's Dressage, Jump, etc..... not "English". At least not when I was riding over there in the 60's.
    Obviously if you want to shows for dressage, jumping, etc or if you want to join your local fox hunting crowd for a day of running with the hounds then you'll want to use the associated (and often required by rules) European style saddle. If you want to take up roping, penning, cutting, barrel racing, etc...., or work cattle, then you'll want the appropriate "Western" style saddle (although it's origins trace back to Spain, and even beyond, I guess we can still say Western since it's the western area of that part of the world ). Of course penning can be done in a stock saddle (i.e. The Australian saddle), but you don't see it much in the US.

    Now the rest of this will almost certainly not apply to you, BUT I will make this qualification anyway (just in case). Regardless of what kind of riding you elect to do (they all have their own appeal). If the day should ever come (it does not for 99% or all riders, but it can happen) that you fall on your head (or get kicked there) and as a result decide to take riding to the ultimate level (no, it's not the Olympics or some World championship) and do long distance riding (no, I'm not talking "endurance") where you load up everything you'll have on your horse and ride for 100 miles a week (with a couple of days off) for weeks and months then do not, for the sake of your horse, go with a saddle that uses the European style tree (or frame if you prefer). Get a saddle that has two very important (but not the only) features. It fits your horses back (something you should make sure any saddle does) and it displaces the weight across greatest number of square inches across your horse's back. The European saddles, e.g. "English" style (and traditional Australian stock saddles) do not do this, which is why they became such a problem during campaigns and why in the mid 1800's the British military came up with the UP (Universal Pattern) saddle which design is still used to by the military today. Not saying you have to get a UP saddle. Just get one which has a tree/frame which spreads the weight over a large area (there are some that cover more than a UP saddle). It's much easier on your horse and will significantly reduce your chances of giving a sore back (it's no fun being 100's of miles from home and hold up for a week or longer while your mounts back recovers). It was only by great good luck that I never ran into that problem, but only because I came form an old horse family where some of them had and I learned form them. As for what style of riding to do if your "going the distance" that will be determined by what is most comfortable for you, riding a huge part of each day, 4-6 days in a row in that saddle.

    Of course there are other considerations, such as weight carried, but this topic is on saddles and style of riding.
    That's very interesting and makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing that! One of the things I will be learning with my trainer is properly fitting a saddle ( so far have used western).
         
        07-08-2014, 10:23 PM
      #27
    Yearling
    If you can, try both!

    Everyone has a personal preference and you won't know which one you like best unless you give both a go. :)
    Corporal likes this.
         
        07-08-2014, 10:53 PM
      #28
    Super Moderator
    On the TWH, I guess I'd ride Western.

    But, I prefer English, ever so slightly. I like the engagement of the rider in terms of carrying their own weight and sometimes utilitizing the stirrups to get up and off the back in order to encourage a more forward movement. There's something exciting about that.
    Corporal and SueC like this.
         
        07-09-2014, 11:56 AM
      #29
    Foal
    I ride my horse both English and Western. I don't think one is better than the other, except, as someone else mentioned, the English saddle is lighter!

    I am always interested to come on this forum and read about the variety in each discipline and what everyone does with their horses. I have learned so much!
    Corporal and SueC like this.
         
        07-09-2014, 12:16 PM
      #30
    Foal
    For me? Western. To me it generally seems more relaxed, comfortable. I tried English a few times, the saddle was not to my liking though.
    I encourage you to try each, see what is most comfortable and fun to you and your horse.
    Corporal likes this.
         

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