I normally trail ride in my western saddle, but I switch to english sometimes. I usually take the stirrups down a couple holes so that I am not so preched upon the saddle, and I have a deeper seat to stay in better. I use normal english stirrups, and they work fine as long as you remember to keep your heels down and wear boots with heels. As for the pads, I don't use a thin one, I use one of the thick pads. You can get one of the sheepskin ones (mine is fake sheepskin, way cheaper and you don't have to worry about ruining it) or get one with a padded inside, just to make the horses back more cmfortable on long rides!