It isn't really important to label yourself "Western." If you like all of the showy tack and showy western clothes, you can call yourself "Western." If you start studying different styles of riding you'll discover that very little differs between them. All horses started correctly are direct-reined. Everybody that owns their horse for a decade will occasionally neck rein on a loose rein, perhaps a hunter/jumper/dressage horse being walked cool. I have always trained my horses to be ridden on a snaffle or a curb, direct reined or neck reined. No one style is better than another. Only good trainers and poor trainers.
Don't mind the western saddle, but I don't cut cattle and have no use for the horn. Most people who trail ride have no use for the horn, either. Don't quite know why the hornless western saddle didn't catch on?
The ONLY thing I don't like about some
western saddles is that they teach the rider to brace on the stirrups and ride with a chair seat. The old bucket saddles had a triangular tree, like a McClellan, without swells. Some manufacturers are now making the bucket seat saddle, again. Or, at least a hornless type. http://www.crestridgesaddlery.com/im...tionSB2012.jpg