I grew up riding Western. The first discipline I learned at age 4. Did it for many, many years until I decided in my early teens to take on English because I was curious about jumping. Turns out I love jumping more than anything in the world, and I'm still doing it to this day.
I always loved Western & I always will, but I haven't ridden Western in a long time. There are advantages and disadvantages to each discipline. If it wasn't for jumping, who knows if I would continue to ride English...I'd probably be a little more open to going back, but at this point in time, it's not what I'm working on.
Western is a more "relaxed" discipline. Longer stirrups, MUCH longer reins, less "tightness" in the muscles. But there are so many benefits. It teaches you how to have a great seat and loosen up your core and hip flexors to absorb a bouncy trot and make it look effortless.
In English, you can absorb a trot through posting, which I actually used to do in a Western saddle to absorb bouncy trots before I ever even sat my butt in an English saddle. It just felt "right" to me, even though I knew it wasn't correct to the discipline! Anyways, posting is a great way to pretty much take on any trot you come across. Bouncy horse? No worries, you won't be forced to sit through it.
Then there's the freedom and adrenalin in Western of barrel racing, pole bending...oh man, how much fun that is! The adrenalin rush is like no other. Just pure fun. No worries about equitation. Just speed and enjoyment, quality time with your trusty steed. I miss it a lot some days.
And then jumping...a feeling you could never explain to a non-equestrian. What is it that keeps us coming back for more? The excitement to be airborne over and over again, even if just for a split second? The feeling of the "3, 2, 1" rhythm that eventually sends you soaring on the back of a 1200 pound beast? The adrenalin and excitement of turning on a dime and immediately eyeing your next obstacle ahead? The feeling of satisfaction you get when you successfully finish an intense course?
I could go on and on for hours...Western and English, they are two different worlds. 100%. I'm lucky to have experienced both in my lifetime. I know what each discipline feels like, and they are nothing like one other...which is what I think makes them so great.