English Saddle vs Western Saddle?

One question I frequently get asked in my email is: “What is the difference between English and Western riding?” The next question is usually: “Is one easier than the other?”

The english saddle is smaller and lighter and designed to give the rider a closer contact with the horse’s back.

Is Western or English saddle better?

An English saddle is much smaller in size and lighter in weight, which allows the rider to get close to their horse and feel its every movement. A Western saddle is larger and heavier, which provides more comfort and stability for long hours over rough terrain.

Is Western or English riding easier?

English riding involves a bit more balance and coordination of the reins and legs, so riders may not feel immediately secure in the saddle. The larger Western saddle makes it easier for the beginner to sit comfortably and feel more secure.

Can you ride English in a Western saddle?

Any English trained horse can be ridden under a Western saddle, but the sensitivety of communication between horse and rider is reduced. Modern English saddles are light with a plastic tree, traditional ENglish saddles had a metal tree which made them much heavier.

Are Western saddles safer than English?

So, which is easier? I’d have to say western is easier than english. For one thing, the larger saddle provides a more secure seat for the novice rider. … English riding, even for the beginner, involves the coordination of multiple factors, such as legs, reins and balance to maintain control of the horse.

Guests often ask us what the difference between English and Western riding is, but the answer often isnt as straightforward as they would like because there are many similarities between the two schools. One big difference is the saddles used in each discipline and why they are used.

Have you ever wondered about the differences between English riding and Western riding? Horse people are understandably passionate about their riding style and discipline. Of course, we all tend to back up our preferred style, but there is a rhyme and reason for the characteristics of each specialty.

– The equipment varies greatly in English and western riding. You can expect a smaller, lighter saddle in the English world and a larger saddle when riding western. Youll also notice one with a saddle horn and the other without. Sometimes, western saddles will have a more plush, comfortable seat.

History of English vs. Western Riding

Horses have been used for centuries as a means of transportation and a way to assist with difficult work. It wasn’t until the English developed a fondness for using horses in sporting activities that riding styles began to change. The English riding style, which is considered traditional and “proper,” was brought to America as far back as the 1800s. By that time, the Western style of riding had already taken hold.The Western riding style can trace its roots back as far as the 1600s, where the Spanish ranches in northern Mexico and what is now the Southeastern United States developed a style that suited long hours of hard work. Cowboys spent hours and sometimes days in the saddle driving cattle and working their land. Comfort and utility over elegance were the driving forces in creating a riding style that remains popular today.

Differences in Tack

The tack used for each type of riding is different and uniquely suits the various aspects of the riding style. An English saddle is much smaller in size and lighter in weight, which allows the rider to get close to their horse and feel its every movement. A Western saddle is larger and heavier, which provides more comfort and stability for long hours over rough terrain. Western saddles also have utility items, such as the horn that was designed to hold a cowboy’s ropes.Bits and reins can vary among the two styles as well. With the English style, bits are usually the Pelham bit or the Weymouth bridle. This type of bridle includes a curb bit and a snaffle bit with a headstall for each. The Western style may also use curb bits, snaffle bits, or hackamores. In English riding, there is a double set of reins, and with Western riding, the reins are split.

Method of Riding

Aside from the tack differences, the method of riding also varies between English and Western riding. With English riding, the rider keeps both hands on the reins and directly instructs the horse through the mouth. This type of riding requires skilled coordination between balance, legs, and reins. While the more difficult of the two styles to learn, English riding is easier to transfer to the Western style. In Western riding, the rider uses just one hand to hold the reins and employs neck reining to control the horse.