Do you ride English or Western?
What is the difference?
- English riding came from the British military tradition. The saddle – featuring a knee-roll – is smaller and lighter than the Western version, allowing more direct contact with the horse’s back.
- The rider uses the reins, seat, and legs to control the horse’s speed and direction, and has more direct contact with its mouth.
- The rider takes a rein in each hand.
- The stirrups are thinner than on a Western saddle.
- Riders wear formal clothing – a fitter jacket, shirt, jodhpurs, tall boots, and a helmet.
- The English saddle is suited to dressage, polo, hunting, and jumping activities.
- Some skill is needed to ride English, because it is more difficult for riders to maintain their balance in these smaller saddles.