Western Riding

Do you ride English or Western?

What is the difference?

Western Riding:

  • Western riding involves a larger, heavier saddle because it developed from the working ranch tradition.  Cowboys needed to cover long distances, and this endurance-saddle spread the weight more evenly across the back of the horse.

  • The stirrups are thicker than on an English saddle.
  • This form of riding is more suited to rodeo and ranching activities.
  • The rider uses the seat, their weight, and neck-reining to signal instructions to the horse.
  • They take both reins in one hand, leaving the other hand free to work cattle (or rest on the thigh).
  • Traditional western clothing is worn – jeans, cowboy boots, and hats.
  • In remote locations, guns may also be carried or strapped to the saddle.
  • This type of riding is easier for beginners.  The large saddle, raised cantle, and pommel provide a more secure seat than the English version.