English or Western What is the Difference
 By Winniefield Park   •   8th Sep 2015   •   2,188 views   •   2 comments
English or Western What is the Difference

One of the first things you have to do when you decide to learn to ride is also decide whether you will learn English or Western riding. What is the difference? There are more similarities than differences, but one style may appeal more than the other.

The Tack
The most obvious difference is the tack used. The western saddle evolved around the needs of ranch hands working cattle. The saddle horn was used to secure a lariat when roping cattle or pulling loads a short distance, as would be needed to move something like firewood when out on round-ups. The saddle often has two girths, and is much wider and longer than an English saddle, and this helps it stay stable under the weight of a roped cattle beast. The latigos straps on the front and back were used to hold things like a bed roll, slicker and other necessities of cowboy life. And, the wide comfortable seat made a day in the saddle easier to endure.

English saddles evolved from saddles used by mounted military in Europe. There are several different types made for specific disciplines. Jumping saddles have exaggerated knee rolls and panels to accommodate the rider’s leg position over the jumps. Dressage saddles have straight leg flaps to allow the more upright position of dressage riders. All-purpose saddles are made for riders who would like to do a bit of everything comfortably.

Generally, bridles differ a little. Western riders will neck rein and English riders direct rein. Riding with one hand, as western riders do, allows the rider to use the other to handle a rope, open a gate or do other tasks essential to working cattle from the saddle.

The Clothing
While it doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as you’re safe and comfortable when you’re riding at home or in a lesson, it does matter if you’re in the show ring. Western riders traditionally have worn cowboy hats, but more riders are taking the safe route and wear helmets. Western boots, jeans or other trousers are traditional and tops vary depending on the exact discipline you’re competing in. Some classes call for a lot of bling, others will require you to be more subdued.

English riders traditionally wear a habit: helmet, jodhpurs, tall boots, gloves, white shirt and tie. Most show ring riders wear some variation of this still. Some coats may be longer or shorter, may be subdued colors or black, and shirts light colored, with a rat-catcher, or ascot type collars. If you’re headed for the show ring, you’ll need to learn what is appropriate in the classes you’ll be competing.

The Type of Horse
Many of us have all-rounders that are suitable for anything. But, there is a type of horse suitable for almost every specific discipline. Generally, English horses are taller, suitable for clearing jumps or displaying floating gaits in dressage. Western horses tend to be shorter, stockier making them more suitable for cattle work.

Which Should You Learn?
The basics of each are the same. And, there’s no reason not to learn both. Pick what appeals to you. No matter what you choose, it will take a long time to develop your riding skills. No matter what type of riding you do, it will be worth every minute.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
I would just like to point out that we (western riders) do more than just work cattle.
  Sep 8, 2015  •  2,296 views
The gaits are different between English and western riding.

Walk > Trot > Canter > Gallop

Walk > Jog > Lope > Gallop

The trot (normal; not working, collected, etc...) is an energetic, two-beat gait that is approximately 8 miles per hour. It has a moment of suspension (bounce).

The jog is a slow, relaxed trot with less bounce than in normal trot.

The canter (normal; not extended, collected, etc...) is a controlled, forward-moving, three-beat gait that is approximately 10-17 miles-per-hour. There is a moment of suspension.

The lope is a slow, relaxed canter with less collection than a collected canter, but at about the same speed or slower (8-10 miles-per-hour). The suspension is less than the English canter.
  Nov 23, 2015  •  1,991 views
 More News by Winniefield Park
🐴 PonyBox Horse RSS Ovanta R by RavenSide Stud TBS
7th Aug 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
16.3 hand Thoroughbred mare RSS Ovanta R, with a highest jump of 104 inches and a jumpoff record of 683 - 169 has captured the top spot and earned 1,179,600 PB for stable RavenSide Stud TBS as we enter the month of August 2022. ...
🤠 The Wild Pony Race Calgary Rodeo
6th Aug 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
The Calgary Stampede is an annual July event with competitions for professional and amateur rodeo riders. The Wild Pony race was received with enthusiasm by an excited audience who turned out to watch teams of young rodeo athletes ...
🏇 Horse Headbutt Jockey Turns into Race Chaos
3rd Aug 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
A race at the Cazoo Derby got off to a very bad start for one jockey who parted with his horse. Then a mistake by the starter put the rest of the field in jeopardy as they raced down the turf track with a riderless horse leading t ...
🐻 Grizzly Bear Chases Six Horses Trail Cam
1st Aug 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Trail cams often provide a peek into the activities of the nearby wildlife. Imagine watching your footage and seeing your camera has captured a speedy pursuit that includes a grizzly bear and 6 horses. The ensuing melee happened o ...
🥇 Three Horses in Three Days Take PonyBox Top Spot
31st Jul 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
At 13-year-old the 17-hand Thoroughbred stallion MH Shameful Fame captured the #1 spot and held the record for the highest jump over the last weekend in July. He had earned 4,932,500PB for Mountain Hollow Estate and his jumpoff re ...
💌 How To Teach Your Horse to Send Email
29th Jul 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Jljflldlllllllllllllllllll BBBB uilyndlll. That’s the email message. Because it was sent by a horse. How do you teach a horse to type? Here’s how a group from Iceland went about training some Icelandic horses to send reply emails ...
🆘 Skydog Rescue Starts with one and Grows to Hundreds of Horses
23rd Jul 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
One horse really isn’t enough. And for a woman with Skydog Rescue, that first horse led to another. As she found more horses in need, she decided she need more space to keep them. Eventually, she was responsible for rescuing hundr ...
🏷️ 14 Donkeys Needing Rehome
21st Jul 2022   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas may have found themselves having to rehome 14 donkeys and a horse that someone left on a large property. The horse had escaped and was galloping down a highway. After being safely captur ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
©2002 - 2022   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
169 Members Online 271,369 Registered Members 3,080 News Articles 13,736,614 Unique News Article Views 328,101,276 Website Views