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English Saddle Vs. Western Saddle

English Saddle Vs Western Saddle

The popularity of English Saddles is highly improvised in the United States as much as Western Saddles. People likely buy these saddles depending on what they require for their riding discipline. Since Western saddles are more useful for ranching and farming purposes, English saddles are more common in the sports category. Henceforth, if you are a horse rider, you can select the most desirable one as per your needs.

If someone is very much into horseback riding, they must have had experience riding both in the English saddle and the Western saddle. It can be easy to identify the difference between them; however, if you are a new rider, then it’s hard to compare the difference just by looking at it. Likely, most people ask us which one is the better choice, the English saddle or the Western saddle.

Read More: 6 Reasons to Buy Synthetic Western Saddle For Horse

Types of Riding Discipline: English & Western Saddle

Western saddles are mostly made up of high-quality leather or other synthetic material. Most commonly, a Western saddle is designed for cowboys, as they require comfort to sit all day long on the horse’s back. They are helpful in the following riding disciplines: barrel racing, reining, cutting, and ranch work.

On the other hand, English saddles are genuinely made up of quality leather. They are comparatively lightweight with Western saddles and also look quite classy and appropriate. Likewise, one may not find an English saddle with too much stamping work. They are helpful in the following riding disciplines: dressage, jumping, and shows or events.

Designing of the Saddle: Western vs. English

Even if you look for one, it will be easy to tell the difference between the English and Western saddles. Usually, Western saddles are on the heavier side in comparison to an English saddle. The purpose of any type of saddle is to distribute the rider’s weight on the horse’s back. Accordingly, when you use a Western saddle, it divides the weight most prominently as it is larger.

Western Saddle Design: It provides greater comfort during long rides, cowboy riding, and similar activities. It has a larger cantle at the back that provides greater support. Alongside, you will get long fenders and stirrups that will be more secure and comfortable for the rider. In addition, most Western saddles have a horn attached at the front for roping, pulling cattle, or dragging loads.

English Saddle Design: The design of an English saddle is much simpler, easy to use, and smaller in size. These saddles originated in English-speaking countries but are currently in use worldwide. Moreover, the design of the saddle is such that it’s pretty lightweight and thinner for the horse’s comfort.

The ultimate reason for using an English saddle is that it gives the rider more flexibility and allows the horse to move freely. Henceforth, they are more adaptable to games such as the Olympics and similar activities. Furthermore, you get knee rolls and extra padding that keeps your leg in the right place.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Saddle for Your Horse?

How to Choose the Right Saddle?

Western Saddle:

  • Firstly, make sure for which riding discipline you want the saddle. Or if you want to simply use it for pleasure and comfort riding style.
  • Secondly, measure your horse’s back accurately so that the saddle fits perfectly. The minimum and maximum size of the saddle may range between 13 inches to 18 inches.
  • Once you place the saddle on the horse, check if there is at least enough space for three fingers to fit in.
  • Make sure your saddle is not causing any discomfort to the horse through the movement. More so, any form of injury will make the animal not follow the rider’s command.

English Saddle:

  • While looking for an English saddle, there are numerous options that you may choose from. Generally, people may choose an all-purpose English saddle as it’s suitable for all.
  • In comparison to a Western saddle, most English saddles are available at a cost-effective price. Likewise, they are comfortable and easy to fit on the horse.
  • If you are looking for something particular, there are various professional options for you to choose from. The most common ones are – endurance saddles, dressage saddles, show saddles, and others.
  • It’s quite easy to fit an English saddle as its design is simple. Also, they do not interfere with the horse’s movement and allow them to move freely.


If you can have a closer look, both English saddles and Western saddles are best in their part of work. However, people are still not sure what they want or if it’s worth investing their money in. You can always check our website for the best saddles available. In addition, we also provide the option of customization depending on the buyer’s demands.

We know that buying a saddle can be hectic, as you have to give away a large sum of money. Accordingly, you can make the best choice by figuring out what riding discipline you have to work for and if it’s suitable or not.

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Written by

The author of the article is Alicia Nelson. She is a professional writer who is keenly interested in learning more about horses and their riding essentials. Apart from being a writer, Alicia is interested in equine life and is also a learned person in English riding disciplines. It’s also her profession to gather more and more knowledge about equine life and let others know about it in a correct manner.

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