Western riding is a style of riding which evolved on the ranches spread all across the USA.. Much is made about the difference between English and Western riding, but in fact the two styles are very similar. A rider who is talented in one discipline will be skilled in the other, since the basic skills remain the same. In both English and Western riding, riders need to have solid seats, gentle hands, communication skills, and a good sense of balance.
The Western saddle was designed for cowboys who spent long days riding the range, driving and working cattle. Leather Western saddles are much heavier than English saddles but the weight of both saddle and rider is spread over a larger area of the horse’s back, which makes it less tiring for the horse. The contoured cantle, the fenders and stirrups keep the rider secure and comfortable in the saddle. The most obvious feature is the horn which, contrary to many beginning riders’ belief, is not for their benefit but is used by the rider when working cattle.