Explaining Horse Riding Styles

How much do you know about horse riding? It isn’t as simple as climbing into the saddle and riding. There are modifications of all of riding styles and even some different styles entirely; however, when it comes to riding styles there are only a few specific popular examples. The two most popular of these options are a choice between Western style and English style riding.

For many countries of the world, Western style riding seems to be the most popular. This is because it is twofold. This is a style based on horses being a work animal. The saddle itself is much different than saddles used in English riding. Western saddles allow the rider the opportunity to use his/her weight and the saddle itself to manage the horse. Western riding styles are designed for speed and lengthy hours, which is quite a considerable difference from English riding styles.

In English horse riding, the saddle is much different than what you would see on a ranch or rodeo. English saddles are much smaller and flatter than the Western alternative. The positioning of the rider is much different as well, as the English style encourages a bent leg seated position. The Western style allows for longer extensions of the leg, often at just the full length on either side of the horse.

While these are the two primary styles out there, there are sublets of the English style like dressage and hunt seat. These are more the purpose of the riding, exercising control of the horse through jumps, trots and more.

While there might be other styles of riding, and consequent variations of these styles for the reason you are riding, Western and English styles remain the two most popular. A mastery of either style is hard to come by and requires much dedication and persistence.