I got an english saddle a few months ago, rode in it once and sold it because:
- I needed money.
- I had no time to practice with it, nor would I unless I got to move them home. (Which happened but not in time!)
- I love Western more than anything and until I had time to do both, Western would win over English.
- Red prefers western.
But, would I be able to automatically jump 3'3 just because I rode in an English saddle? Um, no way. Just like jumpers wouldn't be able to hop on my horse and do some of the crazy things we do on trails. English isn't harder than Western, and our disciplines all take time, effort and hardwork.
|We all take pony selfies.|
Why would we judge a rider for what kind of saddle they ride in? If we are going to judge at all (and we shouldn't, let's be honest.) why don't we judge them for their abilities? English people work just as hard as Western people do, they still ride problem horses, they still get stuff done. Regardless of what kind of saddle I prefer at the end of the day, it's just that - a preference. It's not about what saddle we're in, it's about what horse we ride and how ride him/her. I was able to ride Red in english tack with dare-I-say ease, because I'm used to him. I know how he works. I know how he spooks. I know what makes him click. He's been my horse for less than two years, but he's very easy to figure out. Would I be able to confidently ride, let's say, Simon from SMTT, in English? Um, definitely no. Give me my western saddle, haha! But that doesn't make me less of a rider, it makes me a different kind of rider.
At the end of the day, what matters most isn't if we jumped or barrel raced, roped or did dressage, what matters is that we love our horses and support other riders.