Western riding is a style of horseback riding which came about from the ranching traditions brought to the Americas by the Spanish Conquistadors. The equipment and riding style evolved over time to meet the rigorous demands of the working cowboy in the Old West. American cowboys had to work long hours in the saddle over tough terrain, sometimes needing to rope cattle with a lasso. Because of the need to steer the horse with one hand while lassoing with the other, western horses were trained to neck rein( change direction with light amount of pressure of a rein against the horse's neck).

The western riding emphasizes a deep, secure seat, and training methods that encourage a horse to be responsive on very light rein contact. Horses are also trained to exercise a certain degree of independence and follow their natural instincts.

The equipment differences between "English" and Western riding may appear dramatic, but there are fewer differences than most people think. Riders of both styles need to have a solid seat, with the hips and shoulders balanced over the feet, with hands independent of the seat.

The most noticeable difference in equipment is the saddle, which has a heavy and substantial tree (usually made of wood) to absorb the shock of roping. A western saddle has a prominent pommel topped by a horn (used for wrapping a lasso), a deep seat and a high cantle.

The biggest difference between "English" and "Western" bridles is the bit. Most finished "Western" horses are expected to eventually perform with a curb bit that have a single pair of reins. These have somewhat longer and looser shanks than the curb of an standard English bridle.

There are two styles of Western reins: The long split reins of the Texas tradition, which are completely separated, or the closed-end "Romal" reins in the California tradition, which have a long single attachment on the ends.
Check out some of the Western Saddle we have available:
Western Saddles
Black Suede Western Saddles
High End Western Saddles

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