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What’s the difference between English and Western horseback riding? In English riding, the rider takes the reins in both hands and uses them to control the speed and direction of the horse through the mouth. In Western riding, on the other hand, the rider uses a single hand to hold the reins.
Is Western or English riding easier? English riding involves a bit more balance and coordination of the reins and legs, so riders may not feel immediately secure in the saddle. The larger Western saddle makes it easier for the beginner to sit comfortably and feel more secure.
What does Western riding include? The disciplines are different. English consists of jumping, dressage, equitation, and hunter, while western can include barrel racing, pole bending, roping, trail riding, and reining. Both can be ridden on a competitive level with trophies, ribbons, and prize money.
What do you call a Western horse rider? The most common terms are equestrian and cowgirl, which are not discipline specific.