English saddles are very different, stylistically, from their Western counterparts. English saddles are used for disciplines such as English pleasure, English equitation, dressage, and jumping.
English saddles are designed to be lightweight and streamlined while allowing the rider freedom of motion. English saddles lack the horn and tall cantle of Western saddles, which can make sitting in an English saddle feel somewhat insecure if you’re used to riding Western. English saddles position the rider so that they’re fairly close to the horse; this allows for a feeling of continuous contact, which is conducive to disciplines like dressage. Thanks to the saddle’s more minimalized design, a rider can move around quite a bit, getting up into a jumping position or choosing a more forward seat for galloping.
An English saddle is one of the most lightweight type of saddle available. It secures with a single girth and is cut so that there is no skirt to extend past the cantle. The stirrups and stirrup leathers are easily removable for cleaning.
When looking for an English saddle, choose a saddle made of quality leather. You’ll find that your security in an English saddle can be dramatically affected by the type of leather used. The saddle should put you in a balanced position – you shouldn’t feel like you’re leaning too far forward or backward when the saddle is on your horse. As you sit in different English saddles, you may find that you have a preference for certain flap positions and how secure they make you feel as you ride.