A recollection of my first rides were being lifted up into a Western saddle. I was instructed to hang onto the horn whether I was led around or rode in front of some generous rider, probably worn out from my running along next to them begging for a ride.
When I was older we rode bareback. At 20- we didn't want to take the time to saddle our horses. We were young and had no fear, or at least much less then I do at 50+. We rode bareback with hackamores. We even rode bareback with halters, which accounted for my second broken arm at age 11.
During those younger years, I tried English while caring for my friend's horses. It looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. Once I figured out how it worked and got on (it was ugly), I found it comfortable but missed the security of the Western horn in front of me. This and the fact that I wasn't exposed to any other English saddles left Western as my beverage of choice.
Our Daughter was started in English when she took lessons, eventually moving to Western later. She has always preferred her beverage to be English and to use two hands when riding. And indeed when she was showing Champ it was their strongest discipline.
It seems the horse shows I've attended have had a larger turnout for Western then English. Yet where Champ is boarded the majority of riders prefer English and Dressage and there aren't many of us Western riders (although our numbers have recently been increasing).
I'm curious. What is (or was) the beverage of your choice?
Did you start with one beverage and then change to another when you got older? If so, why and what obstacles did you encounter?
Have you ever considered changing?
Daughter's English saddle sits in our tackroom along with the bridle, saddle pads, etc. I've found a leather strap online that fastens to the front of an English saddle - surely for security if one needs to 'grab leather'. Comforting to know. It may not be 2010's goal but surely one I'll want to experience. How about you?