Western Tack vs English Tack – Horse Tack & Equipment By Corro

When it comes to horse tack, there’s a lot of options, especially when you consider both English and Western tack. Today, we’re breaking down the similarities and differences between English tack and Western tack.

English and Western Bridles

The Western bridle, in most cases, does not have a noseband. In some cases, the Western bridle does not have a browband, either. As most of the communication in Western riding is done through the seat and neck reining, the Western reins are loose and rest on the sides of the withers.

The English bridle has both a noseband and browband. English bridles are made up of headstalls, which are composed of cheek and crown pieces. English reins buckle at the wither area.
Western bits typically feature long shanks on the cheeks, featuring a large O-ring style.

English bits are typically made in the snaffle style, designed to provide optimal contact between horse and rider.

English and Western Saddles

The Western saddle is large and heavy, designed to provide comfort for long bits of time spent in the saddle – think of the classic Western cowboy, who spent days in the saddle roping and wrangling cattle. Western saddles also feature the iconic horn between the withers of the equine.

Western saddle pads are typically square or rectangle, made of wool or a similar material. They are large, designed to complement the large Western saddle. In most cases, Western saddle pads are not padded.

Western stirrups are typically made of leather.

The English saddle is small, lightweight, and compact, designed to provide close contact in order to allow the rider to communicate through their seat and legs. This is especially important for dressage and jumper riders.

English saddle pads are usually small, to complement the smaller English saddle. In most cases, they are designed to contour the equine body, but in some cases, they may be square or rectangle-shaped. Because the English saddle is light and thin, English saddle pads are usually heavily padded.

English stirrups are typically made of iron or metal.

Other English and Western Tack

In addition to the horse tack basics such as saddles and bridles, there are also other pieces of tack to take into consideration:

Martingales: Controls the horse’s head carriage and provides extra control. In most cases, martingales are used in English disciplines.

Breast Collars: Breast collars, otherwise known as breastplates, are designed to keep the saddle in place and to prevent it from sliding back or to the side. In most cases, breast collars are used in Western disciplines such as barrel racing.

Girths: The girth is a piece of horse tack that is used to secure the saddle by passing directly under the equine and hooking on to the saddle on either side on leather straps beneath the stirrup leathers, known as billets. Girths are typically used in English disciplines.

Cinches: The cinch is very much similar to the English girth; it keeps the saddle held firmly in place by passing underneath the equine and hooking onto a single strap on either side of the saddle, known as the latigo. Cinches are used in Western disciplines.

How Are English and Western Tack Similar?

While there are notable differences between English and Western tack, there are quite a few similarities, as well. Both disciplines make use of:

● Saddle Pads

● Stirrups

● Saddles

● Bits

● Bridles

● Horse boots

● Bell boots

● Lead ropes

● Halters (both nylon halters and leather halters)

● Stable supplies and horse care supplies, such as turnout blankets, clippers, fly sheets, and stable blankets.

Corro: Best Online Store for Horse Tack

Corro is proud to offer a massive inventory of equestrian supplies and horse tack in the united states. We’ve got everything you need in stock, from cinches and halters to first aid and horse blankets.

Whether you’re looking for training equipment, show halters, paddock boots, saddlebags, bareback pads, or spur straps, we’ve got what you need. We carry high-quality products that are always the professional’s choice.

Questions about our horse supplies? Give us a call at 866-962-6776 to speak with a member of the Corro team. We’d be happy to assist you with information about our return policy, purchasing a gift card, assistance with checkout, or simply providing you with information about our products.

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