Are you making the switch from the Western riding to English riding but would like to find an English saddle with a more distinctive western look? While hard-to-find, some crossovers saddles are made. The saddles are distinctively English in style and designed with an english saddle structure, but may have embellishments in a Western style on the English saddle. These saddles are great for casual riders, trail riders, and for training. Western-style English saddles are not appropriate for horse showing, however, except in costume classes.
If you are looking for a Western-style English saddle to buy, usually the best place to look is eBay. The there are several sellers who offer inexpensive English saddles with western style embellishments on eBay. Be warned, however, most inexpensive southwestern style English saddles are made of substandard products and may break down sooner, or simply not fit a horse all. It is very important to buy quality English saddles, even if looking for a Western-style English saddle. The structure of an English saddle has more contact with the horses back the a Western saddle so it is absolutely essential that any english saddle fit the horse’s back. The structure of an English saddle is based around the tree within the saddle, many cheaper brands manufacture a lower quality tree which may be twisted or uneven. Using a saddle built on a tree with these problems on your horse can cause behavioral problems or long term physical problems.
One alternative if you are looking for southwestern style English tack, is looking for a name brand English saddle that has been aesthetically renovated, or has had the superficial layer of leather tooled and embellishments added. This can be custom done by some saddlers if you cannot find one read-made. If you buy a quality name brand saddle that has been altered, you can be relatively certain the structure of the tree is solid. Also, some saddles manufactured for Arabian costume classes look like Western-style English saddles.