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Here are the most common types of saddles that you'll see.


 
This is the most common type of"English"
Saddle. It's the best choice of saddle for 
all around ridability. 
The Forward Seat saddle was 
developed by Italian Cavalry 
riders during World War I. It 
is essentially an English saddle.
If you go fox hunting or like to
jump, this saddle is a good 
choice.
The McClellan saddle is another story 
altogether. Designed as a cavalry saddle 
the U.S.Army in the 1850's, it has had 
a long career with the Army. This is the
the type of saddle great-great grandpappy
rode in during the Civil War. It was used
by the U.S. Army until the 1940's when 
horse cavalry was deemed obsolete. It's
a good saddle for cavalry riding and trail
riding. I've hunted in one and found it 
great for that purpose. But, the McClellan
saddle takes a great deal of getting used
to. It can ruin your backside if you are not
used to it. My advice, barrow one first
before you buy one, oh, and put a blanket
on top of the saddle, too (old cavalry trick). 
The McClellan is one of my favorites.
Here's one that everybody should
be familiar with. There are many 
of "Western" saddle to be found
and they are all purpose-specific.
There are western saddle for 
everything from roping, barrel 
racing, cutting, trail riding, hard 
tying and daly horns, and you name
it. It's about the most comfortable 
saddle if you're planning to spend 
long hours in it.