A well-trained Western Pleasure horse looks easy to ride
The early American cowboys needed to work long hours in the saddle over rough terrain, sometimes needing to rope cattle with a lariat. Because of the necessity to control the horse with one hand and use a rope with the other, western horses were trained to neck rein. Horses were also trained to exercise a certain degree of independence in using their natural instincts to follow the movements of a cow, thus a riding style developed that emphasized a deep, secure seat, and training methods encouraged a horse to be responsive on very light rein contact. Today, it is an enjoyable way of riding and a popular way to show the Western horse in competition.