Thursday, January 17, 2008

Western Saddle Types Explained

There are many different types of western saddles for different types of riding, competitions or work. In this article PFI's Saddle Experts try and break them down for you!

Trail Saddles

Trail or pleasure riding usually doesn't entail heavy work or long days, so the Pleasure Saddle is lighter in weight than most of the saddles intended for heavy jobs. The balance point tends to be to the back of the saddle. Lightweight saddles built with comfort in mind. Trail Saddles are usually built with comfort in mind on a lighter weight tree with a single “Mother Hubbard” style skirt. This diverse group of saddles has a variety of cantle heights, varied amounts of seat padding, and rigging choices. Many options at the rider’s discretion according to type of use, riding style, and breed of horse that will be ridden with that particular saddle. Rings and saddle strings are plentiful for attaching gear.

Shop now for Western Trail Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

Shop now for Tucker Trail Saddles at PFI Western Store

Barrel Saddles

Lightweight saddle built for speed and security. Usually built on a lightweight tree with a single “Mother Hubbard” style skirt. A tall cantle for security and support, combined with a horn tall enough to grip with your entire hand will help keep you seated. The vast majority of barrel saddles have roughout seat jockeys and fenders, although smoothout and tooled are available. Most barrel saddles have an in-skirt rigging with other rigging options available.

Shop now for Western Barrel Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

Cutter Saddles

Saddle built so you can move easily in the seat. Usually built with a lower cantle and a tall pommel (or swell) and horn. The seat is mostly flat with some rise toward the pommel. Seat jockeys and fenders are generally roughout. Most are rigged with the standard Double Dee Western rigging.

Shop now for Western Cutter Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

Ranch Saddles

Ranch saddles are built to withstand the rugged use of daily ranch work. These saddles are built on a tree durable enough to handle roping large animals whether dallying or “tied hard” to the horn. Most have a tall cantle with a moderate rise to the seat. The twist needs to be narrow enough to be comfortable during long hours of riding. Most have a hard seat with options of a bicycle seat, or a full padded seat. Heavy leather and a heavy tree make for a rugged saddle most of which tip the scale at 50 lbs. or more. Drop plate and double dee are the most common riggings for this type of saddle.

Shop now for Western Ranch Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

Ranch Cutter Saddles

Ranch Cutter saddles are built similar to Cutter Saddles with the main difference being the reinforced bars of the tree. This reinforcement makes the saddle strong enough for roping. The versatility of this saddle makes it an easy choice for horse trainers, team penners, and working cowboys.

Shop now for Western Ranch Cutter Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

Reiner Saddles

Reiner saddles are built for a close contact feel. Many of these saddles have cutaway skirt patterns to allow riders to easily cue their horse. A narrow twist and lower cantle provide a defined “pocket” in the seat that helps the rider stay Positioned. A lowered horn and pommel allow rein movement without interference. Most Reiner saddles are skirt rigged which allows for more forward fender movement when sliding to a stop.

Shop now for Western Reiner Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

Roper Saddles

Roper saddles are a durable saddle built on a heavier tree to withstand the riggers of arena roping or pasture work. Most Roper saddles have a padded flat seat, a straight up dally horn, and a lower cantle, and a lower pommel to prevent interference with rein movement and dallying. Typically roper saddles don’t have a lot of fender movement due to their position underneath the rider.

Shop now for Western Roper Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

Show Saddles

Show saddles are built for close contact and for show. Most show saddles are fully tooled and covered with silver. Cutaway skirts help the rider cue the horse. The equitation seat helps make a defined pocket for proper positioning. Show saddles are often made with very light colored leather.

Shop now for Western Show Saddles at PFI Western Store!!!

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