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Types of western saddles

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Discover the difference in western saddles

Riding horses is a popular past time for many. This activity is very often enjoyed on trails and by creating our own adventures on pathways we forge ourselves. For this sort of environment -- a more rugged environment -- a certain type of saddle is required:  the western saddle. What those of us who only occasionally ride horses may be unaware of, however, is that there are many different types of western saddles.

These saddles are designed to perfectly fit different situations, as not everyone rides a horse for the same reasons. There are riders who ride only for pleasure, riders who spend hours every day on horseback, and riders who train their horses for show.

In order to give you a working knowledge of these different saddles, below are the most common types of western saddles:

Trail Saddle:

This saddle is meant to give both the rider and the horse the most comfort.  As the name suggests, this saddle is meant mainly for trail riding and for a rider who prefers slower speeds.  The seat for this saddle is deeper and more heavily padded than most other saddles for maximum comfort.

Endurance Saddle:

This saddle is designed for riders who spend long hours on the back of the horse. It is mainly designed to allow the rider to be as light as possible on the horse's back. This allows the horse to have more energy and have the endurance to carry its rider for many hours. This saddle is specially designed to spread the rider's weight instead of having it concentrated in one spot. The stirrups are also a little farther forward than on most saddles to allow the rider to raise himself off the saddle during higher speeds.

Roping Saddle:

The roping saddle has a much stronger horn than other types of western saddles. This stronger horn is used to secure the rope. The stirrups are also positioned so that the rider can raise himself up and remain balanced while roping.

Barrel Racing Saddle:

This saddle has a deeper seat than most other saddles to keep the rider in place during tight turns. It also has a longer horn than other kinds to give the rider a place to grab on to when making tight corners. This saddle is mainly designed to keep the rider in the seat and to allow the horse good maneuverability.

Cutting Saddle:

The cutting saddle has a deep seat and wide swells to help keep the rider centered. This allows the rider to remain stable when making quick stops and turns.

Show Saddle:

The show saddle is much more decorative than other saddles. It often has longer skirts to show off silver designs or ornate decorations. The stirrups are designed so that the rider's foot will fall in line with the horse's hip and upper body. This saddle is designed to give the appearance of smoother ride and show off the rider's proper riding posture.

There are certainly other types of western saddles, but this short list should be able to give you a look into the diversity and versatility of western saddles. Knowing the basics about each type of saddle can help you pick out the right kind of saddle for your favorite type of riding.

Western saddle types
The western saddle

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