Top Best Western Saddles – Based Reviews 2019
While doing a wide range of outside activities including working on ranches riders use western saddles. The design makes every ride comfortable and safe. Talking about functions, one of them is a so-called Horn saddle. Some struggle controlling cattle but this model promises to make this task much easier.
Concho, Seat, Cinch ring, Stirrup, Skirt, Strings, Rear jockey, Cantle, Pommel, etc. Are parts of the saddle. It divides into seven different types. Each of them is made especially for various tasks, situations, and purchasers. Their names are Cutting, Racing, Endurance, Trail, Show, Roping, and Equitation.
Which is Better for Riding?
- 1 Top Best Western Saddles – Based Reviews 2019
- 2 Western Saddles Types
- 3 Top Best Sellers 2019
Western saddles are made to make both riders and their horses happy and completely safe. They are big and promise to turn a simple ride into a comfortable “walk” with your horse due to one function it has. Put, because of its large sizes, and western saddles allow the rider’s weight to most of the horse’s back. Thus, it provides a safe and enjoyable ride for owners of such saddles. Also, the western saddle is made of rawhide. Although you can find much less heavy saddles for almost the same price, you should keep in mind that original ones were made of leather and their underside was made of either wool or sheepskin.
If you are a curious person, it is very likely you have already looked up some more information about horse saddles or searched through several stores on sale. If that is true, you surely noticed that there are quite a lot of differences between saddles which were made for work and the ones made for pleasure. Firstly, the horn and the seat (its balance) might differ depending on the task for which you buy the saddle. Secondly, if you are considering the English saddle as your first saddle, we recommend you to do it because it is narrower than the western saddle.
However, if you are new to this kind of activity, you should be careful while choosing your western saddle. First of all, you should consider one of the essential things, which is material. Depending on what type and level of quality of the components that the saddle was made of, it can turn out to be either perfect for you or pretty uncomfortable and probably bring danger to your horse (its neck) and you.
Taking Each Part of a Western Saddle
Horse saddles have a very old and long history. That is the reason why now not only professional trainers but even beginners or fans of this kind of sport can see how improved and modern these days’ saddles look and feel when you use them yourself. They now provide much more comfort and convenience for both horses and riders. Each part of the saddle has its features and purposes. For example, why they are needed to be included in the saddle’s structure and what are the parts of its seat?
If we are talking about the modern saddle, then its so-called “basis” is a tree. This part is what determines the shape of the seat, as well as swelling, horn, cuff, and bars. Originally, it was made wood which was further covered with rawhide. But returning to the new version of the saddle, we can claim that its main task is to benefit the rider and their horse. Also, it is something that makes the weight of the rider completely smoothed out over the back of the horse.
The next part of the seat we are going to talk about is swelling. Sometimes people also call it to fork. It is placed on the front side of the saddle and is something that brings it a certain shape and holds all the rods together. Swelling can be compared to a tree in some sense since it serves as the strong part of the well-known horn. However, it isn’t a “weak” part of the western saddle, for it is included in the construction for a good reason – it helps cattle be lighter. Put, it is the place where the rider has to tie his end of the rope. But all these are not all advantages of the horn because nowadays it is popular with many riders of all levels of skills.
If you find the saddle with the seat which has a small curve, then you can call yourself either lucky or a potential professional rider! In the “horse riding world,” such place is considered perfect due to that little curve which corresponds to the pelvic arc. Its best benefit is that the rider can sit much more comfortable and even ride for several hours. And if you prefer your horse saddle to be like this, our advice will be to find it with the seat that is less wide in front, so that your legs can be closer to your horse, which makes it easier for you to lead it. On the other side, if the position of the seat’s front is flat, you are quite likely to have one of the most uncomfortable rides in your life. And if it is your very first one, it will be twice worse and can probably even make you start hating this type of activity.
Another factor which protects the rider from slipping down from the saddle is the stand. It is located on the back side of the seat and offers riders good backrest (which is very important, especially if you like long hour rides). Another one is a sip of the saddle. It is merely a cut piece located under the swelling over the withers of the horse. Between them and the throat, it is known to be the distance from about two to four fingers so that the saddle doesn’t run into the animal’s withers. If it is short the consequences might be even worse, for example, the horse can be pretty uncomfortable, which will reflect on the rider’s comfort and the quality of the whole ride.
The Other Parts of the Western Saddle
The other parts of the western saddle are jokey, skirt, lattice-carrier and also rigging rings. Either you call it “the holder of the latigo of the strap” or plainly “the holder of the latigo”, in both cases this part of the construction is intended to be the support of the free end of latigo and hold it tightly, whereas the saddle skirt protects the animal which you are riding from the saddle bars, which is a place where heavy leather is attached to the inner side of the bars. Another goal of the dress part is to help balance the rider’s weight over the back of the horse and guarantee a fully safe ride. The saddle jokey is the one to cover the open parts of the mentioned above tree trunks, which are attached with the help of other parts of the saddle such as screws, horse-down chests, and strings. Another thing about it is that it also keeps the rider’s feet still so that they don’t rub the skin of snap and stirrups.
Now let’s talk about something that is also an essential and influential – the rigging ring. This part of the western saddle makes the ride safe and puts it out of danger. The rigging ring connects the belts which provide the saddle with a complete balance as well. Before buying the saddle, you have to learn how to equip it properly, which is likely to increase security when you drive. The strings aren’t any less important than the rigging ring, for they hold all the parts of the saddle together and keep them safely attached to each other by tying all them to saddle bars.
The last part of the saddle we are going to talk about today is a stirrup which has already been mentioned many times before in the paragraphs above. Because of the amount of help it brings while setting the horse, it is known as one of the most significant parts of the saddle. In the old days, stirrups were made of wood, although now people changed the system and process of producing them by using metal and modern technologies. We may call it a better way to make stirrups due to the additional strength it gets. After all, a saddle shouldn’t be taken not seriously because it is an instrument for riding horses. By making it for granted, people forget about the details, each of which has its own unique goal. Provided riders begin to look at all of them attentively and see how important a simple Western Saddle is. They will surely increase not only the level of their intelligence and knowledge in horse riding but also level up their skills and learn how to take care of the equipment and treat it with respect.
It is a well-known fact that saddles are pretty expensive so it might lead to some troubles if you decide to buy a cheap one. Not only it will not serve you for a long time, but will also lack support for your back which is what weight distribution is focused on. Such problems can cause even worse consequences such as bad horse’s condition and disobedient behavior. However, if you are planning on buying a saddle that can last for several years, you should consider quality the most important factor when choosing which one to purchase. Just imagine a situation in which someone rides on your back, and you feel quite uncomfortable since the fit is bad and it merely doesn’t feel like it is meant to be for you. Thus, you can now understand why any horse would be in a bad mood and shape if you weren’t careful and attentive enough while choosing a saddle for it.
After talking about the saddle’s proper position, we now can also mention the material’s importance on this subject. They should certainly be high-class because even forgetting about the price, the time that you can work with it will be worth your money. An average number is two years, while which you can be sure your trips are going to be full of joy, pleasure and relaxed minutes or even hours. However, if the fit on your horse isn’t in your list of considerations, then it is likely not to fit well and cause the animal to hurt or even its life danger. Thus, we highly recommend you to make sure your saddle is made of the high-quality materials and fits your horse well so that you can both enjoy long hours of riding and relaxing together.
Western Saddles Types
There are plenty of various kinds of saddles which are available to everyone nowadays. Some might even feel dizzy after seeing how many of them there are. Western saddles can be divided into several classes, which are rock or wood, material (which was already mentioned above), technique, its task or purpose and fork style. Inside every one of them, there is even more. For example, height, workplace, either smooth or rough leather, the method of a horn, embossing, tools, etc. But regardless of how professional you are in this sphere, you will understand how clever you are and what a sophisticated taste you have.
You are new to horse riding and don’t know what the differences between the western saddles’ types, sizes or designs are, then you should certainly read this article, which can also be called “a guide” to this crazy world of western driving. It will help you not only to become more educated but also give you enough knowledge and examples for you to be able to pick your saddle in the end. Our guide will help you understand your taste in saddles and advice you if the saddle you want to buy will march your horse and you.
First of all, we have to determine the purpose of the saddles. They are made to be used for fun activities as trail riding, barrel racing, calf cutting, reining and roping. These saddles can fit you and your horse while training or working. You can easily identify it just by looking at it: if it has a horn on it and its size is huge, then it is certainly a western saddle. The reason for it being comfortable is that western saddles make rider’s legs go further to the animal, then they do in English saddles, which provides a much better ride for both. However, you shouldn’t be surprised when you see how large it is. Of course, western saddles tend to weigh more because of their sizes, but it has never been a problem for riders with different tastes of styles or activities for which they use these saddles.
Provided you are a long-hours rides’ fan, pleasure or trail saddles will make a perfect match for you. In case your saddle has to carry heavy things, cutting and ranch saddles are for you. Because of the fact that they are designed especially for such situations, they are often seen on farmers’ and working riders horses.
When your horse quickly turns around barrels you might be a little confused. However, if you are an owner of a barrel racing saddle, whose constructions differ quite a lot from previous models, then you shouldn’t even think about it since your saddle automatically keeps you out of danger when such situations happen. When competing in mounted games like gymkhana or others barrel saddles are used pretty often and help riders achieve their goals while staying safe and confident. As we have already said before, there are various styles and types of western saddles with plenty of features, prices, and options.
You can be a western rider, a fan of ranches and horse riding or just a person who is new to all of these things. Nevertheless, after looking up western saddles, you will discover (or have already discovered) what a wide range of different designs there is for almost every specific activity you may be interested in or might even connect your life to shortly. Thus, we suggest you look at several kinds of a western saddle, at least one of which will fit you and your animal. And if not, remember that there are lots of others made especially for you and your horse!
All-weather Western Saddle
If by any chance you are a rider who is interested in several disciplines at the same time, then an all-weather western saddle is just perfect for you. It is claimed to be created for activities like carving, upholstery or practice. Usually, such riders do all of them for one week or even on the same day. This is the reason why everyone who has at least some knowledge about horse riding and saddles can say that it is an ideal match for multiple-task purpose and someone who is looking for either a saddle to use at a training center or a saddle which will serve for a long time and serve without further problems:
- Excellent jacket.
- Swells nicely under the rider.
- Accessories and the horn are safely attached and are hard to break.
- Big and convenient seat.
All-Around Western Saddle or Ranch Saddle
All-around saddles also are known among riders as ranch western saddles are made specifically to help western drivers do several tasks at once. Although their weight is bigger than the usual ones’, they can be used for both working tasks and just lonely calm rides. The second case is why this saddle is much more comfortable, than many others and can “bear” long periods of time. One of its features is a quite deep seat. A thick convenient saddle horn isn’t forgotten as well:
- Piano style and very high horn.
- Comfy armchairs that make every ride relaxing and prevent the rider from focusing on the way they seat etc.
- Wooden tree.
- Plinth with the close contact.
- Trail or Pleasure the Western Saddle.
If your priority is a comfort, then the pleasure saddle will be perfect for you. Its construction is featured with a very high fork, thus providing a much better and enjoyable ride for the rider. Such saddles are often used for durable slow rides so those who prefer quick turns and high-speed rides won’t be very satisfied.
But provided you like light-weighted saddles and are a person who is quite picky when it comes to your comfort and the way you feel your body while riding, then you should certainly consider trail or pleasure saddle your choice. What is more, the horse remains safe and comfortable as well, so with this saddle, you won’t have to worry about it:
- Huge stapler.
- Quite thin horn.
- The stable and secure back side of the saddle.
- Keeps the rider’s body with the rider even thinking about it and keeps them in complete safety.
Barrel Horse Racing Western Saddles
The barrel racing saddle is known for its lightweight, pretty large swells, and a high cantle. All these features make the ride safer even when the horse does some quite risky sharp turns or fast sprints. As you may have already guessed, these saddles are made for those who like speed.
This is why their weight is much lighter than pleasure saddles mentioned before, and they are often seen at sports events or competitions. Their purpose is to anchor the rider to their horse and add some extra stability and control in spite of all turns, quick runs or twists. A deep-extending seat and a tall, slender horn are one of the features which are the reason for it:
- The saddle itself is pretty strong and provides much security to its owner due to unique features.
- The seat covered with suede will surely keep the rider still and make sure they don’t slip over, which is why it is claimed to be the safest and the deepest seat among all the others.
- A horn is tall enough for almost any rider to hold it.
- High fork.
Cutting Off the Western Saddle
Looking for a saddle to keep you safe and in the actual saddle despite all fast turns and sudden stops? Then the cutting saddle is your choice. This saddle is equipped with large wide swells and comfortable deep seat, which allows the rider to not worry about whether he will slip or not due to its sizes.
Due to full high swells, the rider is kept seated. Also, a horn, whose texture is thin, makes the rider have an excellent tight grip and stay still in a safe balance. Despite all the mentioned advantages, the cutting saddle isn’t the one for you if you are just a beginner. Such a saddle is more often used by professionals or at least advanced level riders:
- Slender stirrups.
- Low lift and gradual landing.
- High-quality mantle.
- The horn and “pommel” are located very high for the rider to be able to hold it confidently.
Reining Western Saddle
Many western drivers are well educated about different horse-riding events. So, when it comes to reining events, they almost always believe in themselves because they know a reining saddle is their best choice.
Its free swinging fenders, low seat, and stirrup leather are all added to the design to give the horse more accuracy and help the rider with their sliding stops, pivots turns, overturns or even backs. As you might have already guessed, all of them are included in a reining discipline and require high-quality saddles to perform them correctly while staying out of possible danger. The horse rider must also be close to the horse and at the same time move their hips actively to increase the speed and become freer in their actions or movements:
- Convenient seat.
- Low horn.
- Shorter skirts provide demanded close contact with the horse.
Roping Western Saddle
The roping saddle has several features which help the rider be free and help to dismount in a hurry. They include such characteristics as low cantle, very thick comfortable horn, a slick fork, and a much studier saddle then the others.
The purpose of this saddle is, quite expectably, to help daily and rope a cow. These saddles also very often have a wooden tree and rounded fork for better work. All the benefits help the rider stay stable and confident when it comes to sudden actions:
- Thicker and smaller horn, than in other models.
- A deep seat.
Show Western Saddle
Next is the show saddle. Its features consist of a lot of silver trip, a comfortable deep large seat, very deep skirts and also some beautiful silver decorations. As you can see, many many of them are made partly to show off some stylishness and modern design – the name speaks about it.
This saddle also allows its owner to ride slowly and without any noticeable turns-troubles or slipping problems. If you are planning on buying the show saddle for competition, be ready to give much money for it, for they tend to be more expensive:
- Minimalistic design.
- The seat helps the rider stay balanced.
- Big skirts as a sophisticating decoration.
- Perfect for those who have troubles with leg positioning thanks to rotated stirrups.
Top Best Sellers 2019
Equitation Western Saddle
The endurance saddle is always used for long rides at high speed. This is why, although this saddle is made for an every-level rider, it has to help its owner stay in place and don’t slip. This task is quite hard, but the saddle does its work perfectly with the help of a huge full seat which divides the rider’s weight for additional balance, an absence of horn which makes it pretty different for other saddles yet is sturdy and provides much comfort to both the animal and the rider:
- Fully balanced seat.
- Rotated stirrups hold the rider’s legs in an appropriate position and make sure it stays there.
Fitting the Western Saddle
English riders aren’t often fans of long rides, whereas western riders are quite the opposite to them. This is the reason why you must have a fitting you saddle to keep you safe and comfortable. You may be wondering how you can find “your” saddle. Well, we can help you with that. First of all, you have to check if the panels are symmetrical to the cantle and horn. Then you have to make sure the tree is positioned straightly, and the bars of your saddle has the same angle as the shoulders of the horse you are going to ride. Done? Then match this exact line and take it to the saddle shop. You can match it by tracing it on to a piece of paper, and it should be quite a big one. After that, you have to make sure the pillow complement the saddle. Next is checking if your saddle is correctly located past the scapula and not behind the horse’s ribcage’s last rib.
Last but not the least important are your feelings and your horse’s reaction on the saddle. Talking about you, the saddle has to fit you in all existing senses. Your 3-4 fingers have to meet behind the cantle and you. And you should also be able to place your hands between you and the saddle’s pommel. Furthermore, your horse has to seem calm (we highly recommend you to look at it for some time and try to understand what its exact reaction is) and perhaps drop its head. In this case, your choice is officially approved, and you can use this saddle without worrying about picking it wrongly.
The Choice Western Saddle is Yours!
Remember that all saddles have their strong sides and are excellent and useful in their way. However, knowing some “technical moments” and understanding why this or that characteristic will either hurt the animal or make your ride better is very important and even essential. Keep in mind that no matter what the saddle you use or are going to has to fit you. Whether it does or not can make your and your horse’s ride terrible. Sometimes it can even cause some damages to both of you. Before buying any place, find out more information on this topic at westsad.com.