Western saddles are used for disciplines and activities like trail riding, roping, reining, barrel racing, and calf cutting. These saddles are easily identifiable by the presence of a saddle horn and their overall large size. Many riders agree that Western saddles are more comfortable; they put the rider in a position where their legs drop down further on the horse than an English saddle does. Because of their larger size, Western saddles tend to weigh more than English saddles do.
Western saddles come in many different types, each intended for use during a specific activity. Pleasure or trail saddles are the most popular type of saddle, since they’re comfortable and intended for riders who spend long hours in the saddle.
Cutting, ranch, and roping saddles are all built to withstand significant amounts of work. These are the saddles that you would see riders using when working on the ranch or the farm. These saddles are designed with durability and performance in mind.
Barrel racing saddles, on the other hand, have a very different construction which serves to keep the rider secure as the horse quickly turns around barrels. Some riders use barrel saddles when competing in gymkhana or other mounted games.
Western saddles have different styles, features, and price ranges. The type of saddle that’s right for you will depend on the riding activity that you’ll be doing and the type of features that you prefer.