If you are a beginner and want to start roping for pleasure then the best choice for you will be a quality Western saddle. It doesn’t matter if you are riding for fun or for professional competitions. A quality saddle will provide years of service and provide you with the comfort that you have never experienced before. There is a wide range of Western riding saddles to choose from. Some of them are suitable for children while others for adults and all types of riding.
Western Riding vs English Riding
Western riding is often considered easier for beginners simply due to the larger size of this saddle. It makes a novice feel more secure and comfortable. English riding on the contrary has a much smaller saddle and requires some more balance and coordination. Western saddles on the contrary are bigger than English saddles, simply because they were specifically made for comfort for cowboy riders. The Western saddle tree can make all the difference between a good time and a bad one.
How are Western Saddles Built?
Western saddles are built with quality leather from cowhide, suede or hides. These materials provide a strong and comfortable seat and back that will not twist or bend under pressure. Some Western saddle trees come with a steel shank that can be fixed or removed as the horse grows in years. This is important to avoid sharp pain later when the shank may no longer fit into the stirrup leathers.
Construction of Freeform Saddles
Freeform saddles use three-layer construction and higher quality leather. They usually have a built-in seat and cinch straps that allow a larger surface area for the muscles of the rider. This will allow the freeform structure to provide a more flexible ride. Although, these seats can be a little more uncomfortable for the woman gurl, they are perfect for most western riders.
Dressage riders can choose between fixed and adjustable stirrups. Fixed stirrup attachments feature a built-in seat and cinch straps. However, they need to be manually adjusted throughout the session to prevent the horse from standing up. For this reason, dressage seats are typically used by professional horsewomen and are also used in dressage shows.
What is a Quarter Horse Bars?
Quarter horse bars allow riders to control the horse more easily when they are riding with another horse. Quarter horse bars generally have open cinches at the tops with adjustable clamps that can be locked or unlocked depending on the height of the rider. When riders have their hands high together on their horses, they will experience less control and take more of a chance of injuring themselves. Many professional riders recommend that riders ride on high-quality quarter horse bars to minimize chances of injury.
In addition to the three main types of saddle, there are also different styles of bridle. Western riders prefer to use cinch-style bars with an open top that is cinched at the tops. On the other side of the spectrum, many horsewomen prefer to use barrel-style bars. They differ in style because barrel-style saddles have a wider and larger lip than cinch-style bars. Saddle manufacturers also designed saddles based on specific riding maneuvers such as jumping and roping.
Rodeo riders may like a more decorative seat with a flat surface and no arms on either side. Western saddles with round front wheels are perfect for these maneuvers as well as performing the more difficult long shots. The rider has to tilt the seat all the way back before putting any pressure on the reins. A rider who is not comfortable tilting the seat back will not be able to perform long shots and is better off with flat-top Western saddles with wide cinches. Other important parts of a quality Western saddle include a good quality rawhide-covered horn, strong leather bindings and sturdy metal halters with low or no sloping rear ends.