Our Favorite Saddles for Every Kind of Rider
There are many different types of western riding saddles that are designed with the unique needs of the rider and horse in mind. Choosing the right type of saddle and finding the right saddle fit is important for helping the rider accomplish his or her goals while keeping the horse healthy and comfortable. From ranch roping saddles to saddles designed for trail riding, we’ve put together a list of our favorite saddles for every type of rider.
Best for Ranch Riding
Ranch saddles are typically bigger and heavier than other types of saddles, offering a slick, hard seat for comfortable use over long work days. The sturdy tree is durable during rigorous ranch work, and the plate rigging makes the saddle more comfortable for the horse that wears it all day long. Here are a few of our favorite ranch saddles:
4616 Reinsman Rancher
One of our favorite ranch saddles is the 4616 Reinsman Rancher because it’s handmade and built to last. This all roughout rancher saddle features flat plate rigging and real wool skin as well as multiple stainless steel rings and strings for tying gear. As a bonus, the reinforced wood tree also carries a lifetime warranty with normal, intended use. At $2,760, it’s also at a lower price point than some other options.
4614 Reinsman Wade
Another one of our favorite ranch riding saddles is the 4614 Reinsman Wade. We like to call it the ideal cowboy saddle with its bucking rolls and flat plate rigging. The saddle is great for all-day ranch riding and work, as it’s handmade and hand tooled with a lifetime warranty on its tree. This saddle includes a matching flank cinch set to keep it secured.
Best for Ranch Roping
Ranch roping saddles are built to last with a sturdy wood tree that has either a bullhide, rawhide, or fiberglass covering. Roping saddles typically have a padded or suede seat, and sometimes a pocket seat to offer better positioning. Here are a few of our favorite ranch roping saddles:
1253 UC Roper
Hand tooled and hand crafted in Texas, the Circle Y 1253 UC Roper is a great performance saddle. This saddle is endorsed by Ultimate Calf Roping and designed to fit today’s horse and competitor. The tree is reinforced at stress points with Kevlar®, and it offers a lifetime tree warranty. At a $2,300 price point, this is an affordable option for ranch ropers who want a quality saddle.
4620 Reinsman Ranch Roper
Looking for a custom ranch roping saddle? The 4620 Reinsman Ranch Roper is custom built with real wool skin and custom conchos with four sets of string to tie gear. This saddle features a hard seat and leather pencil roll with a close contact cut out skirt, and it includes a matching flank cinch set to keep it secured. The reinforced wood tree also carries a lifetime warranty.
Best for Barrel Racing
Barrel saddles are characterized by a high cantle with deep pocket seat that holds the rider in. These saddles also have a high horn and shorter skirts. Here are our top choices for barrel racing saddles:
6931 Mercury Cordura Barrel
Weighing in at just 22 pounds, the 6931 Mercury Cordura Barrel saddle from High Horse gives you the advantage of reduced weight. Its turquoise rawhide braided horn gives it a unique look while the leather/synthetic hybrid offers grip, and the 5” cantle provides a secure seat. At $975, this is also a very affordable option for barrel racers.
1328 Jatzlau J2 Barrel
The 1328 Jatzlau J2 Barrel saddle is an excellent treeless barrel saddle option from Circle Y Saddles. Its treeless design allows the rider to stay in close contact with the horse while offering the horse unrestricted movement. The 4” laid back cantle and low profile swell is great for riders who like to get out of their seat quickly without feeling constrained by the saddle. The saddle is not only well built but also gorgeous with rose tooling, chocolate painted background, copper conchos with copper spots, and a suede seat that’s embossed with daisies.
Best for Trail Riding
Saddles used for trail riding and pleasure come in many different varieties. Most are built with a lightweight tree and designed with a lower cantle for better comfort. Rigging is usually in-skirt, and these saddles are often equipped with leather ties to attach gear. Here are our picks for best trail riding saddles:
6821 Texas City Trail Saddle
The 6821 Texas City Trail Saddle is one of our favorite High Horse saddles. Featuring three-way adjustable slide-over rigging, this saddle allows you three different options to rig the saddle in a way that’s best suited for your horse. The aluminum offset stirrups help keep the heel down in a comfortable, correct position. The saddle also offers a unique western look with floral tooling and antique gold berry star conchos.
1590 Tennessee Trail Gaiter® Saddle
You can ride for hours in comfort with the 1590 Tennessee Trail Gaiter® saddle from Circle Y Saddles. This saddle offers all the standard features of the Trail Gaiter® with the addition of extra footman’s loops on the cantle for tying gear. The saddle frees your gaited horse to perform while the skirt doesn’t impeded your ride.
Best for Cutting
Cutting saddles are characterized by a low cantle as well as a high pommel and horn. Rough out leather is often used for the jockeys and fenders to provide a better grip. A flatter seat and reinforced rigging is also used in cutting saddles. Here are a few of our top choices:
2542 Hamilton Ranch Cutter
The 2542 Hamilton Ranch Cutter from Circle Y Saddles provides ultimate performance with a close contact skirt for precise cueing and a square rear skirt that doesn’t get in the way of turns. This saddle features a fiberglass-reinforced wood tree and in-skirt front rigging for fender movement. At $2,245, this is also a more affordable option than some other brands.
4823 Reinsman Ranch Cutter
The 4823 Reinsman Ranch Cutter features a padded suede seat and square skirts that are lined with real wool. This includes a matching flank cinch set to keep the saddle secured while riding. Available in two fits (regular and wide), this saddle also has a reinforced tree that offers a lifetime warranty with normal, intended use – making it a great value.
Want more options for barrel, trail, show, cutting, ranch, or other saddles? Check out our wide selection of Reinsman, High Horse, and Circle Y saddles and tack.