BuyTack.com - Online Since 1997 - BBB Accredited Business Since 2002

Shopping Cart or Checkout

We accept payment for our online shopping cart from American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa and Paypal.


** SADDLES ON SALE **

Abetta Saddle Sale

Abetta Year End Saddle Closeout!

Save an additional $50 or more off our already low prices.  Limited to available stock.


Lowest Price on Saddles!

Sale Items




Western Saddles

Western saddles are used for western riding and are the saddles used on working horses on cattle ranches throughout the United States, particularly in the west. They are the "cowboy" saddles familiar to movie viewers, rodeo fans, and those who have gone on trail rides at guest ranches. This saddle was designed to provide security and comfort to the rider when spending long hours on a horse, traveling over rugged terrain.

The design of the Western saddle derives from the saddles of the Spanish vaqueros - the early horse trainers and cattle handlers of Mexico and the American Southwest. It was developed for the purpose of working cattle across vast areas, and came from a combination of the saddles used in the two main styles of horseback riding then practiced in Spain - la jineta, the Moorish style which allowed great freedom of movement to the horse; and la estradiota, later la brida, the jousting style, which provided great security to the rider and strong control of the horse. A very functional item was also added: the saddle "horn." This style of saddle allowed vaqueros to control cattle by use of a rope around the neck of the animal, tied or dallied (wrapped without a knot) around the horn.

Today, although many Western riders have never roped a cow, the western saddle still features this historical element. (Some variations on the Western saddle design, such as those used in bronc riding, endurance riding and those made for the rapidly growing European market, do not have horns.) Another predecessor which may have contributed to the design of the Western saddle was the Spanish tree saddle, which was also influential in the design of the McClellan saddle of the American military, being used by all branches of the U.S. Army, but being particularly associated with the cavalry.

The Western saddle is designed to be comfortable when ridden in for many hours. Its history and purpose is to be a working tool for a cowboy who spends all day, every day, on horseback. For a beginning rider, the western saddle may give the impression of providing a more secure seat. However, this may be misleading; the horn is not meant to be a handle for the rider to hang onto, and the high cantle and heavy stirrups are not for forcing the rider into a rigid position. The development of an independent seat and hands is as critical for western riders as for English riders.

Types of Western Saddles

There are many types of Western saddle available. Some are general-purpose models while others emphasize either greater freedom for the horse or greater security for the rider, as may be necessary for specialized work in the various Western horse sports such as cutting, reining, barrel racing, team roping, equitation and western pleasure. Factors such as width of the swells, height of the cantle, depth of the seat, placement of the stirrups and type of rigging all influence the uses of a given design. For example, a saddle with wide swells, high cantle and deep seat is suitable for cutting, where a rider must remain in a secure, quiet seat on the horse. At the other end of the spectrum, a saddle with a "slick fork" - virtually no swells - and a low cantle is suited for calf roping, where a rider must dismount quickly, often while the horse is still in motion, and not be caught up on the saddle. The most common variations include the following:
  • Roping saddle: Heavy, sturdy saddle that usually has a thicker horn for securing a rope, low cantle, and slick fork that allows rider to dismount quickly when needed.
  • Cutting saddle: Has a deep seat and wide swells allows the rider to sit deep and securely through sharp stops and turns.
  • Reining saddle: Has a deep seat to allow the rider to sit deeply and more freely-swinging fenders for more leg movement on the rider's part.
  • Barrel racing saddle: Lightweight saddle with wide swells and high cantle which allows rider to sit securely but also allows the horse to perform fast sprints and sharp turns.
  • Endurance saddle: Lighter weight than most western saddles, often without a horn, has a tree that spreads the rider's weight out over a large area of the horse's back, thus reducing pounds per square inch. Often has stirrups hung slightly farther forward, to allow rider to get off the horse's back when traveling at faster speeds. Designed for long rides at faster speeds than a trail saddle.
  • Trail saddle: Designed for maximum comfort of rider as well as a good fit for the horse, features deep, padded seat, designed for long rides at slower speeds.
  • Show saddle: May be based on roping, cutting, or other trees, but is characterized by additional leather tooling and silver decoration. Usually features a deep, padded seat that allows the rider to sit quietly and give the appearance of a smooth ride.
  • "Equitation" saddle: Show saddle with an especially deep seat to help hold a rider in place.

S.L. Websales, Inc. BBB Business Review
Copyright Notice