Western Saddle Types

Horse saddles are built for many different purposes.  Here is a list of some of the common western saddle types , their common features, and uses.


This innovative saddle by DP has raised the standards for Western Saddle fitting options. It's built on our Flex-Fit tree, which provides maximum stability throughout the spine, yet allows the bars to move slightly with the movement of the horses back. This model is fully adjustable from extra narrow to extra wide. Easily adjust your saddle as your horse is going through muscular structure changes or while it's still growing, when you pause over winter, or many other reasons why a dynamically moving horse will benefit from our enhanced saddle mechanisms. 



A Ranch saddle is a heavyweight, heavy-duty saddle designed for comfort and and long hours of ranching and moving cattle. They are true working saddles.  Ranch Saddle have a deep seat with a high cantle for comfort, low swells and tall, thick horns with a horn wrap.   The fenders on Ranch saddles are hang directly below the rider,  It includes double rigging  for strength and has both a front and flank cinch.


Trail saddles are generally lighter weight and will usually come with a padded seat and fenders to keep you in a good riding position for all day trail rides.  You typically use a breast collar with a trail saddle to keep the saddle from sliding  on steep inclines.  They also include saddle strings so you can tie up your gear when on the trail.. The customer can pick from a wide variety of saddles.  They come in a variety of styles, colors, trees, horns, swells, seats, and skirts.  


Roping saddles are designed for use in roping events. A good roper saddle will offer your horse the most freedom to move and turn so you can easily chase and rope cows and tie them off to the dally.. They must be strong and have a strong horn. Roping saddles usually have suede or rough out or seats to prevent sliding around when chasing and roping cattle. Other typical hallmarks of a roping saddle include include low, rounded forks, tall, thick horns, full double riggings, and more forward roper stirrups.


Cutting saddles are designed for Ranch cutting and event cutting. They are specifically made to keep you balanced when cutting,  penning, reining and training.  Cutting saddles can be used for all these different purposes and that makes them versatile.  Some of the typical features of a cutting saddle include tall, thin horns, thin stirrups, high, wide swells, flat, long seats, rough out jockeys and fenders that are free swinging and forward hung, low cantles, and double riggings.


Reining saddles are designed to compete in reining events. They have forward hung stirrups that tend to keep you back in your seats for quick changes of direction and quick starts and stops. This is also a balanced close contact saddle that makes it easier to communicate to your horse. Because of the close contact, reining saddles are sometimes used for training saddles. Some features include medium height horn and fork, a seat that sits low on your horse’s back, cutout skirts, free swinging fenders, dropped rigging, slim stirrups and many models come with silver trim for show.


Barrel Racing saddles are usually lightweight small, and built for maneuverability.  They are also designed to keep you in your seat during quick turns and stop and go action. Common Barrel saddle features include a deep seat with a higher cantle, thin, tall horn, higher fork with wide swells, rough-out seat, free-swinging fenders and side jockeys, narrow stirrups, in-skirt rigging and short skirts.


Endurance saddles can handle rides of 100 miles a day and can also handle rough terrain. It needs to be comfortable, sturdy, and lightweight. Endurance saddles also make good trail riding saddles. Common features of endurance saddles are padded seats for comfort, short round skirts, deep stirrups, single rigging, several saddle strings and rigging dees to secure your saddle bags.


Show Saddles

Show saddles are designed to show off and look good in the show ring. They are available in a variety of different looks. Show saddles usually have ornate tooling patterns, silver trim on the skirts, cantle, horn, and sometimes even the forks and stirrups. They also feature short horns and forks, deep skirts, padded or suede seats and turned stirrups.


Youth and pony saddles are small-sized Western saddles suited for children and ponies. These saddles are smaller-sized versions of Western saddles, but made for children.   

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