Western Saddles: Common Types and Their Basic Parts

Western Saddles: Common Types and Their Basic Parts

We want riders and horses to have a great time on the trails here at Lost Trails Ranch in Mulberry, Arkansas. Saddles are an essential piece of tack that ensure riders and horses are safe and comfortable.

Our goal is to introduce you to key saddle parts and the most common types available. When you visit our property for trail riding, we will ensure the saddle you sit on will help keep you balanced and be perfect for the comfort of the horse you ride.

Bound by the Saddle: Two Hearts, One Journey


Basic Saddle Parts

Knowing basic saddle parts will help you no matter if you plan to hit our trails for the first time, you plan to take lessons, you need to order a replacement part for your own saddles, or you just love to learn everything equestrian. Common saddle types are English saddles, side saddles, and Western saddles. We will focus on Western saddles.

They include the seat, seat rise, saddle horn, back housing, cantle, back cinch, billet strap, cinch hobble, fender, hobble strap, stirrup, pommel, and front cinch.

Three horse riding saddles on display

Ready for some riding! Our selection of saddles is perfect for every type of horseback riding adventure

Common Types of Western Saddles

Barrel Saddles: These lighter-weight saddles usually have a round skirt, deep seat, and high cantle. They keep the rider secure when traveling fast and around tight turns. Riders can easily grip the thinner horn. They give more freedom of movement and great balance since the fenders are free swinging.  

Trail and Pleasure Saddles: These lightweight saddles provide extra comfort with their padded seats. They are versatile and come in various combinations with different seats, horns, skirt styles, and trees. Some can be used with breast collars when going up steep hills to keep the saddle aligned properly.

Cutting Saddles: Cutting saddles are specifically used for cutting and reining events. They have a low cantle, flat seat, and wide swell. They have thin and tall horns that make it easier for riders to hold onto when working cattle. However, the horn won’t withstand heavy work.

Roping Saddles: These saddles are specially designed for roping events and have suede or rough-out seats that stop riders from sliding around. They have strong horns and trees, making them heavier than cutting or barrel saddles. The horn is designed to be strong, withstanding almost anything it is tied to. The reinforced rigging is attached to the tree. Riders can dismount quickly if needed because of the slick fork and low cantle.

Reining Saddles: This close-contact saddle lets the rider and horse communicate more easily since the rider’s legs touch the horse’s sides. They usually have a lower pommel and horn and a flatter seat. It is common for reining saddles to have added conchos or fancy tooling.


Hop in the Saddle at Lost Trails Ranch

We have just skimmed the surface of the basics of Western saddles. We are eager to share more of our love of horses and to get you in the saddle. Contact our hospitality team here in Arkansas today. We would be happy to answer any questions about the horse tack we use on the ranch, schedule trail riding or horse bonding sessions, or help you plan your next event at our Education Center and lodges.

Written by Taiye

Wednesday, May 31

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