Personally, I run in a roping saddle. It's the saddle I own currently and I'd MUCH rather add the weight of the roper than attempt to use a trail saddle with no cantle (done it before, came off the back of my horse). The higher cantle keeps me from having to grab the horn when I take off, which gives me the freedom to keep both my hands on the reins.
I've run in a barrel saddle before and didn't feel much different. The seats still have the same general shape, the fender position is what is different. My position is exactly the same in a roper, a barrel, and a trail saddle. Soo..I'm not worried about that extra weight of my roping saddle compared to a barrel because my runs have been consistent in both on the same horse. Times have only been mayybe .25-.5 difference, and my roper got me the slightly better times.
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