Finding the correct western saddle may be a lot harder than you think; it comes with a lot of research, advice, numbers & questions. I'm making thread to help you make your saddle-shopping experience a tiny bit easier. The first step in buying a saddle is figuring out which style is best for what you are looking to do, so I'm going to be talking about the 11 most popular types of western saddles. There are more types but these are the most common & will be most likely to suit a beginner.
**Please note that you should ALWAYS consult with a professional before buying & using a saddle on a horse. If you have the right style of saddle, it is NO GOOD to you or your horse if it doesn't fit correctly. It could result in serious injury to you & your horse. PLEASE be careful.**
If you are looking to do a lot of trail riding, this is the saddle for you. Trail saddles come in many different styles and colours and can be found for a variety of different prices. A trail saddle is often designed with a low cantle (for comfort) but it sometimes made with a high cantle (for protection.) A comfortable seat is also popular in trail saddles. Lastly, most trail saddles will be equipped with leather ties for all your gear.
All Around Saddle-
All Around Saddles are made for the riders that do more than one thing. They can be used for things like trail riding, roping & even barrel racing, but this saddle is typically made for everyday riding & schooling. It has a very close-contact seat & a very high, strong horn. The skirt is also close-contact to make leg cues easier.
Barrel Racing Saddle-
Barrel Racing saddles are made for; you guessed it-Barrel racing! If you are not looking to do a lot of barrel racing, this is probably not the saddle for you. Although it can be used for other things, it's probably not the best choice. It has a high cantle & deep seat to keep you in place. The horn is also very high/strong since it is something that is typically used a lot in barrel racing.