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Anyone have suggestions on what type of western saddle is the most versatile? I'm looking for a saddle I can do it all in. Barrel Racing, Trail Riding, Trail Competitions, maybe some other speed events, other local open western shows. I know I want leather but I don't want super heavy so roping saddle is out of the question. I thought about a barrel saddle for a while but I heard they can be uncomfortable for longer rides since they were made for quick fast rides. I was also considering a reining or trail saddle. Does anyone have any advice on their pros and cons when used outside of reining and trail riding?
 

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Well. You don't want to barrel race in a reiner, or a cutter, or a roping saddle.

But you can trail ride and do trail comp in a barrel saddle.

I ride all day on trails in my barrel saddle. Prefer it to any other kind for trail riding. Also - I don't barrel race at all. I just prefer the barrel saddles.

This is mine, from when I cleaned it last summer and swapped out the wee little barrel stirrups for slanted ropers (Makes a world of difference for long rides). Second picture is from a couple of months ago... rigged up with my saddle bags. I also trail ride using a string girth - roper style, and a roper style flank strap (8" wide!). It's a Saddlesmith made Connie Combs Gator Racer. I paid $250.00 for it and unless and until something 10xs better comes along, I'll keep riding it.
 

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