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Cutting events. Flat seat allows for better rider movement. Tall Horn. Easier to hold. And they do.

The saddles also tend to have full riggings, placing the saddle a little further back. The purpose is so the saddle doesn't impede front end movement during that beautiful ducking and dodging they do during a run.
 

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Cutting events. Flat seat allows for better rider movement. Tall Horn. Easier to hold. And they do.

The saddles also tend to have full riggings, placing the saddle a little further back. The purpose is so the saddle doesn't impede front end movement during that beautiful ducking and dodging they do during a run.


@boots are you saying that this is not a barrel saddle?


And, what do you mean by 'full riggings"? Are you talking about the placement of the front cinch, being a ways forward of the stirrup line? or just that it has a place for both a front and a rear cinch?


I don't know that much about western saddles, but I find that in-skirt rigged saddles do NOT allow for a free shoulder movement. Instead, they often upll the whole saddle down harder onto the shoulder, allowing very little freedom along the front edge of the tree and the skirt.


But, maybe because they hold the front down so tight, they are desireable for activities that involve a lot of sudden dipping and turning.
I dunno.
 

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@boots are you saying that this is not a barrel saddle?


And, what do you mean by 'full riggings"? Are you talking about the placement of the front cinch, being a ways forward of the stirrup line? or just that it has a place for both a front and a rear cinch?


I don't know that much about western saddles, but I find that in-skirt rigged saddles do NOT allow for a free shoulder movement. Instead, they often upll the whole saddle down harder onto the shoulder, allowing very little freedom along the front edge of the tree and the skirt.


But, maybe because they hold the front down so tight, they are desireable for activities that involve a lot of sudden dipping and turning.
I dunno.
Full rigging means the D ring for the cinch/girth is directly under the swell of the saddle. 7/8 rigging is set slightly behind the swell.

I'm not so sure in skirt rigging is worse than other rigging. The cinch is still in the same position whether in skirt or higher as on some roper saddles. The flare of the front of the tree relieves pressure from the shoulders. This only applies if the saddle is in the correct position to begin with.
 

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Looks like a cutter to me, flat seat, tall horn. Barrel saddles have a higher, more upright cantle.
 
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@tinyliny - Yes. As @waresbears said, this isn't made like a barrel saddle.

I suggest a search for western saddle rigging positions. I could never describe it adequately. And I can't draw beyond stick people. :)

I'm with @TeeZee on not knowing whether a D ring versus an in-skirt rigging impedes shoulder movement. I'm off the opinion the a well-made saddle should not. But with the big lateral movements in cutting I can understand wanting the saddle back just a bit.
 

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Looks like a barrel saddle to me. The saddle is tilted & I don't think it really has a flat seat. It is also short, which I associate more with Barrel saddles than cutting saddles. Cutting saddles tend to have long skirts:



Barrel:



More on rigging, usually full, 7/8ths or 3/4:

https://www.horsesaddleshop.com/saddle-rigging.html
 

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It's a barrel saddle. Small skirts, long tipped-forward horn. Cutting saddles tend to be more substantial. The one in the OP has had the stirrups changed out, it appears.

In-skirt rigging is often preferable to d-rigging. It saves weight, saves bulk under the rider's leg, and tends to be more comfortable for the horse. Full double rigging is usually reserved for roping saddles as it's built to be ridden with a tight rear cinch-- otherwise it tips forward and will sore the shoulders. 7/8 or 3/4 are on nearly every other saddle out there, with some trail saddles moving the cinch even farther back. The cutting and barrel saddle a couple of posts up both have 7/8, it appears.

If in-skirt rigging is soring a horse, the saddle is not made properly. It's actually less likely to sore a horse as it applies pressure more evenly than d-rigging does.
 

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Still looks like a barrel saddle to me. I would think cutters would want the more serious full roping style rigging like BSMS posted. It just all around looks too lightly made for a cutter to me. But hey........I don't cut and I don't barrel race either. :smile:

The main drawback of in-skirt rigging (as told to me by a saddle maker) is that if the rigging ever goes out you have to replace the entire skirts, on both sides. Both sides because if the leather is bad enough to rip out, you can't even trust the "good" side anymore. He basically told me he wouldn't repair them unless the owner agreed to replace both sides of both skirts, which is expensive.

I've pretty much avoided in-skirt rigging ever since that conversation. Now I have tried a few saddles that were in-skirt rigged, but they really didn't work out for me anyway (fit-wise). I would suspect the quality of the saddle has a lot to do with how well the in-skirt rigging holds up. Better saddle=better leather=a saddle more likely to hold up under normal use.

What is a nice alternative is drop plate rigging. It sort of looks like in-skirt at first glance, but the rigging is actually attached to the tree so if you ever have to repair it, it's just the rigging you have to replace, not the saddle skirts. They do this a lot now with ranch style roping saddles.

I am not sure if in-skirt rigging would really restrict the shoulders more. I can see why it would appear to (and maybe it does) but any kind of rigging attached to the tree is going to hold the skirts down snug too. So I don't know if that's a valid reason to avoid it. But think potential repair costs "might" be a reason to avoid it. But who knows, if you have a good saddle, barring a real wreck, you would probably never have a problem. On a cheap saddle, I would really avoid the in-skirt rigging at all costs, personally.
 

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What I noticed is the close-contact skirting under the fender showing...
I know this has become popular in several styles of saddles...
No idea of "style" of saddle though..
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Be sure to check what the tree is made of. Some of the made in India saddles have almost a hollow tree that easily breaks.
 

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INteresting discussion. I had always been told, by several western saddle afficianados, that in-skirt rigging allows less freedom of the shoulders, and any serious 'work' saddle would not be made that way.


I rode for 5 years in an in-skirt rigged Billy Cook. It looked like it was really tight on the horse's shoulder, but he rode in it for hours ok. But, we weren't doing anything more than putzing, and he was a very stoic horse.


Maybe it's just plain old prejudice.
 

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That's a barrel saddle, and a cheap one, which is why the seat looks more like a cutter and why the jockeys are already starting to curl.
 

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My two favorite saddles both have in-skirt rigging. One is a custom ranch roper, one is a Billy Royal pleasure/show saddle. I've ridden both for 20 - 30 years, oftentimes 8-12 hours a day for days on end and neither has ever sored a horse. I think the argument of in-skirt vs. D-rigging is more dependent on how well the saddle actually fits the horse and how well the saddle is made than the type of rigging. Cheap rigging set in cheap leather in a cheap saddle is going to be problematic no matter what type of rigging it is. You also need to place the saddle correctly. If the saddle is put too far forward, either type will sore the shoulders.
 

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I've never seen a cutting saddle with a round skirt like that.



So I'd say it's a barrel saddle. Yes, in general they tend to have deeper seats, but not always. (And really, this one does have a deep seat. It is NOT as flat as a cutting seat)



OP is there a brand name on the other side of the saddle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've never seen a cutting saddle with a round skirt like that.



So I'd say it's a barrel saddle. Yes, in general they tend to have deeper seats, but not always. (And really, this one does have a deep seat. It is NOT as flat as a cutting seat)



OP is there a brand name on the other side of the saddle?


Yes, it’s a Circle J
 

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Generally speaking Circle *insert any letter here* saddles are made in India or Mexico.


They're usually only good for setting on fire in the back yard. They don't fit a horse right, and they usually last just a few rides before coming apart.



Caveat Emptor.
 

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Circle Y, especially the older ones, are ok. Circle anything else is usually crap.
Older Circle Y saddles are the one exception I make.


Also, most Double Any Letter saddles (Exception: Double and J and Double C [Charles Crowley]) and Triangle Any Letter.
 
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