What Is A Barrel Saddle? (Best Types Of Western Saddles)

A saddle is an important part of riding a horse. Depending on the purpose of the trip, the type of saddle may be different to ensure proper comfort for both the horse and the rider. And for those involved in the barrel racing might be interesting which saddle fits them better.

barrel saddle

So what is so different about the saddle for Barrel racing? Barrel saddles are a kind of western saddle with some features. They are designed for speed and maneuverability and are able to provide the rider with safety even at the sharpest turns and high speeds. That is why it is important not to forget that your success and your safety directly depend on the right saddle.

Barrel saddle features

Barrel saddle is certainly having a rough surface to improve the grip. It is also easy enough not to complicate the horse’s task during maneuvers. For the rider there is a thin and high horn, which is convenient to grasp during turns. At the same time, it provides a deeper landing. The design of the saddle allows the horse and rider to feel comfortable when traveling. In addition, it gives the novice rider a more confident fit. Such saddles can fix the position of the rider and will not prevent the horse from moving. In summary, the saddle is the best option for racing, it is convenient and safe.

Another interesting feature is the design of the saddle barrel. Based on the fact that most of the barrel racing riders are women, many of the saddles are rather stylishly decorated to match their riders. Their structure is able to provide a comfortable fit and ease during the races, which is extremely necessary during the barrel racing competition.

Why are there different types of saddles?

Due to the fact that equestrian sport is very diverse, each of the disciplines has different goals, it is important to choose the saddle with care. The rider and the horse should feel comfortable, confident, and most importantly safe. For speed races it is necessary to ensure ease and controllability. For long rides, it is necessary to exclude any kind of fatigue of a horse from an incorrectly chosen saddle. Of course, depending on the characteristics of the horse, the structure of the rider, their preferences and comfort, the saddle can be modified. After all, the main criterion is to make the race as comfortable as possible and allow you to achieve the best results in the competition or demonstration performance.

What is special about barrel racing?

This type of racing implies a ride for a time according to a special pattern past the barrels (usually there are three of them). This is a ride for speed and maneuverability. There are sharp turns at high speed, so having a stable saddle is a necessary element of the race.

What is the Western saddle?

Western saddles are used by cowboys to work on a ranch in the United States, athletes performing in the Western sports disciplines, as well as simply equestrian riders who ride nature or work in Western style.

Western saddles are descended from Spanish saddles, which drove vaquero – the very first herders and horse trainers in Mexico and South-West America, working with cattle on rough terrain. Over time, the saddles have changed a bit, and in the end we got a modern cowboy saddle.


For any type of race, it is important to have a properly selected saddle that will ensure the comfort of the horse and the rider. For the barrel races the saddle must necessarily be light and stable, then you will certainly be able to enjoy riding a horse.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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