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Photo courtesy of Valley Vet
Photo courtesy of Valley Vet

Wanting a new Western saddle but not sure where to start?

Purchasing a new saddle? Excitement, commence! Take a gander at these five helpful Q&As, answered by our friends, Circle Y, to help you in this process. Have more questions? Call or email our Valley Vet Supply saddle experts at, and they are more than glad to help.

Are there different kinds of Western saddles?

There are many different types of Western saddles to suit your specific discipline, including saddles made for trail riding, barrel racing, roping, and showing. Learn about the different types of Western saddles produced and the differences in each.

How should riders sit on, or in, the saddle?

A saddle with a 4 ½” or 5” cantle provides a deep, secure seat. A saddle with a 2 ½”, 3”, 3 ½” cantle will feel more open to the rider.

Which saddle seat size is preferred by riders?

Seat size for the rider definitely varies on personal preference and discipline, with seat sizes ranging from 10” (kids) to 18” and half sizes also available. In general, for seat size, you should allow for four inches between the front of your body when you’re sitting comfortably and the swell of the saddle. For speed events and roping, a tighter fit is preferred. For trail riding, sizing a half size up is usually preferred rather than snug.

How much can Western saddles weigh?

Western saddles can range in weight from 20 to 50 pounds, so depending on rider preference and strength, this aspect can be important when purchasing a new Western saddle.

Which saddle tree size will best fit my horse?

Professional saddle fitters are available in the industry to study your horse for a sure fit; however, here are some general guidelines to help you in making this decision.

  • Horses with a narrow, defined wither are best suited for a Medium tree
  • Horses with a wide, with slightly defined, wither are best suited for a Wide tree
  • Horses that are Mutton withered, with a big shoulder, should best fit a Foundation wide
  • Horses with a really wide back and wither are best suited for an Extra wide

See a wide selection of saddles and tack available, and for more information, please contact

This article originally appeared on Valley Vet and is published here with permission. Valley Vet Supply was founded in 1985 by veterinarians for people just like you - people who want the very best for their four-legged friends and livestock.

All photos courtesy of Valley Vet.

There are more informative articles in our section on Tack & Farm.

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