Horse Saddle Reviews

Martha Josey Barrel Saddles Sale – Ride in Balance and Sit That Stop

I couldn’t help get excited when I saw a Circle Y Martha Josey barrel saddles sale on the internet. I mean, what barrel racer wouldn’t get excited upon seeing a Martha Josey barrel saddles sale?

Martha Josey is a barrel racing legend. She’s an 11-Time NFR Qualifier Barrel Racer, a 1980 NFR World Champion, WPRA and NBHA Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist Barrel Racer, and Clinician. She has also designed the Ultimate Barrel Saddle Collection.

Martha Josey’s barrel racing saddles are specifically designed to help you ride in balance, go with the movement of your horse, time your horse’s movements and allow you to sit the stop. 

Before I show you a few of Martha Josey barrel racing saddles, I’m going to explain to you the problems you’ll have (in general and in rodeo events) when you have a poorly-fit saddle. 

Problems of Poor Saddle Fit in Barrel Racing

Poor saddle fit, in general, creates problems when riding, both for rider and horse. But in rodeo events, such as barrel racing,  reigning, cutting, or roping, poor saddle fit creates specific problems that prohibit the rider from achieving their goal.

Since barrel racing requires a horse and its rider to run a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time possible, the rider needs a saddle that will help her accomplish that goal.  

A poor-fitting saddle will cause the rider to:

  1. Have a hard time keeping balance
  2. Have bad stops
  3. Have poor timing
  4. Fall forward

Good Saddle Design for Barrel Racing 

Very few saddles are designed to help a rider ride well. Even fewer saddles help the rider to sit that stop. Too many saddle designs hinder, rather than help, a rider’s balance, especially for the performance events where the horse has to make stops, sharp turns, and turn over his hocks. 

The two main goals of a saddle are to allow the rider to ride in balance and allow the rider to sit the stop.  Your saddle should also be designed so that it’s easy for you to assume the correct position. You shouldn’t have to fight or struggle to find and maintain the correct position.

What are the basic design elements of a good saddle that will allow the rider to ride in balance and sit the stop?

  • Correct tree size
  • Good Seat Pocket & Leg Path
  • Hanging of Stirrups
  • Thickness of Fenders
  • Angle and Height of Cantle 
  • Swell Height

Correct Tree Size – Everything starts with the tree. Since the tree is the foundation of the saddle, it needs to fit the horse’s back well. If there’s too much flare at the top or bottom, that means too much pressure is going to end up some place else on the horse’s back, and the horse’s back will become sore. No amount of padding will help if the tree is the wrong size.  Make sure the tree fits the countour of the horse. If you want a lighter barrel saddle, get one where the bars are a little thinner. 

Good Seat Pocket & Leg Path – One of the most important elements for balance in the saddle is the pocket. The pocket is the lowest part of the seat.  The lowest part of the seat should be 2/3 to 3/4 of the way back from the swells.  The pocket should be close to the horse’s back. Across the plain of the pocket should be fairly flat. The lower your center of gravity, the more secure in the seat you are, and the more balance you’ll have. 

The other aspect of the pocket that’s important is the rise behind the pocket. The rise behind the pocket is what keeps you centered in the saddle, and off the cantle.  If the pocket forces you against the cantel, you’re going to have the cantle launching you every stride the horse lopes – and you’re not going to be able to sit the stop. The cantle in barrel racing saddles tend to be higher in inches than other rodeo event saddles for extra seat security. 

Difference in Pockets – Some saddles have a short pocket and some saddles have a long pocket. The short pocket just means that the rise in front of the pocket starts pretty quickly. In some saddles, the pocket is longer, and the rise starts farther ahead.  

It’s not a big difference, but it gives a different feel to the seat. 

Leg Path – The leg path goes down from the seat down to the fenders and into the stirrups. The leg path has to be shaped right.  The measurement between the edge of the cantle and the back edge of the swells, that’s basically the measurement for the leg path. The measurement can vary. It can be longer, or it can be shorter. But the main thing to be aware of is whether there is a nice groove from the seat, down to the stirrup leather. 

Stirrup Leathers – Your stirrup leathers should be hung pretty far forward and shouldn’t be too long. They should be hung 1.5 to 2 inches behind the swells if you want to have a secure seat, ride in balance and sit that stop.  If your stirrups are too long, you end up having to ride on your tippy toes, which makes you less secure in the seat.  The shorter your stirrups, the more secure you are in the seat.

Fenders – The leather on the fenders can’t be too thick. Otherwise, it will hinder your ability to communicate with your horse. Plus, it makes the saddle too heavy. Also, while it’s fine to have roughout seat for your barrel saddle, it’s better to have smooth fenders. If your fenders are roughout, your knees become raw.

Angle and Height of Cantle – The angle of the cantel is important. Barrel racing saddles tend to have higher and steeper cantle but not too steep. If the cantel is too steep, then, when you need to sit down, as you approach the barrel, and you’re going at the barrel full speed, and it’s time for your horse to slow down and to be able to make the turn, you need to be able to sit and lower your center of gravity.  Barrel saddles tend to have higher cantles than other saddles for extra seat security.

Swell Height – The height of the swell in a barrel racing saddle needs to be high because it helps keep the rider secure in the seat during the fast, jerky, and violent turn of the horse around the cloverleaf pattern. 

Short Skirts – short skirts make the barrel saddle lighter. 

Martha Josey Barrel Saddles Sale

Now that I’ve explained to you the design elements of a good barrel racing saddle, here are some Martha Josey barrel saddles sale I found online that you can buy with a money-back guarantee.  By the way, these are just a few Martha Josey barrel saddles that are on sale. You can find cheaper Martha Josey saddles at the Horse Saddle Shop.

13.5″ to 17″ Circle Y Josey Cash Desert Edition MJ49

This is one of Martha Josey’s Ultimate Barrel Saddle Collection.

Her Cash Desert Edition is stylized with cactus tooling, has roughout hardseat and angle cut skirts. 13-inch swell width and 5-inch cantle for a secure seat, which will keep you in the correct position. This saddle also features the new Rider Buckle – a locking stirrup leather buckle that prevents the sleeve from sliding off the stirrup leather buckle during a run.

Every Josey Ultimate is built with these key features:

Horn: 4-inch forward slanted horn which helps to push down into your turn and pull up when coming out of your turn
Center Pocket Seat: This helps center and balance the rider and keeps the rider in stride with the horse
Pay Window Swells: keeps rider in correct position to hold the horn and keeps the horn available
Cantle: Stops you from getting behind the horse’s stride. The seat is dished so you sit in the seat and not on it, allowing you to stay in stride with the horse.

Free Swing, Forward Hung Stirrup Leathers: keeps the feet forward preventing the rider from being thrown forward and off balance
Stirrups: 3” wide aluminum rubber grip stirrups for comfort and balance
Rigging: rawhide slots or 3-Way Adjustable with several rigging options and positions to best suit fitting of the horses of different conformation
Ultimate Wood Tree: designed to Josey’s personal style and preferences

Specs
Available Seat Sizes: 13 ½”, 14”, 14 ½”, 15”, 15 ½”, 16”, 17”
Hardware: Antique Patina Flower
Tooling: 3/4 Cactus with Border
Rigging: 3-Way Adjustable In-skirt
Horn: 4” Neck, 2” Cap
Tree: Ultimate DURAhide™ Regular and Wide
Skirt: 13” D x 25” L
Swell Width: 13”
Cantle Height: 5”
Weight: 26 lbs.

13.5″ to 17″ Circle Y Josey-Mitchell Lightweight Game Changer MJ02 

This is a lightweight barrel racing saddle made with all the Josey Ultimate features and original Josey tree.

Every Josey Ultimate is built with these key features:

Horn: 4” forward slanted horn helps to push down into your turn and pull up coming out of your turn
Center Pocket Seat: for centering and balance keeps rider in stride with the horse
Pay Window Swells: keeps rider in correct position to hold the horn and keeps the horn available
Cantle: keeps you from getting behind the horse’s stride. The seat is dished so you sit in the seat and not on it, allowing you to stay in stride with the horse
Free Swing, Forward Hung Stirrup Leathers: keeps the feet forward preventing the rider from being thrown forward and off balance
Stirrups: 3” wide aluminum rubber grip stirrups for comfort and balance
Ultimate ‘Wood Tree: designed to Josey’s personal style and preferences

Specs
Seat Sizes: 13 ½”, 14”, 14 ½”, 15”, 15 ½”, 16”, 17”
Hardware: Royal Round
Tooling: None
Rigging: 7/8 In-Skirt C
Horn: 4” Neck, 1 ¾” Cap
Tree: Ultimate DURAhide™
Regular and Wide
Skirt: 11D X 24″ L
Swell Width: 13”
Cantle Height: 4 ½”

12″ & 13″ Circle Y Josey-Mitchell Youth Avenger MJ80 w/Free Pad

This youth saddle solves the #1 problem for young riders: being thrown forward on a run. This saddle is built with forward hung fenders. It’s a saddle that helps young riders learn balance and confidence. 

Specs

Seat Color: Blue Halo, Chocolate Suede with Turquoise Quilting, Chocolate Suede with Pink Quilting, Grey Suede with White Quilting, or Copper Mauve

Leather Color: Chocolate or Antique
Tooling: 1/2 Floral Tooling with Border
Tree: Ultimate DURAhide Regular and Wide
Hardware: Rockin’ Out Floral Cross
Rigging: 3-Way Adjustable In-Skirt
Swell Width: 13″
Cantle Height: 5″
Horn Size: 4″ Neck, 2-1/4″ Cap
Skirt Size: 13.5″ D x 22.5″ L
Weight: 26 lbs

You’re probably thinking, “Martha Josey Barrel Saddles Sale? These saddles are expensive!” Well, yes, and no. A good quality saddle is always going to be on the more expensive side.  And Martha Josey barrel saddles, even if they’re on sale, are going to be expensive because of their high quality.

However, if you’re looking for an even cheaper Martha Josey barrel saddles sale online, click here for a used Martha Josey barrel saddles sale.  Buying a used, high-quality saddle is often the next best thing to buying a brand new saddle.

Was this post helpful in helping you decide to buy a barrel racing saddle?  If so, please leave your comments and feedback below.  

62 Comments

  • Deb says:

    Thank you for this very interesting article. I grew up in Alberta Canada and attending the rodeo was a big part of every summer. I didn’t just attend the big “Calgary Stampede”, every town has its smaller, scaled-down version and I preferred going to them. As a young teen, I was fortunate to give barrel racing a try. I had a lot of fun but did not stick with it. After reading your article I think maybe I didn’t have a proper barrel racing saddle, do you think that might have contributed to my lack of feeling confident while competing and practicing? I made do with whatever saddles were in the tack shed and of course, this was back in the 1980s. I am sure saddle development has come a long way since then, not just for barrel racing but all types of riding.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Deb. I’m so glad you gave barrel racing a try. Unfortunately, during the 80’s saddle technology had not developed as it has today. Not having the proper saddle definitely impacts your ability to ride. I would try again. This time, I would consult with a barrel racing trainer, buy a used Martha Josey barrel racing saddle, and give it another go!

  • Ivan says:

    Hey there, thanks a lot for sharing this post. I like how you added a few things to know about barrel saddles before you have introduced your recommendations. Martha Josey barrel saddles seem like a top-quality product. As for a newbie like me in this world of horseback riding, I have to say, your site is of tremendous help. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing and I would like to ask you a question. Which saddle from this post would you recommend the most? They all seem to be the same to me, so I could use your expert opinion. Thanks in advance!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Ivan. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad you find my site resourceful. As to your question, which saddle would I recommend to you? I really can’t answer that without knowing what your discipline is. You said you’re a newbie to horseback riding. What is your discipline? Barrel racing, roping, reigning, or do you just want to take trail rides? There are so many choices. I would have to know what your discipline is and what kind of horse you have. So many elements go into picking out a saddle.

  • Christine says:

    The Martha Barrel saddles look like a great and good quality brand. I especially like the youth saddle and how it prevents someone from being thrown forward. I used to ride horses as a teenager, but I forgot most of the aspects of the saddle, it really is a long time ago … That’s why it is nice to read this info again. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back into horse back riding, but maybe one day I will 🙂

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Christine! Thanks for commenting. Yes, Martha Josey barrel saddles are very well made. Definitely a high quality brand of saddle. I too love the youth saddle and the way it’s designed to ensure the rider doesn’t get flung forward off the horse. I hope you’ll get back to riding. Maybe trail riding? We have saddles for the not so competitive rider. LOL. Thanks again for stopping by.

  • There is so much to learn about horses and the way people ride them for different reasons barrel racing sounds fun but must be skilled. The skills that we don’t have fun but learn something new every day with the articles we had no idea who Martha Josey was.
    Well we need to get out more we have friends that ride horses and they would love to hear about this site and will pass this on so that someone can benefit from this value.
    Thanks again for educating us on barrel racing and the way a saddle has to sit on a horse and has to be the right size like shoes or it will hurt.

    Cheers,
    Mathew&Deloris

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Matthew and Deloris! Thanks for your comment. Yes. Fitting the tree to the horse is like buying the right shoe size when you go to the store. I love that analogy. Barrel racing is definitely a skill that must be learned, once you get the hang of it, I’m sure it’s fun. I personally have never participated in barrel racing (I leave that to the more courageous riders). But I do a lot of research on saddle fit and how to prevent horses from getting a sore back. I also love researching and writing about the different riding disciplines and the respective saddles required. Again, thanks for stopping by, and please be sure to refer your horse riding friends to my site.

  • John says:

    I love to be on the horse and ride around and make some really funny faces while I do. For me it might be alal fun but there are people who do this as a full time job and they are experts. You are an expert and you recommended this to me. Do you think that he Martha Josey Barrel Saddles will keep on going and making great saddles in years to come?

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi John. Well, I’m just a humble servant giving my recommendations. LOL. Yes, I believe Martha Josey will continue to make amazing barrel saddles. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 

  • David says:

    Thanks a lot for this informative article. One think I like about the article is that it is well arrange and how you told us a little thing about barrel saddle before making your recommendations. I am actually a newbie when it comes to things like this and to be frank I am glad I came across this article. I will be getting one real soon so I will like to know the best for me to buy as a newbie. 

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi David. Thanks for commenting and giving your feedback. I can’t recommend a specific saddle to you because I don’t know what style of riding you’re going to use. Do you do trail/pleasure riding, roping, reigning, barrel racing?  It really depends on what you plan to do when you go riding because that will determine what kind of saddle to get.  Please let me know.  Thanks again. 

  • Tosin says:

    This is very comprehensive and should be commended, i like that you gave initial details of the demerits of using a poorly fitted barrel saddle and then how you demystified the benefits of using the martha josey barrel saddle. I have always wanted to get a quality one in the future, I don’t think I’d have to wait any further because the future is here, that you very much.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Tosin! Thanks for your feedback. I’m so happy you stopped by. Yes, it’s important to understand why saddle fit is important. I’m glad you found my article helpful, and I hope you’ll purchase your first saddle from me. 

  • Sharon says:

    I must say that you review is encompassing. I love the way you gave a thorough description of the saddle then you now introduced the product. Martha Josey barrel saddle appears to be a great deal. But they all look alike, would not fit out the difference between them. I will share this with friends who love horse riding

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Sharon. Thanks for your feedback. I was just telling another commenter that to the untrained eye, western saddles all look alike. LOL. But I can assure you, they are all different, as they have specific purposes. I’m glad my description of the saddles was helpful to you. 

  • Kelvin says:

    I do not know much about horse saddles. But from all you have written and the way you sound so excited, then the Martha Horsey Barrel Saddles must be a very interesting and high quality saddle. Well, I will definitely go and read more about horse addles so I can become well grounded and have a better understanding. Thanks for this article.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Kelvin. Thanks for commenting.  Yes, please do read up on the topic. In fact, why not take some beginner horse riding lessons?  I bet you’d love it.  Then, when you’re ready, you can come back and buy a saddle that best suits you and your horse. 

  • Aluko kolawole says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for sharing the topic, it was detailed and straight forward I do saw the barrel saddles on horses but I don’t know the name of it, from your article I know the name and get more information about it, how it been used as well. The difference and importance of the good saddles on horses and the effects of the poor saddles on horses.

    Aluko.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Aluko. Thanks for your feedback. Yes, to the non-trained eye, some Western horse saddles look the same. But I assure you, there are subtle and not so subtle nuances within each each saddle. So glad you stopped by.

  • Parameter says:

    Nothing is as helpful as having the rigth toolin your hand, same applies to the barrel saddle. I have always watched it in excitement. But now I understand how much of comfort it gives to both the horse and the rider. I now see how it can be source of help to timing your horse and also sit the stop. The issue of falling forward is one whic no rider will want from a faulty saddle

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Yes. There’s nothing scarier than getting flung forward off a horse (other than getting flung backwards off a horse). I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. Yes, every saddle has a specific purpose. They’re not all one and the same. Unfortunately, people don’t understand that.  Thanks again.

  • Ann says:

    I grew up admiring Martha Josey. And I had never tried barrel racing myself until a few months ago. But once I began to get the mechanics of it, I absolutly love it. I can not believe there is a Martha Josey barrel saddles sale going on right now. This is just perfect. I really liked the Josey-Mitchell Lightweight Game Changer MJ02. I’ll buy it! Thanks for telling us about this sale!

  • Anthony Hu says:

    Thank you for your post. It is a timely article for me. I had my saddle broken and am looking for a replace one. I think about do some research, but never take time to do anything.

    Here comes your article with a lot of information on Martha Josey Barrel Saddles, a favorite of mine. I know that the new one is expensivie and is not within my budget. It is kind of you sharing Used Barrel Saddles, which is ok for me. I see that there are a lot of choices in the price below $1000. I can definitey find something for me. 

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there Anthony. I’m so glad you stopped by and gave me feedback.  I’m really happy that my article is helping you towards picking a new (or used) saddle. I’m glad I’m able to help you make an informed decision. 

  • Alketa says:

    Hello, your article about Martha Josey barrel saddles is a detailed and helpful guide for everyone that likes to buy a saddle. I do not have any experience with barrel saddles, but I learned a lot of things about bad and good saddles and what to keep in mind to choose the right one for us. You explain in detail each feature and characteristic that a good saddle must-have for the best results in riding and how to ride most safely for both the rider and the horse. From the three Martha barrel design that you shared here, I prefer the third one, because it is friendly to use for young riders, making the riding safety and lovely.

    Thank you for sharing

    Best

    Alketa

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Alketa. I’m so glad you stopped by and shared your views. I really strive to give detailed information when I post about saddles. I hope you’ll start riding and purchase a saddle. 

  • Marsha Pearson says:

    I am certainly not a saddle expert, so I really appreciate your review and expertise. Determining saddle size and materials seem to be important to success for rodeo riding, and I was wondering how a person should get started in determining the best size and style for one’s body type.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Marsha. Thanks for your question. The first thing to do is decide on your riding discipline because that’s what’s going to determine what type of saddle you’ll get. Then, you have to take into consideration the kind of horse you’ll be riding. You have to make sure the saddle tree is suited for that particular horse because horses have different types of backs. Rodeo riding includes reigning, roping, cutting, barrel racing. So you need to decide which one of those you’ll be participating in. Then, I would try sitting in different saddle seats to see what feels comfortable. Have the saddle maker help you pick out the one that’s right for you. That’s why it’s important to buy from a reputable online dealer who knows a lot about saddles. Also, remember to buy from a place that gives you a money-back guarantee.

  • BRIAN says:

    Thanks for the post, Shalista.

    I had no idea that there are different types of saddles for different rodeo events. Can you use a saddle designed for barrel racing for leisure riding? Which one of these saddles is best for the horse? Should you get measurements of your horse’s back before making a purchase?

    Have you ever participated in barrel racing? How long have you ridden horses? I have always loved riding horses. I live in Kentucky and of course, they are very popular in this state. Thanks again. many blessings, Brian.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Brian. Thanks for your questions. Yes. There are different saddles for different rodeo events because these rodeo events have different goals and the horse needs to perform accordingly. You can use a barrel racing saddle for leisure riding if the design allows for it. For typical barrel racing saddles the way they’re made, the answer is no – you shouldn’t try to use it for leisure. But some barrel racing saddles, the way they’re made, the seat and the angle of cantle, height of swell, allow for it to be used for trail riding. But I think you should buy a pleasure or trail saddle if you want to do leisure riding. I’ve never participated in barrel racing. I started riding horses as an adult. Nothing professional. I just decided to try it out as a hobby. I haven’t ridden in years though. But they used to have Claremont Riding Academy in NYC which is where I used to ride – in Central Park. I hope you’ll get back into riding.

  • Schalk says:

    One thing is for sure that celebrities such as Martha Josey is not going to jeapordise their reputation by putting their stamp of approval on products that they do not believe in and products that does not testify of quality. For this reason alone it is certainly worth looking into as the association with Martha Josey alone is enough to create the trust factor.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Schalk. I agree with you. Martha Josey has earned numerous titles at competitions such as the National Finals Rodeo and events sanctioned by the National Barrel Horse Association, and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. I seriously doubt she would lend her name to a product that was made cheaply.

  • Hannie says:

    Hi Shalisha, silly question: is a barrel race the same as a rodeo? I didn’t know the term, and Goggle Translate doesn’t make me much wiser either. Their translation indicates a word that in Dutch means a children’s race in funny vehicles. I can’t imagine you are referring to a thing like that. :-S

    Anyway, a saddle is an important tool in good horse riding, even a Dutchie like me understands that. 🙂 My husband used to go along with a friend to France to assist during the endurance races. Something totally different than rodeo I can imagine. The endurance (French pronounciation although it’s also an English word) being a race that covers a large area, where rodeo is done in an arena, isn’t it? And what surely will be the same is the atmosphere of people sharing a common interest. Must be lovely!!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Hannie. Thanks for your question. So rodeo events refer to competitive equestrian sports such as bronco riding, team roping, barrel racing, etc. Endurance riding is not a rodeo event. It is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races. There are endurance rides worldwide. Endurance rides can be any distance, though they are rarely over 160 km for a one-day competition. Also, the saddles for endurance racing aren’t made the same as the saddles for rodeo events.

  • Riaz Shah says:

    The Josey Mitchell Youth Avenger, woweee will you look at that! I’ve always been a sucker for engravings and the craftsmanship gave it a more vintage look, I’m super excited to try out the Chocolate Suede with Turquoise Quilting, it must be an amazing sight. Does Horse Saddle do international shipping? I’m from Malaysia and I’d love to acquire one.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Riaz. Thanks for your question. I just used the chat feature at the Horse Saddle Shop to ask them if they ship to Malaysia. That’s what I love about The Horse Saddle Shop. They are available by chat 24/7. The answer is yes, they do. 

  • Apersinger says:

    You have provided a great resource for folks looking for a quality barrel saddle. I grew up riding horses and I primarily rode without a saddle, but I did not show or compete with my horse. I didn’t get involved with that world till my daughter decided she wanted to ride and show horses.

    We were not in the market for one of these beautiful saddles, as she did not go competitvie in barrel racing, but I can attest to the fact that a good quality saddle for any discipline will not be inexpensive.

    You have showcased some wonderful quality saddles in this article, for as you mentioned Martha Josey is in the top of her field and knows what it takes to be a winner. I also love the fact that you talked about proper fit for your saddle. That is so important for not only your success, but for the health and well-being of your horse.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Apersinger. Thanks for your feedback. Yes, saddle fit is of utmost importance for both the rider to ride in balance (in any discipline), and for the horse’s comfort. Martha Josey saddles, although not inexpensive, help the rider achieve both goals of riding in balance with the horse and sitting the stop. Thanks again.

  • Hilde says:

    I would certainly keep a button on the new desert saddle MJ49. Not only is it beautiful and stylish to look at, it is like you say a saddle that keep you in balance. I have had horses myself, but never any racing horses so it is interesting to learn more about different types of racing saddles. I would probably have to buy a used one. Do you think it matters much if it is already used? I mean what are the disadvantages of buying a used racing saddle versus a new one? Is there anything specifiq I should be aware of?

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Hilde. Thanks for your questions. I think you should buy a used one if you are not ready, or don’t have the extra funds to invest in a brand new saddle. Buying a used saddle has quite a few advantages. The first advantage is that you won’t have to “break in” the saddle. Since it’s been ridden on before, it will feel like a comfortable shoe.

      The next advantage is if you decide you don’t like the saddle, or it doesn’t fit your horse, depending on where you buy the used saddle, you can exchange it or get your money back. I only promote saddles on my site from a reputable online saddle store. 

      The name of the site store is called The Horse Saddle Shop.  If you click on the link of the horse saddle you like, it will take you straight to their site.  The Horse Saddle Shop gives you a money-back guarantee so long as you return the saddle within 2 weeks. What I love about The Horse Saddle Shop is that you can chat with them and explain exactly what it is you’re looking for, including the type of horse you have, it’s withers, back size, and whatever else you’d like to tell them about your horse and your saddle needs. 

      The only disadvantage of buying a used saddle is if you buy it from Craigslist, eBay, or from an individual  – where you don’t get a money-back guarantee and you’ll be stuck with the saddle if it’s not what you want. I hope this helps.

  • Daniella says:

    Hi there,

    I did a lot of English style horse riding in the past but never done western horse racing. It must be fun:)

    I know that saddles accommodate different riding styles. For instance, for the English style, the saddle needs to be as light as possible. However, I plan to buy a horse for my daughter soon, but she loves Western-style more. So I need to know more about it. Do Western saddles have to be light too? I really like the first one on the list, ” Martha Josey Barrel.” It looks beautiful and well made too. I am really interested in this one. But before I go any further, I would like to know something, please. What happens if the saddle doesn’t suit the form of the horse’s back? Some horses have a flat back while other more rounded back. Will I be able to return the saddle without having to pay for the shipping?

    Thank you!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Daniella. Thanks for your questions. Western saddles don’t necessarily have to be light. It really depends on what type of Western riding you’re going to do. If you’re into barrel racing, you’ll want the saddle to be as light as possible because it’s a timed event.  And even if you’re not a barrel racer, all saddles can be made so that they are light or lighter. The type of tree of the saddle plays a role in how heavy the saddle is, along with the type of skirt on the saddle. For the lightest type saddle, you’d pick a treeless saddle.  As for your question about returns. When you click on the link to buy the saddle, you will be taken to The Horse Saddle Saddle Shop website. That is where you will actually make your purchase.  The Horse Saddle Shop always has a guarantee that you will get your money back, so long as you return the saddle within a 2-week period. The Horse Saddle Shop will actually help you pick out the best saddle for you based on your riding discipline, the shape of your horse’s back and your seat size. I encourage you to click on the link and talk to them. They have a live chat button 24/7.  I hope that helps. 

  • Danie Bello says:

    Hi Schalk. I agree with you. Martha Josey has earned numerous titles at competitions such as the National Finals Rodeo and events sanctioned by the National Barrel Horse Association, and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. I seriously doubt she would lend her name to a product that was made in such a manner, being because of the reputations she has attained.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Danie. Thanks for commenting. You’re right on the mark!

  • Danie Bello says:

    Hi Schalk. I agree with you. Martha Josey has earned numerous titles at competitions such as the National Finals Rodeo and events sanctioned by the National Barrel Horse Association, and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. I seriously doubt she would lend her name to a product that was made in such a manner, being because of the reputations she has attained.

  • Joe says:

    Thank you for this insightful and interesting article.

    Even though barrel racing is not something I have tried before a lot of the points I can relate to as I have tried different disciplines. With regards to the points about the causes of having a poorly fitted saddle,would you say this also leads to pain in the hip? This is something i have experienced since starting trail runs.  

    Thank you for the article, it was a great read.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Joe! Thanks for your question. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t tell you 100% that a poor fitting saddle is the cause of hip problems. But what I can say, is that it makes sense that you’d have hip pain if you’re trying to force yourself to sit correctly in the saddle because the saddle doesn’t naturally allow you to sit properly in it. It’s really important that your saddle allows you to naturally sit correctly in it. Thanks again for stopping by.

  • Lenka says:

    All these saddles look absolutely amazing, you can tell from the pictures they are high-quality. The Martha Josey barrel brand seems to be an excellent brand. How can I determine which saddle would be best for me? I mean the size and style for my body type. I wonder if I can choose a saddle online without trying it “in real”.
    And I’d like to know whether they ship to Europe as well. 
      

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Lenka. Thanks for your question. The Horse Saddle Shop ships to Europe. In answer to your question, how can you determine which saddle would be best for you – first, you need to determine your riding discipline. That’s first and foremost. So, since this is a barrel racing post, let’s assume you’re a barrel racer. The good news about The Horse Saddle Shop is that (even if you’ve never ridden) you can give them your height and weight, the type of horse you have, your budget and your riding discipline, and they will talk to you live and help you determine what size seat and and why type saddle is best for you. The other great thing about The Horse Saddle Shop is that if the saddle you purchased isn’t a good fit, you have a money-back guarantee and/or exchange within 2 weeks.  Hope this helps. 

  • Harry says:

    Hello there thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful piece  of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your review as it contains valuable informations one needs to be aware of. I did not understand your topic headings but looking at the post made it easy for me to graps

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Harry. Thanks for your feedback. I try my best to post articles that are easily understood. And sometimes, pictures are the best teachers. 

  • Ken says:

    Wow, I never realized all the differences in a saddle. Your explanation seemed very thorough and you are truly knowledgeable about the topic. I have not ridden a horse since I was a teenager where we could go and rent a horse for an hour. The saddle didn’t fit properly and they said it must have rubbed a sore spot when it bolted with me on it. I couldn’t control it and nearly fell off. I (after reading the article and explanations about a saddle) now understand why fit on a horse is so important and I never realized all the variations. This is a great topic! thanks!

    Ken

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Ken. Thanks for your comment. Yes, these poor horses are the ones that suffer most because they can’t speak when they’re in pain. I’m glad to be able to share useful information to horseback riders.

  • KingDavid247 says:

    Good article you have here.I firstly want you to know that you are
    doing a great job and I would always feel happy to visit your website.
    It takes a lot of research and time to come up with an article as fine
    as this. I am grateful, thank you. i hope to see more Good article you have here.I firstly want you to know that you are
    doing a great job and I would always feel happy to visit your website.
    It takes a lot of research and time to come up with an article as fine
    as this. I am grateful, thank you

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there King David. Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Stop by any time!

  • John says:

    Hi Shalisha! WOW! What a fantastic article. You really know your Saddles. I guess you would call me a rookie or newbie when it comes to horses and saddles. I have been on horses many times in my youth. I remember my parents taking my brother and I to get horseback riding lessons, LOL! I suppose just like anything that we try on in the way of clothes, saddles must also custom fit us due to our different sizes. I learned tons from your article and would consider you to be an expert in this area. Good job Shalisha!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi John! Thanks for visiting and thanks for your comments. Yes, saddle fitting is very much like clothes and shoe fitting. If you don’t buy the right size, you will feel uncomfortable. Please stop by again.

  • John says:

    Hello Shalisha! WOW! What a fantastic article. You really know your Saddles. I guess you would call me a rookie or newbie when it comes to horses and saddles. I have been on horses many times in my youth. I remember my parents taking my brother and I to get horseback riding lessons, LOL! I suppose just like anything that we try on in the way of clothes, saddles must also custom fit us due to our different sizes. I learned tons from your article and would consider you to be an expert in this area. Good job Shalisha!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi John. Thanks for your comment. Yes, saddles are like clothes, particularly shoes. Imagine wearing a pair of shoes that were too small. That’s what an ill-fitting saddle feels like. 

  • Cynthia says:

    Thank you for this overview of saddles.  While I realize that this is specifically about Martha Josey Saddles, your explanation of saddle fit was a learning experience for me.  My granddaughters ride but I don’t really know much about it and had never given a thought to saddles.  I always assumed it was a “one size fits all” situation!  Your article has given me a whole new perspective and an additional subject to discuss with my littles.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Cynthia. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, most people think saddles are one size fits all, but they’re not. I’m glad you found this helpful.  Yes, please pass this information on. 

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