What’s a Roping Saddle & Why Do You Need One?
Roping saddles. What are they? What are they used for? Roping saddles are a type of western saddle used for roping or steer wrestling. They’re traditionally used in rodeos and competitions involving team roping/calf roping.
Here are the features unique to a roping saddle:
Tree (Usually Rawhide)
Horn (Very Thick)
The tree of a roping saddle has to be sturdy and oftentimes is made of rawhide. A strong tree is the foundation of a saddle. The competitive sport of team roping puts a lot of pressure on a saddle.
So the tree has to be super strong with reinforced rigging to prevent rips or breaks. It also has to be made so that it’s easy for the rider to stay in position.
Its horn is thicker than other saddles. And that’s because the rider needs to be able to dally off of and enable the rider to have an easier time mounting.
Roping Saddles Double Skirt
Roping saddles also have a longer skirt or a double skirt, which makes these saddles heavy. Although roping saddles are heavy, they’re designed to provide comfort, support, durability and safety to the rider.
These saddles are built to conform to the shape of the rider’s back and offer a secure spot for the hips. Calf ropers need a saddle that’s durable, comfortable, supportive, and easy to care for.
Roping Saddles Seat
What about the seat of a roping saddle? How are they made? Roping saddles have a nice pocket seat for good positioning. The deep seat of a roping saddle gives the rider the ability to stay in the saddle during team roping.
And no matter how hard the calf roper is being pulled from side to side, rest assured, the seat will keep the rider in place.
Moreover, this awesome saddle has a high pommel, keeps the rider in the saddle when the horse makes sudden maneuvers. The high pommel allows for better balance when riding in deep sand or rough terrain.
Considerations When Choosing Roping Saddles
So what should you consider in terms of types of materials you should look for when buying a roping saddle?
Saddles are used in a variety of ways, from horseback riding to competitive roping. That means that saddles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and the materials used can vary significantly depending on their intended use.
For example, an endurance saddle is designed with comfort in mind, whereas a roping saddle is designed to be lightweight for quick maneuvers.
Some of the most common materials used for roping saddles are leather (rawhide), nylon, and polyester. The weight of a roping saddle is a significant consideration to take into account.
The weight of the roping saddle should be appropriately balanced over your horse’s back for it to be comfortable and easy to use. These saddles can weigh between 30 – 45 lbs. They’re heavier than others because they need to be durable for their designated task.
The stirrups are short and offer mobility to the rider. The horn keeps the rider’s hand positioned for quick release of the rope.
What Purpose Does the Stirrup Leather Serve in Roping Saddles?
The stirrup leather is a flat, sturdy strap that loops around the tree of the roping saddle and the top of your foot. This piece of leather then attaches to a buckle that secures it to your ankle. They’re used to add stability when roping and add comfort for the horse.
When roping, it’s common for a rider’s hand to come in contact with stirrup leather.
The stirrups are deep to allow the rider to brace against them. In conjunction with the roping saddle, the roping saddle assists in keeping the rider’s foot in place on the saddle and keeps the rider’s foot from moving around while riding. Roping saddles are designed so that there is no gap for your foot to slip through.
How to Pick the Right Saddle For You and Your Horse
Saddles are a vital part of your roping equipment. When saddles don’t fit properly, you can’t ride well, and you’re more likely to get injured. To choose a good roping saddle, you should look for a comfortable saddle with a high degree of adjustability to fit your horse’s needs.
A well-fitting saddle is essential for both horse and rider.
So before you purchase a roping saddle, it’s essential to know if the saddle will fit your horse. Was this post helpful? Looking for more reviews? Read my Dakota Roping Saddles Review.