Cowboy tack is all the same, isn’t it? This sentiment may have held mostly true in the past, but things have changed in the world of equestrian tack. Visit any of the western tack shops in your area, and you are likely to see quite a few specialty items designed to enhance performance during specific sports / riding styles. From barrel racing tack with lightweight, streamlined designs to trail saddles meant to offer support during long adventures, there are many innovations to choose from.
Saddle pads were once very simple – and of course, you can still have a simple design if you want to. But if you’re riding a performance horse and want him to do his very best each time you enter the rodeo arena, then a specialty Western saddle pad might be just the thing. You can find show saddle pads on various online tack shops, wholesale tack shops, tack auctions, and you can also cheek out your local horse tack catalog. These pads offer a variety of features that help your horse feel comfortable so he can put on a winning show. You can learn more about some different types in this article.
When it comes to specialized western horse tack, saddle styles make a huge difference. For example, barrel racing tack is often designed to look sharp, but there are other features that help horse and rider perform better together. A good barrel racing saddle normally has a quilted seat for a better grip, and the design is more pared down than that of an old-fashioned roughout saddle. The best barrel racing saddles have plenty of padding for the horse’s comfort, and they offer well-balanced trees, usually made of a combination of wood and fiberglass.
Like barrel racing saddles, western trail or endurance saddles are also built for lightweight performance. These saddles normally feature some extra rings for attaching saddlebags and other extras, and they offer outstanding comfort to horse and rider alike. A good trail saddle will have plenty of padding, plus it will feature a deep, supportive seat. Many models offer reinforced rigging for added strength; when you’re miles from nowhere, you need a saddle you can count on.
Roping saddles are meant to be used for rodeos and ranch work. These classics exemplify cowboy tack at its most durable. There are different configurations for different roping styles, but all feature hide wrapped horns for added support, along with stout trees and extra padding for your mount’s comfort when the pressure is on.
Western show saddles are meant for special occasions only! Perfect for taking your horse into the arena where his skills will make him a winner, and a good choice for parades and other events that call for a bit of bling, these saddles offer outstanding comfort so horse and rider can focus on performance. Beyond that, they also feature plenty of sparkling accents. A classic western show saddle is usually decked out with plenty of silver, and many offer decorative tooling, crystals, and other accents.
Whether you’re riding for pleasure, enjoying your favorite rodeo event, working hard on the ranch, or strutting your stuff in the show ring, the right type of specialized Western horse tack makes a difference!