It's Show Time! And you need a saddle. The Western Show Saddle is designed to stand out! It is a saddle built on looks rather than hard work. These are very highly decorative saddles, that usually feature moderate to extensive use of silver trim on the skirts, cantle, horn, pommel/fork, and the stirrups. They usually contain a long and deep skirts which allow for additional silver and tooling. The tooling on show saddles is very intricate and usually covers nearly every inch. The seat of the saddle is padded or suede, which allows the rider more grip. This helps to create the picture that the rider is enjoying a very comfortable ride, because there is never air between them and the saddle.. The cantle tends to be lower for ease in mounting, especially since the rider will be wearing the western show fashion as well. The saddle is balanced so that the rider's center of gravity is correct, which translates to the correct rider equitation. The horn of the western show saddle is short and the fork/ pommel is lower. This feature allows the rider less interference when using the reins and creates a nicer overall picture of rider equitation.
Since the show saddle is designed for the show ring, its looks can vary from season to season depending on trends, styles, and fashions. You do not want to show up in the show ring in last years show saddle if you expect to be in the ribbons. Saddle manufacturers stay current with the changing trends, styles, and fashions, so browse the current year's models. You can also refer to the articles, “Tips for western horse show time” for additional aid in western showing. Like all high-end fashions; show saddles will run from being tasteful to tacky. It is up to the personal preference of the rider, but it is a good idea to rein yourself in. So when looking for a new western show saddle look for a saddle that will enhance both you and your horse, not drown you two out. For additional information about saddle buying and fitting refer to articles, “What to consider when buying a new horse saddle?”, “How to fit a western saddle to your horse?” and “How to find a western saddle to fit you?”.