Round vs Square Skirt Western Saddles

Once in awhile the topic of Round vs Square Skirt Western Saddles comes up. Everyone has an opinion but generally, for the average rider there is very little difference in a Round Skirt western saddle and a Square Skirt Western Saddles

Round Skirt Western Saddles have less skirting around the horse’s flank, and are usually somewhat contoured around the seat. Advantages to this type of saddle are that they are lighter weight so may be easier to tack up with and will help ease the burden on a horse carrying close to his weight limit. Round skirt western saddles work well on short-backed horses as well. Many times the corner of a square skirt saddle will rest directly on a a short-backed horse’s flank. For particularly tolerant horses this discomfort may only show itself in some headtossing or rushing corners, but sensitive horses may feel the saddle skirt pressing into their senitive flanks and be inclined to bolt or buck.

Square skirt western saddles are more traditional and should be used, if at all possible, for western showing (not including western games and barrel racing). The square skirt of a western saddle was historically designed to be large in order to protect the horse’s back and flanks. When riders tied a weeks worth of gear to the cantle of their saddle, they prefered it bounce around on top of thick leather instead of their horses’ sensitive backs. Modern trail riders may still appreciate this purpose, and if you intend to carry large saddlebags a square skirted saddle may be more appropriate for your riding needs. THIS SADDLE WAS STOLEN. It is believed to be one of a kind. If you have seen this saddle in use or for sale please report to KY Horse Park Police at (859)-509-1450

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