Choosing The Right Barrel Racing Saddle

Choosing the right barrel racing saddle along with the right saddle pads for barrel racing is important because barrel racing is one wild ride!

If you want to be on top of your game, you gotta have the right gear. I’m talkin’ about the right barrel racing saddle. The right barrel racing saddle is going to keep you comfortably in place, and cozy, while you are flying around the barrels. Simultaneously, the right pad will do the same thing for your horse!

Picking a barrel saddle can feel like a daunting task! If you would like to talk to our barrel racing expert, please send us an email at!

Choosing the right barrel racing saddle and combining it with the right barrel racing saddle pads is going to increase your horse’s range of movement and keep them from getting sore.

Both of these aspects are imperative for success in the pen.

Let’s get real. I mean, you can’t just grab any ol’ saddle and expect to win or see an increase in your horse’s athletic ability or even your own riding. You gotta think about what you and your horse need. Is it comfort? Stability? control? A mix of all three? Trust me, I’ve been around the rodeo block a few times and I’ve seen what the right saddle can do for a rider and horse duo.

So, let’s break it down. What makes a saddle the perfect fit for barrel racing? First things first, you want it to be lightweight. You don’t want any extra weight holdin’ you back when you’re tryin’ to beat the clock. And, of course, you want it to be comfortable. Your butt will thank you after a long day of ridin’ and racing.

But what about the horse?

You want a saddle that’s gonna let ’em move! A deep seat and short skirts will give you stability, but wide swells will give your horse room to maneuver. And, if you’re feelin’ fancy, look for saddles with silver or fancy stitching. Not only will it look pretty, but it’ll show everyone else at the rodeo that you mean business.

Don’t skimp on your saddle. It’s a vital piece of equipment in barrel racing and choosing the right one can make all the difference in your performance.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing The Right Barrel Racing Saddle

When choosing a saddle for barrel racing, there are several key factors to consider, including:

  • A lightweight saddle is essential for barrel racing, as it allows the horse to move freely and respond quickly to the rider’s commands. The rider must also be able to maneuver the saddle easily and control the horse’s movement, so the lighter the saddle, the better.
  • The saddle should be comfortable for both the rider and the horse. The rider should be able to sit comfortably in the saddle without any pressure points, and the horse should not be uncomfortable or irritated by the saddle.
Range of Motion:
  • The saddle should allow for a good range of motion, allowing the rider to easily lean and shift their weight as needed during the race. The saddle should also allow for the horse to move freely, allowing for maximum performance.
Stable Design:
  • The saddle should have a deep seat, short skirts, and wide swells for added stability. This will help to keep the rider and the horse secure during the race, and allow for the best performance.

Read our article on Saddle Fitting!

How To Choose The Right Barrel Saddle for Your Horse

while it takes a lot of hard work and determination to reach the top, there’s one key factor that’s often overlooked when it comes to equine excellence: the right saddle.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “A saddle is just a saddle, right?” Wrong! Just like every horse is unique, every saddle is different too. And if you’re serious about becoming a champion, you need to make sure that your horse is comfortable, secure and ready to perform at their best, every time.

So, buckle up and get ready to learn the ins and outs of choosing the perfect saddle for your horse.

The Size of Your Sidekick Matters-

  • The first thing you need to consider when choosing a saddle is your horse’s size. Whether your horse is a petite pint-sized pony or a towering Thoroughbred, you need to make sure that you’re choosing a saddle that fits them just right.

Know Your Horse’s Breed-

  • Every horse is different, and their breed can play a big role in determining the right saddle for them. From the sturdy Quarter horses to the graceful Arabians, it’s important to keep your horse’s breed in mind when selecting a saddle.

Build to Suit-

  • Next, you need to take a look at your horse’s build. Does your horse have a high wither, or a low one? This can impact the type of saddle that’s best for them. If your horse has a high wither, you’ll want a saddle with a higher cantle, and vice versa.

Gait to Greatness-

  • Finally, don’t forget to consider your horse’s gait. Is your horse’s gait smooth and steady, or rough and rugged? This can impact the type of saddle that will be best for them, so be sure to choose a saddle that’s appropriate for your horse’s gait.

Learn about your horse’s movement and biomechanics, another aspect to consider when choosing or fitting a saddle. Understand the way your horse moves, how, and why, and you will take your training to a new level!

Barrel Racing Saddle Pads

Choosing the right saddle pads for barrel racing is equally as important as choosing the right barrel racing saddle. Use the wrong barrel racing saddle pads and you can actually cause more damage to your horse and impact your run.

Most pro barrel racers use a form of compressed wool, but the same thing that applies to saddles also applies to pads… sometimes you are just going to have to try a few! You will also want to make sure that the pad is not too long. The standard size for most barrel racers is around 28 inches.

Watch this video on choosing saddle pads for barrel racing HERE.

Final thoughts on barrel saddles and saddle pads for barrel racing

In conclusion, choosing the right barrel racing saddle for your horse takes a bit of time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end. By considering your horse’s size, breed, build, needs, and gait, you can ensure that you’re choosing a saddle that will help you both perform at your best, every time.

Want more information on barrel racing tack and equipment? Read more HERE!


If you missed our last article, be sure to check it out HERE!

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