Barrel racing saddles are specially designed for speed. They are the smallest and lightest of the Western Saddle types. A well-designed barrel saddle will secure the rider and maximize maneuverability through hard turns and fast sprints. In addition to barrels, these saddles are suitable for a variety of eventing games.
Typical features of a barrel saddle include:
- A deep seat to hold in the rider
- A thin and taller horn for the rider to grab onto during hard turns
- A higher fork with relatively wide swells to secure the rider
- Rough-out seat, fenders, and side jockeys for extra grip
- Relatively high cantle for security
- In-skirt rigging
- Free swinging fenders to allow the rider to keep her legs underneath her center of gravity
- Narrow stirrups to hold the foot in place
- Front cinch only. No flank cinch
- Shorter skirts. Round skirts used to be the norm, but square skirts are now in fashion.
- Lighter weight; usually under 30 pounds
With females comprising the majority of barrel racers, barrel saddles can often have a flashy look with a bold use of color and materials such as ostrich leather.
East Valley Feed & Tack has a number of Saddles Available