Roping Saddles are designed for heavy use and maximum freedom of movement for the rider. In a well-designed roper, a rider can easily chase, rope, and dally a cow to the horn. With all the punishment, the saddle must have a particularly strong saddle tree and horn.
Typical features of a roping saddle include:
- Preferably, a wood saddle tree with a bullhide cover for maximum strength
- A low, rounded fork. This will keep down the leverage of the rope on both the horn and the horse, and not interfere with a swinging rope.
- A tall, thick horn with a horn wrap for dallying
- A deep, rough-out or suede seat for maximum grip
- A low cantle for an easier dismount
- Stirrups hung a bit more forward than usual to allow the rider to put their feet forward and brace against the stirrups when necessary.
- Deep, wide, roper style stirrups.
- Full double rigging – both front cinch and flank cinch with the front cinch most commonly in the 7/8ths or full position
- A rope strap for holding a lariat
- Heavier weight
Roping Saddles are specifically designed for roping and are most often used by those participating in roping events.