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Heavy Western Horse Saddles

If you have a reason to buy a Western horse saddle, always look for the one that’s most suitable and light weighted but do not choose heavy western saddles. Alongside, using a Western horse saddle may not be the first choice for every other horse rider as they are heavier in weight.

Most commonly, people are concerned if the weight of the saddle affects their horse or its movement. Here, We will inform you of the reasons for heavy Western Horse saddles., their effect, and what they can do anything to lessen the impact.

About Western Saddles

The purpose of using Western saddles is to support western styles of riding. This type of horse saddle is popularly in use among the people of the west or the United States. It generally includes working with horses in cattle ranching, trail riding, and other similar activities.
To say the least, Western horse saddles are mainly considered cowboy saddles for their popularity among rodeo fans. Furthermore, these saddles provide comfort to the rider so that they can stay on the horse for long hours.

Design of Western Saddles

The Western saddle design is a blend of saddles that originated in Mexico. In those times, cattle ranchers used to work for long hours, and for that, they required a comfortable area to sit in. Thus, the model and shape of a Western saddle will provide maximum comfort during the ride.

Earlier, there were processes running for modifications and adding new features to the pre-existing saddle. Most riders were searching for ways to make it even more functional, so they came up with the idea of adding a horn at the front. It further allows the rider to control their cattle as they can rope them with the horn of the Western saddle.

In the current times, most riders use the horn for the same purpose. However, the ones who are not aware usually take it to hold grip, whereas you can also put reins. In short, the design of a Western saddle is to help riders through longer routes or do cattle work in the fields.

Are Western Saddles heavier than English Saddles?

Well, it’s common knowledge that Western saddles are always heavier than English saddles. There are certain features in the Western saddle that are more likely to increase its overall weight. However, the weight of a saddle depends upon the riding discipline for which you may be using it. Likewise, any good-quality saddle will be on the heavier side. In addition, to enhance the comfort level for the rider, Western saddles are likely to have more material than English saddles.

Read Also: Different Types of Western Saddle

How are Western Horse Saddles so heavy?

Heavy western Saddle

Usually, you may come across Western saddles that are made from leather. It’s obvious to say that using leather as a material for Western saddles will be heavier than synthetic saddles. Moreover, these saddles are heavier but also durable.

In simple terms, an English saddle has fewer features, flaps, and straps as compared to a Western saddle. Needless to say, a Western saddle has the main element, which is the “horn” that’s placed right in front. In addition, stirrups, bags, and grooming kits will increase the load over a Western saddle.

Items Contributing to Heavy-Weight Western Horse Saddle

There are various items that add to the weight of a Western saddle. Henceforth, you can note them down, and even you can remove them later. Here are the following points that will make you understand the heavier load of Western saddles.

  • If you are using any leather accessory, it will undoubtedly increase the weight of your saddle. More so, it will make the saddle look more attractive and comfortable.
  • We all know that a Western saddle is more comfortable than an English saddle. Likewise, adding designs and stability will increase the volume of the saddle.
  • A heavy Western saddle’s extra cushioning like cantle, tree, and skirt may have increased weight. Thus, it makes the saddle look heavy and much more comforting.

How can we lessen the weight of Western Saddle?

If there are some options to lessen the weight of the Western saddle, people would consider them at first. However, using a saddle pad is a better option that one can use to disperse the weight of a Western saddle on the horse’s back. Likewise, using the right type of Western saddle pad will also aid the rider and the horse.

See More: What are the Different Types of Horse Saddles?

You can consider several points before making the right decision on a horse saddle. You may follow the given points –

  • First, look at your horse’s back and then choose the fabric for your saddle pad. In addition, the shape of the saddle will also be responsible for considering the right option.
  • Secondly, the benefit of using a Western saddle is that it prevents the saddle from sliding over.
  • Now, you have to fit the saddle upon the saddle pad so that it does not cause any discomfort to the rider.

How much Saddle Weight can a Horse carry?

Usually, a horse can carry about 20% of its body weight on its back without any inconvenience. However, they may not feel comfortable if the weight exceeds the mentioned amount. Let’s say you have a horse that weighs approximately 1000 lbs. Now, as per the 20% weight count, they can only carry about 200 lbs of weight using their body weight.

In addition, always know that while your saddle may weigh about 4 to 8 kg, your weight also adds up on the horse’s back. Therefore, you cannot take any more excess weight with your horse as it can be problematic for the horse’s health. Always ensure you carry less weight on the horse so they don’t feel uncomfortable during the ride.


When you are referring to the Western style of riding, there are many options that you can count upon. However, it depends upon your capacity and how well you are willing to use your Western Horse Saddle. In addition, know that buying any type of saddle will not be enough. Moreover, you have to be on the other side of purchasing the saddle and the user’s requirements.

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Written by

Randy Orten is an equine life expert who has written articles about horseback riding and its various categories. He has been in this business for over 4 to 5 years and is entirely professional in all his endeavors. In the meantime, Charles likes to gather more knowledge about the alternatives for substantial sources of leather goods for horse riding equipment.

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