10 Best Western Saddles for Comfortable Riding (Reviewed)

by | Last updated Feb 23, 2023

A high-quality saddle is a significant part of all equipment, whether you’re a novice or an expert rider. With this requisite gear, you get more ease, protection, and power over your companion. The saddle invites the rider to control and ride the horse easily. That is why we wanted to showcase long-lasting and top-notch cozy western saddles with a total number of styles and dimensions. These will help you ride off into the sunset, join local events or ride around with ease and protection. These saddles bring more control to your fingertips, and you can easily take your horse riding experience to the next level.

Best Western Saddle Brands for Comfortable Riding (Reviewed)

If you want to protect yourself and your horse from any injuries or scratches and enjoy a comfortable ride, you need a fitting saddle around your animal. It will allow you to enjoy and create a bond with your horse without worrying about any pain. We’ve reviewed a list of the best western saddles from top brands to help you enhance your riding experience, safety, and comfort for you and your horse.

1. Double J Pozzi Pro Barrel Racer SBP664

Double J Pozzi Pro Barrel Racer SBP664 is on top of our list of the best western saddles due to its fantastic versatility and flexibility for various terrains and horses. The company believes in offering a strong work ethic and hires only the top crafters in the industry. Therefore, you will find a long-lasting saddle and a beautiful piece combined into one singular unit. If you want quality products for your horse, this company is the right option for you. The creators only utilize high-quality materials and proven fabrication techniques to ensure the authenticity and validity of every saddle.

Every option is created with Herman oak skirting leather and complimenting stainless steel hardware to offer fitting gear for your horse riding activities. In addition to this, the company plants its trees and does not cut down random trees of will. This is why you will get to enjoy Eco-friendliness as well as a top-notch horse saddle for your next ride. These trees are planted years before creating saddles, and each saddle is thoroughly tested before making it to the shelf. Double J Saddlery western saddles are also customizable and made, and you can call the company to get decorations and logos of your own choice.

Most of these saddles come with a metallic silver stingray print that has become a trademark for the company. The entire body of these gears is made from high-quality leather, and the stirrups are made from brown aluminum. This option weighs around 28 pounds and does not feel like a burden around your animal. The company is an exclusive saddle maker with a two-time world championship under its belt over a decade and a half. You can also enjoy your financing options if you cannot pay for your saddle in a single payment.

2. Martin Saddlery High Plains All-Around

Martin Saddlery High Plains Mirage All-Around 14-C7 is yet another excellent option for novice and expert equestrians who are looking for something comfortable and exciting for their next ride. This option was initially designed for team ropers. Still, it is also a comfortable western saddle and ideal for athletes who continuously compete in tournaments and speed events around the globe. If you want a lightweight option for your horse with a seat pocket without sacrificing comfort and control over your animal, this is the right gear for you. You can participate in multiple events and run around the area without any problems.

This is an all-around saddle, and you can enjoy various other options with this brand. If you want, you can get your gear in chocolate leather with a floral overlay, or you can enjoy and take an antique floral overlay, depending upon your preferences. It also comes with a “Mother Hubbard Square Skirt” style and allows ample space for your items. The tree size for this option is somewhere between 6.5 inches to 7.5 inches. You can also enjoy a seat up to 17 inches, and the customization option allows this gear to be ideal for riders of different heights. There is adjustable rigging on the side, and you can adjust the height of your seat without any issues.

The border tooling follows the San Carlos tooling style. However, you can call the company and ask for a specific tooling style depending on your requirements. You will not find any dots or painting on the side of the saddle. Moreover, this gear weighs around 32 pounds, making it light enough for your horse to handle without any discomfort. This saddle is guaranteed to offer maximum satisfaction, and every option is thoroughly tested before making it to the market.

3. Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 1665

If you are looking for something unique and away from monotony, the brilliantly designed Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 1665 is the ideal option for you. This saddle is suitable for different breeds, riders of various heights, and multiple purposes, such as racing, leisure riding, etc. You can also enjoy high-density and low-density bars, making them ideal for your horse riding adventures for years to come. These density bars ensure that the saddle stays in its place even during motion. This way, you will not have to adjust continuously, and the horse will not feel uncomfortable. You can cover multiple terrains without losing balance.

Another fantastic benefit of this option is that it comes with balanced stirrups, which means that there will be a minimal strain on your knees and ankles throughout the ride. Similarly, the close-contact skirt style also minimizes stress levels around your ankles, and you can ride for hours without any pain issues. The wooden ground seat offers maximum stability and flexibility and enables riders to ride on different terrains without problems. The impact foam seat also allows you to fit this saddle over various horses without requiring any additional padding or adjustments.

When it comes to protecting your animal, this gear comes with a tunnel skirt style. This style minimizes the rubbing on the spinal cord and decreases the risk of sore spots or scratches throughout the ride. There is ample space for cool air, and the padded foam will also help minimize the number of blemishes or sore spots on your horse. This gear is also adjustable, and you can enjoy a ride without worrying about the height issue. You will not feel any sore joints after hours of riding, making it among the best options in the market.

4. Reinsman Ranch Cutting 4823

Reinsman Ranch Cutting 4823 is an excellent western saddle for speed riders who like to ride at full speeds and enjoy the superb wind brush against their skin. This is a hybrid option that simultaneously offers a rancher and a cutter. This is also a hand-tooled option for riders who enjoy and appreciate the finesse of craft and comfort. This gear comes with a padded suede seat that will offer the rider and the horse alike. Moreover, the padding underneath the seat will also allow for robust air circulation, thereby minimizing the risks of sore spots or scratches on your animal.

The close-contact square skirt makes it ideal for riders who want to enjoy the true speed of riding a horse. You will not need to adjust your saddle continuously as the close-contact square skirt style allows for a snug fit around the animal. This way, you can stay in position and still control the animal without issues. This option comes with all the necessities you may require during your horse riding experience.

If you want something more, you can call the company and ask for customized options depending on the specific breed of your horse. The seat sizes are adjustable and go as high as 17 inches. Depending on your waist, you can also get a regular or wide tree size. This option weighs around 36 pounds and does not pose a burden on your horse. Therefore, you can use this gear with various horses and enjoy a comfortable and speedy ride without any interruptions.

5. HR Signature Series Reiner 795

HR Signature Series Reiner 795 is a buffalo seat hand-stitched option for a variety of horses and riders. The seat size falls between the ranges of 14.5 inches to 18 inches. Moreover, it is made from Herman Oak leather natural wool lining. This material ensures that the horse doesn’t have to suffer from any scratches or pains during the ride. Similarly, it also provides that the leather seat offers ample padding for the rider to enjoy the riding experience for hours without feeling any sore joints or strain around the thighs.

You can also request this saddle in floral and bamboo decorations to enjoy a maximized aesthetic appeal for your riding experiences. It comes with dyed, painted borders and floral backgrounds that look good on any horse regardless. The seat is also designed so that you will not have to adjust your position during the ride. The stirrups will keep you in the same position throughout the ride, and your horse will also feel more comfortable and happier. 

The horn and the seat are designed to align with the spinal code without putting too much pressure on the shoulders of your animal. This alignment ensures that the horse is continuously comfortable, and you do not have to worry about restricting your horse’s movements. This will allow you to enjoy the maximum potential of your horse and take your riding experience to the next level.

Another benefit of this model is that it comes with covered aluminum joints. Some options in the market do not pay specific attention to protecting the stainless steel or aluminum joints around the gear. Therefore, these metallic joints can cause scratches on the skin of your horse and even develop infections. However, when you decide to go with this option, you will not have to worry about that, and your horse will stay healthy and comfortable for years to come.

6. Crates Hand-Tooled 4517

Crates Hand-Tooled 4517 is ideal for female riders who enjoy a lightweight saddle for their speed racing events or stroll around the town. It was also designed according to the principles of the Equi-Fit reining tree, allowing it to maximize your movements and control over the ride. Similarly, the flat center pocket will enable you to comfortably sit on top of this saddle without losing your stability or balance throughout the ride. Whether you are riding on mountainous terrain or plain ground, you can keep on enjoying maximum stability and control without putting in too much effort.

One of the most amazing things about this model is that it is made one at a time. Therefore, you will know that you are getting thoroughly tested and handcrafted gear for your horse. This further adds to the authenticity and performance of this saddle, and you can easily enjoy one product for years to come. It will also fit a wide variety of horses, allowing you to save a lot of money purchasing multiple options for multiple animals. The adjustable seat can go up to 16 inches, and riders of different heights can enjoy this without any trouble.

The seat jockey also comes with a smooth edge. This smooth edge enables you to rest your back at the bottom and alleviate any stress on your spinal cord throughout your ride. The tooled border design also allows you to minimize stress on your knees and other joints. If you plan on riding for hours upon end, this is the right option for you. It weighs around 32 pounds, making it a lightweight choice for riders and horses alike.

7. Billy Cook Nebraska Rancher 2805

If you want to experience a genuine Billy Cook experience, Billy Cook Nebraska Rancher 2805 is the right western saddle for your stable. The top surface is made from high-quality grain leather, offering a realistic cowboy feel at your fingertips. Moreover, the solid flat plate rigging ensures that you maintain high stability throughout the ride on uneven grounds. The signature Billy Cook stamp around the fenders adds to the beauty and grace of this option, and its value only increases with time.

The performance is also unparalleled in the market, and the brilliant rawhide-covered quarter horse bars make sure that you experience a smooth ride. The broad basket also ensures that riders with different heights and weight sizes can easily fit on this gear without any difficulties. The adjustable seat size goes up to 17 inches, allowing a snug fit for different equestrians. Similarly, the horn size is two and a half inches with a post rawhide bound. This makes it easier for users to lower the stress levels on their spinal cord and get a comfortable seating experience for hours.

However, you should know about this saddle because the overall weight is a little more than other options in the market. So, you will have to deal with a 42-pound gear. It may seem heavy at this point, but the pros outweigh the con. If you want to experience a true cowboy riding style, this option is ideal for you. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about giving it up at any time in the future. It can become a family heirloom, or you can sell it without losing your money. It offers a fantastic resale value in the market due to the signature Billy Cook features.

8. Julie Goodnight Blue Ridge 1751

Julie Goodnight Blue Ridge 1751 is specifically designed for maximum control and comfort for riders and horses alike. Therefore, if you wish to maximize the level of communication between you and the horse, this gear is ideal for you. It is one of the most luxurious items on this list, and there is more than one reason for this. Specifically, the round high-cut skirt design is comfortable for gaited horses and short riders. While this option is not compatible with various horses, it is still ideal for dozens of breeds. You can gain control over your communication with the horse without sacrificing the element of comfort and style.

If you want something that looks beautiful on your horse, this is the right option for you. It comes with diamond border tooling and beautiful designs on the side. The Silver Conchos further add to the beauty of this saddle, and everyone in your area will appreciate the overall finishing of the top seat. It comes with seat jockeys and fenders that help you stabilize your position on top of the seat and enjoy a good long ride without discomfort in your hips or spinal cord.

You can adjust the seat height up to 17 inches. You can get it in various colors, such as jet black or regular oil. It comes with angled back support that is ideal for supporting the backbone and minimizing stress levels around your pelvis area. Another amazing thing about this gear is that it weighs around 30 pounds, offering a lightweight experience for short horses and riders alike. You will not feel any sore pain around your ankles or joints even after hours of riding. The cushion padding underneath the seat removes any pain elements and offers a relaxing experience day after day.

9. Tucker Horizon Endurance 179

Tucker Horizon Outpost Endurance Saddle 179 is ideal for riders who love long rides and conquering harsh terrains. Moreover, the Tri-tech fit system is designed to ride your horse for hours upon end without any significant pain around the backbone, joints, or other limbs. The brilliantly designed modest flexibility of the seat offers conformational positioning around the spinal cord. This takes away any risks of sore spots or scratches on the horse and provides a relaxing experience for horses and riders alike.

This option also features an ergonomic shock-absorbing seat to help you get around uneven surfaces and terrains. This system is further complemented by a flexible panel to evenly distribute your weight around the seat and address any pressure points that may end up causing bruises or sore spots on your horse. This panel also aids with achieving a genuinely dynamic fit for an enjoyable riding experience and maximum stability. This way, you do not have to worry about adjusting your seat or any back pain at the end of the day. The gel padding underneath the seat enhances the comfort levels of the horse, taking your riding experience to the next level.

If you are worried about this saddle taking the impact of wear and tear over the years, you should know it is made from English bridle leather. This leather is known for its exceptional quality and can easily withstand high moisture levels and unpredictable weather conditions. Therefore, you can enjoy high quality for years to come without any scratches on the seat.

You can further maximize the seat height up to 18 and a half inches. If this isn’t enough, you should know that this saddle comes with a weight of approximately 25 pounds. It is known as one of the most lightweight options on the market that continuously offers maximum comfort and performance at your fingertips. Your money will be worth it.

10. Big Horn 908

As evident from the name, Big Horn Extra Wide Trail Saddle caters to the needs of short backs without giving up the underlying comfort levels. The tight round-cut skirt fits snugly around short or gated horses and allows the riders to enjoy long rides without trouble. One of the unique advantages of this western saddle is the wonderful A-fork swell that favors rider motion and leg freedom throughout your riding experiences. This saddle also uses a quilted suede cushion that offers exceptional comfort at your fingertips.

If you are looking for something beautiful for your horse, this is the right option for you as it comes with double-lined border tooling. Moreover, the floral pattern around the saddle is also unique and amazing. You can enjoy comfort and panache in a single package. Furthermore, this option also features rich chestnut leather designed to withstand rough usage throughout the years. It doesn’t require much maintenance, and you can keep enjoying the same level of beauty and comfort for several years.

This option also comes with wide tree sizes, and you can extend the seat height up to 16 inches. This is ideal for riders of different heights and horses of various breeds. The stainless steel hardware around the saddle is also leather-covered to avoid injuries to your horse or you. This option weighs only 24 pounds, and you can use it for dozens of short backs without any issues. If you want to maximize your range and minimize your discomfort levels, this is the right gear for you and your horse.

How to Choose the Best Western Saddle?

A western saddle is not something you can purchase on an impulse without considering any factors, and this is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your horse’s health and comfort. Therefore, you need to pay special attention while considering your options and take different factors into account to purchase the right choice for your riding experiences and requirements.

Just because a saddle works for horse jockeys and tournament riders does not mean it will be ideal for your leisure strolls around the town. You also have to think about your chosen model’s material and overall fit. This is why we have compiled a list of different factors to help you with your decisions and assist you in making the right choice.

The Ideal Fit

First and foremost, you need to consider the fit as it will significantly impact your horse’s comfort level. The right fit will make all the difference for your horse and your experience. Similarly, an ill-fitting western saddle will cause significantly damaging problems for the rider and the horse alike.

It would be best to understand that the fit should be snug enough to hold on its own but not loose enough to fall off or move around the spine continuously. The horn and cantle should be well-balanced in the middle and aligned with the spinal code of your horse. You should also do a test run with your chosen option on top of your host to make sure that it does not continuously incline backward and rubs against the soft skin of your animal. It will ultimately cause unnecessary pressure on the horse and cause detrimental health problems or infections in the skin.

Another important thing you should understand while choosing the right fit is to know that different horses have different body shapes. Moreover, the companies also design options for different body shapes, and you should know the breed of your horse to choose the perfect choice from the start. The tree, also known as the skeleton, will help you determine the proper range of saddles to choose from depending on your horse’s breed.

Leather/Material Quality

Choosing the right western saddle means selecting a suitable material. Since you will be using this gear for years to come, you need to know whether or not it can stand the tests of trials of time and frequent usage in unpredictable weather conditions. There are three essential components to check the material quality while choosing the right gear for your horse. These include the following items:

  • The feel of the leather: Firstly, you need to make sure that the leather feels smooth and soft against your skin. If the leather is harsh or brittle, it can cause sore spots on your skin and offer a discomforting experience for you. If you see visible cracking signs on top of the seat, you should know that the leather is not of the highest quality, and you should stay away from it.
  • The strength of the leather: Secondly, you need to make sure that there are no wrinkles on top of the leather or material. If you see any creases or grainy structures on top of the seat, you should know that this option is not as durable as you may have wanted for your horse. Moreover, the increase in wrinkles will also cause trouble for your horse and end up causing scratches around the creases.
  • The leather’s finish: Other than the top seat, you should also look at the saddle edges. If you see anything sharp around the edges, this is not a good option for you. Good companies permanently seal the edges with a robust coating that offers a comfortable experience for your horse when it comes into contact with the edges during running.

Personally, I advise buying saddles online from the HorseSaddleShop store because they sell high-quality and original products. Also, they offer good warranty policies with fast shipping.

The Tree/Skeleton

A “tree” is essentially a framework or a skeleton that helps determine the horse’s comfort. Any new saddles have versatile substances that can be adapted between horses. Keep searching for the right saddle that will suit the slope of the bar, the gullet, the specific breed of horse, the positioning of the saddle, and the rock of the tree.

Riding Style

Various saddle types have various advantages to reduce the number of options depending upon the most valuable factor. The Department of Animal Science of the University of Missouri notes that users should be aware of the various styles of saddles and their benefits to complement their personal choice. Here are some valuable variations between saddles:

  • Western Style: This type of saddle offers maximum security at your fingertips. The dense fabric and lining are the main characteristic of western options. They are much more stable and flexible than other styles, ideal for those who want to service a wide range of clients or a multi-driving family. These saddles fail because they are bigger, bulkier, and heavier. So, riders can find it challenging to move them, particularly beginners.
  • Hunt Seat Style: These options offer maximum control and maneuverability to riders. The hunting seat options are the thinnest and lightest, making them easy to handle. That enables you to experience and comfortably interact with the horse’s motion, thus providing a higher connection between the horse and the person. This style makes long drives less convenient and is perfect for seasoned riders due to their smaller scale.
  • Dressage Style: If you are looking for maximum communication with your animal, dressage style is the best option for you. The dressage style offers better interaction with the more profound and broader horse than hunting options. Try this style if you know there is nothing between you and your horse. With a word of caution, their lack of padding ensures that you have to have solid legs for travel and that these are not for beginners.

Once you understand what you want from your saddle choice and what kind of rider you will become, you will make better choices while purchasing the right gear for your horse.

What Is the Bottom Line Here?

Once you have decided to enhance your riding experience and maximize comfort levels for yourself and your horse, the next item on your list should be purchasing the right saddle. These options offer better communication with the horse, more control over their emotions, and fantastic comfort at your fingertips. However, you must understand crucial factors before choosing the right western saddle for your horse.

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