A little about roping saddles!
The quality roping saddle has a deep seat and the fenders hung in a position, ensuring the rider can be upright and well-balanced when ready to rope. The horns and trees are extra strong to take the pull. The rigging on the roper saddle must be one that pulls off the top of the tree bars and has great strength. Generally suede out or roughed out non padded seats are preferred to give more grip. The swells of the saddle are kept reasonably low as to keep the leverage of the rope on the horn to a minimum. A Roping Saddle is designed for demanding 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. To withstand this 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 or fiberglass 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 for dallying
- Full double rigging- both front cinch and back flank cinch with the front cinch most commonly in the 7/8ths or full position
- 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
- Heavier weight