What Barrel Saddles are Strong Enough to Rope Out Of?
A barrel saddle is meant to be lightweight enough to allow for a higher level of speed for horses. Roping saddles are meant for roping because they are heavier and sturdier. So, what barrel saddles are strong enough to rope out of? Continue reading and you will learn the answer to this question and further helpful information on roping saddles.
What are the Differences Between Barrel and Roping Saddles?
Although they may appear the same to someone inexperienced in the two disciplines, there are key differences. They both have horns, but this is also the area where the two saddles differ greatly.
A roping saddle has a horn that has been screwed deeply in place. It is meant to be able to handle the weight of roped cattle while dallying. For this, roping saddle horns must be extremely strong. If they cannot hold the immense weight of a struggling animal, they could tear loose and pull the pommel with them.
Barrel racing saddles have horns, but they are taller and haves a bigger pommel. These horns and pommels are meant to help the rider hold on, but they are not meant to support the weight of struggling roped cow.
Can You Use a Barrel Racing Saddle for Roping?
In most cases, the answer to the above question is going to be a resounding no. The weight of a struggling cow can be way too much weight on the barrel horn. Riders who have attempted to use a barrel saddle for roping have found out the hard way that it is a serious risk that can cause injuries and severe damage to the saddle.
There is one roping discipline that will work with a barrel saddle. It is called breakaway. There is no dallying in breakaway. The rope is tied to the horn with a small piece of string and ribbon.
Once the rider ropes the cattle, they pitch themselves forward, effectively breaking the string. If you are team roping or will be dallying, never use a barrel saddle. If you cannot commit to the sport enough to purchase the right equipment, it would be better to stick with the one you have equipment for, so you or your horse do not become injured.
What Makes Roping Saddles Stronger Than Barrel?
Did you know roping saddles can weigh up to twice as much as barrel racing saddles? The gullet on a roping saddle is also different from a barrel one. The gullet sits low and wider across the withers of your horse.
The reason for this is that when you are dallying the rope, the rope does not get pulled to either side, which can end up pulling your horn off. With significant force, the pommel could come with it.
Roping saddles are meant to be aggressive, protecting both horse and rider during any style of cattle roping. You cannot compare a hefty roping saddle to a lighter weight barrel saddle. The two just cannot be used interchangeably.
How to Choose a Perfect Roping Saddle
Since you now know it is not possible to use a barrel saddle for roping, it is important to know what to look for in a roping saddle. Consider the following, and you will be able to make the perfect purchase for your horse.
- A roping saddle needs to be able to withstand the force exhibited by a roped cow that is dallied around the horn. You need to research to learn about the different horn types and make sure you choose the right horn for roping. The horn should be made of strong materials and properly anchored to withstand the force of roping cattle.
- The stirrups should be situated slightly forward than other types of saddles. You will need the stirrups in this place for sudden stops, so you can brace yourself effectively. The stirrups should be wider and deeper, for a better level of support for the rider.
- The seat on a roping saddle should be deeper than on other types. It should also be covered in roughout material, to help ensure you stay in place while roping.
- The cantle of a good roping saddle is going to be lower than other types of horse saddles. A lowered cantle allows the rider to jump out of the saddle quickly, once they have roped their cow.
Now, you know the answer to what barrel saddles are strong enough to rope out of. Unfortunately, the answer is none of them, unless you are roping breakaway. Roping saddles are made to be extra strong and durable, so they can withstand the immense pressure that happens with dallying. If you are going to practice roping, make sure to purchase a strong roping saddle that will keep you and your horse safe.