In 1952, Arthur A. Callister began trading wool with his father in a little shop on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, Utah. Noticing how many customers were in need of quality tack to outfit themselves and their horses, AA Callister's Western Wear and Tack was born! Over 50 years and many satisfied customers we are still a family owned tack shop still located on the original site. We are proud to represent the traditions and lifestyles that made the West famous. We are also proud to feature some of the finest tack, clothing, and equipment made. Come live part of the American West today!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WESTERN VERSUS ENGLISH SADDLES

By Ron Caldwell – “THE TACKGUY”
A.A. CALLISTER (www.callisters.com)

Although there are many differences between Western and English saddles they do have one common purpose which is to provide support and security to the rider. The roots and basic design of a Western saddle came from cowboys working on western ranches in the United States. The English saddle derives it's design from both hunter and show riders from European countries.

The Western saddle design actually came about from the Spanish vaqueros and horse trainers who handle cattle in Mexico and the American Southwest. The Western saddle was made to be more comfortable for long hours in the saddle and to be used when traveling over very rugged country.

The English saddle is made to allow the rider to have more body contact with his/her horse. The English saddle is usually much lighter in weight and doesn't have the large stirrup fenders which exist on Western saddles. One noticeable difference about an English saddle is that they typically don't have saddle horns. A user of an English saddle learns quickly the importance of being centered and balanced over the saddle and horse. Many riders of English saddles ride horses that jump and go over obstacles which makes the importance of being well balanced in the saddle even more critical. Although the horn on a Western Saddle is used by some western riders as a hand hold, the actual intent of the western saddle horn is for securing the end of a rope to the saddle when working with cattle or other livestock.

Both Western and English saddles will usually have a seat, pommel, cantle, saddle tree, stirrups or irons. In addition, the typical English saddle will have waist skirt, panel, saddle flap, and stirrup leathers. The additional parts of a Western saddle include; horn, gullet, jockey, cinch rings, cinch and latigo keepers, full skirt, saddle strings, and stirrup fenders. Because of the larger number of parts on a Western saddle, it is usually much heavier.

Not all western tack stores carry English saddles but we at A.A. Callister do provide both Western and English saddles.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact me a rcaldwell@callisters.com.

1 comment:

david said...

Yes i agree saddle provide support and security to the rider , but you know what i like English saddles because they provide great comfort while riding.