Ranch Cutter vs Cowhorse Saddle? Spotting Out The Difference

Mar 18, 2024 | Super Equestrian


Looking for a saddle that can be worn on a horse all day without tiring you? You've come to the right place. If you are a rancher, you may have difficulty deciding between a ranch cutter saddle and a cowhorse saddle.

I realized that these two saddles are very similar since they are both used for ranch work. But, whenever I discovered that cowhorse saddles have a deeper seat than ranch saddles, I realized that not only do seats serve different purposes, but they also have certain functional differences. 

When ranching is your top goal, you should consider this saddle and its functions to make the best choice. Here, In this article, we will guide you in detail about these two types of saddle. 

What Is Special About Ranch Cutter Saddles?

Ranch cutter saddles are known for their versatility in doing different ranch work. In the ranching world, these saddles hold a special name for their versatile designs and comfort. So, What else is good about this particular one? Let's take a closer look at this saddle in detail:

a. Purpose: 

This saddle is designed with longer square skirts and a narrow seat which makes riding all day easier for a rider. Arena work or ranch work, this saddle will provide enough control to its rider. 

Ranch cutter saddles are specially designed for cutting cattle work. The deep seat allows the rider to maintain balance during cutting maneuvers. For precise cattle work including penning, sorting or branding the cattle, ranch cutter saddle is an ideal choice. 

b. Key features: 

Ranch cutter saddle has some unique feature that helps the rider build contact with the horse while doing precise cutting cattle work. Here’s how their features contribute:

  • Shallow seat: The narrow seat allows close leg contact, the rider can give leg cues seamlessly without interrupting horse movement. This ensures horse gets effective commands from the rider with subtle leg pressure, and acts accordingly with a quick response. 
  • High cantle: It helps the rider to have stability and balance while the horse doing the work. This supports the rider to have control in dynamic situations like quick stop and turn.
  • Short Skirt: It avoids the interference between the rider's leg and stirrup position. This works as a safety feature for riders during close cattle work, and riders can focus on control without any distractions.
  • High horn: Forward-angled horn provides the rider with a sturdy grip during turns and stops and The strong grip allows the rider to leverage and control movements. 
  • Padding: Minimal padding allows the rider to have a close connection with the horse. 

C. Benefit:

Along with the features, the ranch cutter saddle comes with several benefits. If you use this saddle, this saddle serves the following purposes-

  • Close Communication: This saddle enables the rider to have better leg contact with the horse. It enhances the ability to build close contact with the horse and control over directing the horse in a particular direction. 
  • Responsiveness: Forward balance allows the rider to have clear vision, and control over the horse's neck and head. This makes the horse responsive during steering. 
  • Stability: Cutting events include hard stops and risky turns. The design keeps riders secure on and with the horse providing stability and maintaining balance. 

Why Do You Need Cowhorse Saddle?

If ranch cutter saddle comes with a versatile design, cowhorse saddle comes with an even narrower seat and more versatile designs. Let’s find out what this saddle has more to offer: 

a. Purpose

Cowhorse saddles are perfect for two distinct western riding activities that are reigning and cutting in your horse arena or outside. They are designed with a deeper seat, which allows riders to stay on and out of the way of horses. Their design is made for horses for attending cow-horse competitions. Cutting competition has activities –reining and cutting, cowhorse saddle is a pro in these discipline. 

b. Key features:

Cow horse saddle have a slight difference in comparison with ranch cutter saddle. If you look at these key features, your confusion will become clear. 

  • Deeper seat: The deeper seat allows the rider to sit deeper and closer to the horse. During cowhorse work, it keeps riders' legs in a good position which improves collection and provides security when rider performs tricky tasks. 
  • Lower cantel: It enables the rider to extend his leg more easily, which is important for various maneuvers. This also gives the rider a finesseful look in the cowhorse competition. 
  • Longer skirt: The long skirt supports the rider's leg during maneuvering like sliding stops and spins.
  • Straight Horn: The horn is taller, can be straight or slightly forward-angled. It brings versatility, and gives the cowboy a way during roping activity. 
  • Extra Padding: Padding provides cushioning to the rider when he is on horseback. Here, this saddle is designed with extra padding that provides comfort and absorbs sudden shock while riding. 

C.  Benefits:

Several benefits cowhorse saddle offers, and that help the rider achieve his equestrian goal with style. If you want to attend any reined Cow Horse competitions and achieve victory, you can surely consider these beneficial factors of this particular saddle:

  1. Greater security: Cowhorse saddles are awesome for active riding. They let you sit deeper, making you feel super secure. When you're snug in the saddle, you connect better with your horse, which means you can balance yourself well and have more control. It ensures the perfect setup for a great ride!
  2. Deeper flexion: The deep seat in a cowhorse saddle lets you ride in a cool, collected style. Your horse can bend its joints effortlessly and pull off smooth moves in its stride. That means you, as the rider, can show off some fancy tricks like sliding stops, nifty lead changes mid-air, and those cool spins. 
  3. Comfort for long hours: With that extra padding, the cowhorse saddle is like a dream for riders putting in a long day of practice and competition. It's so comfy that you can go on for hours without feeling tired or getting sore. The cushioning works like magic, keeping fatigue at bay. 

So, you can concentrate on nailing those tricky moves, whether it's perfecting sliding stops or mastering any reining pattern. It's all about staying comfy and focused in the saddle!

How Can You Choose The Right Saddle?

Now, you know the unique features of ranch cutting saddles and cowhorse saddles. You may opt for various riding discipline, saddle choice can vary person to person. You can be young rider or Intermediate rider who is just planning for lessons, you need to choose your saddle considering the following important factor:

a.Consider your primary riding discipline and skill level

You need to figure out how often you want to ride and what activity you will perform. If you are a beginner, avoid intricate designs and start with a basic one. Complex designs are for the skilled rider. If you are not skilled enough, you may hurt yourself and your equine buddy for no reason. 

If you are experienced, you can go with cow horse saddle for your versatile cattle work, in contrast, ranch cutter saddles are ideal for cutting competition.

b. Evaluate your horse's conformation and riding style:

An ill-fitted saddle can impact your riding performance and you may put your horse’s health at risk. To avoid that, before choosing any saddle, make sure your horse is comfortable with the saddle fitting. 

For your cutting riding style, a ranch cutter saddle can be a great option. Make sure you are skilled enough to isolate or cut a cow from the herd. If you perform both cutting and reining in the arena, you can go for cow horse saddle.

c. Checking on features:

Take a precise look over the saddle’s seat, horn, padding and other features before you choose to buy a saddle. You must think about which feature is most important for you. If you want a better collection and secure riding that allows extended leg movement ranch cutter saddle are quite perfect for you. 

When you want to ride for long hours and extra comfort and balance is your priority, you can check for cowhorse ones. Extra padding, and the deeper seat will provide your expected riding experience.

d. Before you purchase:

These saddles, the Ranch Cutter and Cowhorse ones, they're not cheap. But – you gotta try a few on your horse. See how they feel, check if your horse is comfy in them. Only then can you really decide which one fits the bill for you. 

Take your time, try out a few different saddles on your horse. You want to make sure it fits right and is comfy for your four-legged friend. It's like trying on shoes – you wouldn't just grab the first pair, right? Same idea with saddles. So, keep your budget in mind, but don't forget to let your horse have a say too! 

Our other articles for your equine buddy :

Looking for a perfect horse bit for your horse?

Want a guide on Wade saddle or Association saddle perfect for you?

Conclusion:

Ranch cutter saddle and Cowhorse saddle both play a crucial role in versatile equestrian activity. Now, you have an overall idea about the purpose, features, and benefits of both of these saddles. Let’s recap, If your riding style includes both reining and cutting, or you want to perform those advanced and tricky spins consider a cowhorse saddle as your partner. 

On the other hand, Ranch cutter saddles are good for skilled riders. If you are a pro at cutting, this saddle is suitable for you. It can become a game-changer for fancy footwork and cutting precision.

You can share your valuable opinion in the comment about which saddle you prefer the most along with your riding experience. Share this article with anyone who is torn between ranch cutting saddle or cow horse saddle.

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