Why Your Barrel Saddle Needs to Fit
When most people begin to start out with barrel racing, they think that just any barrel saddle will do. But the case is, that if your barrel saddle does not fit your equine athlete properly you are not going to do well in barrel racing, you may have behavior problems, and you can actually damage your horse irreparably.
Barrel saddles come in a variety of designs styles. In fact, barrels saddle fashion also is available, the latest styles in fashion may include colored seats, different fendors, and a difference in cinch position. It's important that if you're shopping for a barrel saddle that you do not go for one that is the latest style. Many times, unless you're willing to spend thousands of dollars getting the latest fashion statement in saddles, they're not going to help your barrel racing out very much.
It's much better to choose a well made barrel saddle, and perhaps even a used barrel saddle for your first barrel racing experience. If you are not completely aware of how a barrel saddle should fit your horse, seek out professional help.
A barrel saddle that is too tight in the withers is going to pinch the shoulders of your barrel horse. As you go into the barrel turn, you may notice that your horse will not take the barrel as tight as they can, but instead are going wide. While there are many reasons for this, saddle fit can also affect how they take a corner. With a saddle that is too tight, the shoulder bone is going to drive up into the tree of the saddle, this is going to cause pain, and this is what makes your horse takes a wider corner, they're afraid of the pain, and cannot take their full stride.
Also, you may find that your horse is unwilling to barrel race all. If you have gone through barrel training with your worse then your horse knows what you're going to be doing, they also know that you're going to ask a lot of them during this time. With the proper fitting saddle your horse may dive into those barrels and give you a good run. When the saddle does not fit properly, all that your horse has look forward to in the barrel arena is pain and anguish while they're trying to do their best.
So before you go for a fashion statement with your barrel saddle, find someone who knows how a barrel saddle should fit and can help you find either a good well-made used barrel saddle, or a good one that doesn't cost as much as a fashion statement.