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I recently got a catalog on tack and they have roping saddles, cutting saddles, etc. What's the difference?

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2 hours ago, Davm said:

I recently got a catalog on tack and they have roping saddles, cutting saddles, etc. What's the difference?

https://animals.mom.com/differences-between-cutting-roping-saddles-3537.html

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Thanks.  I've been trying to pick up some details on "Being a Cowboy" and there really isn't that much information.  Until I read about the roping and cutting saddles I thought the only issue was the slope on back of the horse matching the saddle you got for it. I've been told a mule is built different and needs a different saddle. I've only rode a mule once. It was sort of a jarring ride but I wanted to adjust the stirrups and the guy said to leave them alone so that didn't help.  It seemed the mule I rode was not as ornery as I had worried about. I like horses better.   To me, building a saddle has to be the ultimate of the leather worker's craft.

Stirrups:  it looks like there may be different ways to attach them. I thought there was an adjustable band running over the top of the saddle but it looks like there may be sort style of fender to which the stirrup is affixed.  

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2 hours ago, Davm said:

Stirrups:  it looks like there may be different ways to attach them. I thought there was an adjustable band running over the top of the saddle but it looks like there may be sort style of fender to which the stirrup is affixed.  

In my experience with using saddles, not building them, there is a continuous strap or band (adjustment strap) that runs under the seat but is also riveted to the upper part of the skirt to hold it in place. The fenders are then affixed to this strap with rivets. The part of the Blevins Buckle with the "peg" ends is attached to the end of the strap on the fender and the other part of the buckle slides up and down on the adjustment strap. 

Cutting saddles typically higher seat rise to keep the rider in the seat because of the posture the horse takes while cutting. They also typically have a longer thinner horn on the saddle that a lot of folks will hold onto. It's considered better showmanship to be able to control the horse with reins in one hand than to have to pull them from side to side with the reins. 

Roping saddles with typically have a higher cantle because the horse's rear end will squat down when sliding to a halt. 

You're right about mule saddles. They are completely different. Mule saddles will almost always have a strap that goes around the mules rear end because they don't have the pronounced withers of horses to keep the saddle from moving forward. Another difference is also the rear cinch. Typically folks don't tighten the rear cinch up on a horse. There is usually a gap. In my experience it's there as kind of a "last line of defense" for the saddle flipping forward. However, the rear cinch is important on a mule because of the way they're built. 

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